In cases when drugs and surgery may not be appropriate, chiropractic care may be an option to treat seniors safely and effectively
by Luz F. Senan, D.C.
Prior to attending chiropractic college I worked as a Case Manager and Geriatric Mental Health Counselor. I was fascinated by my patient’s great stories about chiropractic care and how their chiropractors were helping them with their pain and encouraging them to keep more active and healthy. That intrigued me, and for the first time I went to visit a chiropractor. The rest is history.
One of the greatest things about being a chiropractor is the variety of techniques that we have available to treat different age groups according to their specific needs. When it comes to the elderly, their comorbidities and other problems make it more challenging to effectively manage their symptoms.
The aging US population is growing each year. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging (AoA), Americans aged 65 years or older numbered 46.2 million in 2014 (the latest year for which data is available). They make up about 14.5% of the U.S. population, so about one in every seven Americans. By 2060, they expect this number to more than double to a total of 98 million older persons. People 65+ represented 14.5% of the population in the year 2014 but are expected to grow to be 21.7% of the population by 2040.
With this increase in the senior population, senior patients are experiencing more pain due to degeneration and injuries, so treatment options such as Chiropractic Adjustments have been proven effective in the treatment of acute and chronic back pain in the elderly. As stated by Killinger LZ in the study published on Clinics in Geriatric Medicine: “Chiropractic services are low-cost, safe, with a high patient satisfaction. Also in relation to musculoskeletal care in elderly patients, chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulative therapy) are recommended by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research for the treatment of acute lower back pain, and by the American Geriatric Society Panel Guidelines for the Management of Chronic Pain.”1 In cases when drugs and surgery may not be appropriate, chiropractic care may be an option due to the variety of techniques available that include low force, to treat seniors safely and effectively. Also, regular chiropractic adjustments can keep seniors more active and independent for longer periods of time. It can help with increase in range of motion and slow down joint degeneration.
In a study published in The Journal of Manipulative Physiotherapy 2014, it states that: “The unadjusted models show chiropractic is significantly protective against one-year decline in ADLs, lifting, stooping, walking, self-rated health, and worsening health after one year. Persons using chiropractic are more satisfied with their follow-up care and with the information provided to them. In addition to the protective effects of chiropractic in the unadjusted model, the propensity score results indicate a significant protective effect of chiropractic against decline in reaching.”2 Thus, regular chiropractic adjustments can keep seniors active for longer, so they can enjoy more of their favorite activities and live a more active lifestyle while remaining independent for as long as possible.
Chiropractic care is suitable for all ages. It is safe and effective, especially for seniors. It is never too late to visit your Chiropractor. If you have any questions, give us a call today or request for an appointment.
1. Killinger LZ. Chiropractic and geriatrics: a review of the training, role, and scope of chiropractic in caring for aging patients. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine 2004. May; 20(2):223-35.
2. Weigel, Paula AM PhD, Hockenberry, Jason M, PhD and Wolinsky Fredic D. Chiropractic Use in the Medicare Population: Prevalence, Patterns, and Associations with One-Year Changes in Health and Satisfaction with Care. Journal of Manipulative Physiotherapy 2014 Oct; 37(8):542-551