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Chiropractic Care Improves Quality of Life for the Elderly

Chiropractic and Seniors

Chiropractic Care Improves Quality of Life for the Elderly

Pamela H Ramer

With mounting evidence of the side effects of prescription pain medication,   the aging population today is searching for alternative solutions to aging issues such as arthritis, back pain, improvement in quality of life as well as reducing the risk of falls and injuries.   This has spurred recent research to look into the plausible health fields that would provide this group with safe and effective non drug solutions.  The results are encouraging.

One of the main concerns of the elderly is loss of sensory and motor control.  Mechanoreceptors in our spinal joints are responsible for providing the brain with information about our position at any particular time, also known as proprioception or body awareness.  These become impaired as we age, bringing about an increase in the risk of falls and injuries.

A 2017 research study has shown that 12 weeks of chiropractic care resulted in improvement of both sensory and motor functions in the elderly.  This not only reduced the risk of falls, it also brought about an improvement in their quality of life.

Chiropractic helps the elderly in many ways: Pain relief, increasing balance, improving range of motion, decrease in falls risk and an improvement in the quality of life.  All of this, added to the reduced risk of degeneration of joints, helps to keep the elderly out of the nursing home.

Not many elderly venture into a chiropractic clinic.  Many consider pain, loss of balance and other health issues that accompany old age as a normal way of life for seniors.  Some are of the opinion that the elderly are too frail for chiropractic manipulation.  Others are hesitant to use chiropractic care because of safety concerns.  But, nothing could be further from the truth.  Here again, research has shown that serious adverse effects of chiropractic care are very rare, especially in the case of the geriatric population.  Dougherty et al. have reported on the safety of SMT in the older adult population.   Besides, there are alternative methods of chiropractic adjustments available today besides the high velocity adjustment that usually is accompanied by a cracking noise.  Many chiropractors now use these alternative methods not just for adults, but for pediatric as well as the general population.   This ensures a comfortable, pain free and effective positive experience.

References:

Holt, K. R., Haavik, H., & Elley, C. R. (2012). The effects of manual therapy on balance and falls: a systematic review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 35(3), 227-234.

Church, E. W., Sieg, E. P., Zalatimo, O., Hussain, N. S., Glantz, M., & Harbaugh, R. E. (2016). Systematic review and meta-analysis of chiropractic care and cervical artery dissection: no evidence for causation. Cureus, 8(2).

Kosloff, T. M., Elton, D., Tao, J., & Bannister, W. M. (2015). Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case–control study in US commercial and Medicare Advantage populations. Chiropractic & manual therapies, 23(1), 19.

Dougherty, P., & Killinger, L. (2005). Role of chiropractic in a long-term care setting. Long-Term Care Interface, 6, 33-38.

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