A growing number of seniors are reaping the benefits of chiropractic care, and a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that chiropractic is advantageous for older people.
Research indicates that many medical doctors are ‘deficient’ in their knowledge of how to care for patients with low-back pain (Spine 2009;34:1716-21).
As part of the analysis, 253 orthopedic surgeons and 145 medical family practitioners completed a questionnaire regarding the management of simple low-back pain (LBP), while attending annual professional meetings. “Answers were scored based on the national guidelines for management of low back pain.”
The study concludes that “both orthopedic surgeons’ and family physicians’ knowledge of treating LBP is deficient. Orthopedic surgeons are less aware of current treatment than family practitioners. Although the importance of publishing guidelines and keeping them up-to-date and relevant for different disciplines in different countries cannot be overstressed, disseminating the knowledge to clinicians is also very important to ensure good practice.” (Spine 2009;34:1716-21.)
Seniors with back pain require care by doctors who are aware of the distinctive spinal issues that affect an aging spine. Because of their extensive knowledge of the spine, doctors of chiropractic, like Dr. Carpenter, are uniquely positioned to provide seniors with exceptional care.
One report, which compared chiropractic care with medical care for older patients with low-back pain, concludes that chiropractic care is more effective (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32:330-43).
The randomized controlled trial included 240 people (105 women and 135 men). The participants were all at least 55 years old with acute or chronic LBP.
The patients were divided into three groups. Two groups underwent chiropractic care, each with a different type of chiropractic adjusting technique. A third group underwent minimal conservative medical care, which is the common standard of medical care for seniors with LBP.
The chiropractic intervention included six weeks of care for a total of 12 visits. Seniors who received either type of chiropractic adjustments enjoyed a statistically significant improvement in function over medically-treated patients. What’s more, chiropractic care is drug-free, which is particularly beneficial for seniors who may be acutely sensitive to drug interactions and side effects (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32:330-43).
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, occurring when cartilage in joints wears down over time. OA most commonly affects joints in hands, hips, knees and spine.
Fortunately, research shows that chiropractic care helps reduce OA symptoms. One study included 252 OA patients with low-back pain. Researchers randomly assigned subjects to either a chiropractic group who received chiropractic adjustments plus moist heat or a moist-heat only cohort. Both groups participated in 20 care sessions, over several weeks.
At sessions one, five, 10, 15 and 20, sufferers rated pain, activities of daily living and range of motion (ROM). The chiropractic group reported greater and more rapid pain reduction and ROM improvement than the moist heat group. Those under chiropractic care also enjoyed greater improvements in daily living activities in four of the nine areas measured (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2006;29:107-14).
Growing Numbers of Seniors Seek Chiropractic Care
As baby-boomers reach their senior years, a growing number of older people are discovering chiropractic.
Lisa Killinger of the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Davenport, Iowa, says that “chiropractors may be well-positioned to play an important role in health promotion, injury and disease prevention and on geriatric care teams, due to their practice style and holistic philosophy.” (Clin Geriatr Med 2004;20:223-35).
Motor Skills Improved with Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic may also help seniors maintain their motor skills.
In one study, researchers asked seniors in a specialized test group to use a computer mouse to move their cursors onto a target in the center of a computer screen. The researchers used a range of widths and target distances to vary the level of difficulty.
“All participants in the experimental group [those receiving chiropractic care] had significantly improved movement times following spinal adjustments compared with only one participant in the control group [those not receiving chiropractic care].”
The results demonstrated significant motor-skill improvement among those receiving chiropractic care, leading researchers to suggest that “spinal adjustments may influence motor behavior.” (J Manipul Physiol Ther 2006;29:257-66.)