The Golden Isles proves to be the realization of dreams for many retirees. From golfing to bicycling to walking the areas beaches, there’s no shortage of engaging activities to embrace.
Unfortunately, chronic pain can derail these idyllic plans for seniors. But the professionals at Carlyle Wellness have made it their mission to change that.
“Most people come to a chiropractor because they’re in pain. One of the things I hear from my aging patients is, ‘I just assumed that when I got older, I’m supposed to hurt.’ Absolutely not,” says Dr. Phillip Carlyle, D.C., CCWP and BCIM. “Aging isn’t supposed to be painful.”
Pain can stem from a variety of causes. A good chiropractic neurological exam can determine if chiropractic care is the best answer for you.
First and foremost, chiropractic adjustments benefit the overall central nervous system. Removing nerve pressure and restoring communication between the brain and body helps reduce the risk of falling, which is a common concern among older individuals.
“What we’re really treating with chiropractic care is the central nervous system. It comes down to how quickly and how well your brain can communicate with your body,” he said. “If there is lag time, you stumble or you fall. The thing I hear all the time is ‘when I was younger, I wouldn’t have fallen. I would have been able to catch myself.’ Well, if you add lag, then you can’t catch yourself.”
Falling as a senior isn’t as simple as it is when one is younger. It can cause serious injuries including broken bones and can potentially prove life changing. Carlyle has treated many patients who’ve suffered from falls. Once they heal from the initial injury, they start to notice other positive changes.
“That’s one of their major concerns. They may come in because they’re hurt or have injured themselves in a fall. But what they all unequivocally start saying after a few visits is ‘wow, my balance is better. My dizziness or vertigo is better. My coordination is better. I feel more stable on my feet,’” he said.
That’s because chiropractic treatments stimulate spinal receptors which leads to that improved coordination and balance. It also improves one’s confidence, allowing more people to get back to fully living life.
“Our goals are our patients’ goals. You want to be able to play with your grandkids or even just go up the stairs without being afraid of falling — we’re here to get you there,” he said.
Another common issue Carlyle sees is joint pain. Over time, general wear and tear can cause cartilage to deteriorate, allowing bones to rub together. That, of course, can be extremely painful.
But Carlyle says that chiropractic adjustments help to keep the appropriate space between bones, allowing proper alignment and a life without pain.
“Like we mentioned, you’re not supposed to hurt just because you’re getting older. That is not normal,” he said. “We ask patients, ‘what is your goal. What is it you want to do?’ Then, we work with you to achieve those goals. So we give you stretches and exercises to work with you to reach those goals.”
One of his programs that does that is called SpinalFit. Personally designed by Dr. Carlyle, it’s an exercise program that assists anybody — literally any body — in reaching their goals in a safe and controlled environment. SpinalFit works on many levels, from the musculoskeletal system to the neuroendocrine system. It focuses on strict form of multiple exercises to strengthen the spinal core muscles, retrain proper motor recruitment patterns of functional movements and stimulate a neuroendocrine hormonal release.
In short, it is a total body workout crafted to be extremely safe. Because of this, the program has been incredibly successful. It follows Carlyle’s philosophy of patients where they are and helping them get to where they want to be. Many of those participants are seniors.
“It was originally designed for the injured and aging person to be able to exercise. Smiling he said, “There are a lot of my 70 year olds in SpinalFit that I don’t think most 20 year olds could keep up with.”
The class meets three times a week at CrossFit St. Simons, next door to Carlyle Wellness at 50 Aviator Plaza Suite 102 on St. Simons Island. The current schedule is from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturdays. Carlyle programs all of the work puts and personally leads the classes to ensure the participants are exercising in a safe and effective way. Patient testimonials along with more detailed information can be found at carlylewellness.com/spinalfit.
“As I tell people, just come once to see if you like it. I have some CrossFit instructors who teach when I’m out of town and they always tell me, ‘I can’t believe how well these people move for their ages! They move better than a lot of CrossFitters,” Carlyle said with a laugh.