Proper Chiropractic Care Can Help You Stay Physically Fit While Aging

Dr. Neil Crane recommends getting enough physical activity to maintain lean muscle mass.

From workdays spent behind a computer to free moments hunched over smartphones, the average American spends a lot of time sitting. These seemingly harmless day-to-day activities can have a detrimental impact on our overall well-being. Dr. Neil Crane of Core Health Chiropractic, which has offices in Plymouth and Minneapolis, shares how he helps patients stay healthy.

Who's a good candidate for  chiropractic care?
For better or for worse, chiropractory has a broad spectrum—there’s a lot of treatment styles and approaches. I feel like there is something for everyone, depending on what your injury is, what kind of treatment you’ll respond best to. If I were to give advice to a potential patient, I’d say you should try to find the best fit for you. Do your research, look at clinics’ websites, go through their bio and their background to get a feel for the clinic and what they’re all about.

What is your practice like?
We try to encompass a lot of different providers to give patients as many different resources as we can. We have an athletic trainer to help anyone with physical therapy-based recovery. We have a nutritionist who can help out with eating plans, whether it’s for losing weight or improving performance. We try to put out a wide array of services to make sure that if you’re trying to achieve a wellness lifestyle, we have an avenue to fit your specific needs.

What do you commonly treat?
The everyday activities that we’ve evolved toward over the last 10-15 years mean there’s more and more sitting, less moving, more time on computers, smartphones, driving, and our bodies pay a price for that. I see a lot of patients struggling with being at a desk all day and fighting upper back pain while staring at a computer, and then trying to do an activity, whether it’s playing with the kids or doing a sport or leisurely activity.

Can you provide an example of how you've helped a patient?
We had a patient come in with a lot of stiffness in her upper back, which was also associated with some tension headaches. She works full-time, and she has two young kids, so she gets home, plays with them for a couple of hours, and then she’d try to work out at the end of the day. She had a really hard time getting all her work done and spending time with her family and exercising while also struggling with severe neck and back pain, and her headaches were exacerbated by that.

We identified some areas of her back that were stuck and just not moving, which was causing her a lot of muscular pain. We were able to get that motion back—she could introduce exercise back into her day, and then we gave her a specific set of corrective exercises to do, some physical therapy to strengthen those areas.

What advice do you have for staying fit while aging?
One of the biggest things about being able to age gracefully is being able to maintain your lean muscle mass. Muscle requires a stimulus on it to stay active and maintain its tone. So, if you know you’re not getting enough activity in your life, start small. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Set a goal to get out and walk 10 minutes every day. If you sit at a desk all day, set a timer and every 20 minutes get up and walk around, even if it’s for just 30 seconds.

The more active you can be, the more stimulus you can put on your frame to keep those muscles active, the more you’ll be able to maintain that lean muscle mass more efficiently and maintain your mobility as you age. If you start to lose your mobility, you also start to lose that joy or that willingness to continue on, because not being able to move can also take away a lot of other things that you enjoy.