Gait, Balance and Coordination Improved with Chiropractic

A long-term case study published on February 9, 2017, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research followed the improvement received from chiropractic care of an elderly man with a long list of health issues including difficulty in walking, balance, standing and overall mobility. Mobility, musculoskeletal pain, and balance are of key concern to the geriatric population and have a significant impact on the quality of life.

Gait, Balance and Coordination Improved with Chiropractic Pregnancy Newborn Infant Pediatric Care to Older Adult Elderly Care Health WellnessPain plays a key role in the abilities of a senior to function normally. According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. “Spinal pain is the most common of all chronic pain disorders. In a previous study, 24.6% of older adults with chronic pain reported back pain.”

In this case, an 85-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor for a variety of health concerns. His chief complaints for which he went to the chiropractor were difficulty walking and poor posture. In addition to the issues he sought chiropractic for, he also had a number of prior medical diagnoses that included benign prostatic hypertrophy, osteoporosis, heart valve insufficiency, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, angina, and other assorted problems. Most of his issues were being treated medically. As a result, the man had been prescribed eighteen different medications that were being taken on a daily basis.

A chiropractic examination was performed. This included a range of motion study, paraspinal thermography, a postural analysis, spinal motion palpation and spinal x-rays. As expected, the man’s range of motion in all areas was significantly reduced. His head was carried in a forward position causing a roundness of his shoulders. The spinal x-rays on this patient showed considerable calcium buildup indicative of intervertebral degenerative joint disease, spinal arthritis, and old compression fractures of several of his vertebrae.

Based on the findings of all the examination procedures, the diagnosis for this man was healed compression fractures, calcification of the abdominal aortic, atherosclerosis, abnormal postural and vertebral subluxations in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine. With this diagnosis, chiropractic care was rendered.

This study recorded the chiropractic care and progress for this man over an eight year period. Over that time, a variety of chiropractic techniques were utilized. The study records that, over time, the man’s overall health improved and he experienced improvement in gait, balance stability, coordination, posture and reported an increase in strength in the lower extremities. The man’s medical doctor also noticed the changes and commented that the patient was healthier while under chiropractic care. In addition, he was able to get himself in and out of a chair, and was able to reduce the amount of prescription and over the counter medication he was taking.

The author of this study summed up the implications of this study by noting, “Age related musculoskeletal problems can cause impairment in a patient’s balance and gait. An unstable person on their feet puts them at a higher risk of falling and as age increases so does the risk of falling.” She continued to explain how this can help by saying, “Individuals over the age of 65 years of age that suffer from musculoskeletal dysfunctions may benefit from chiropractic care. Chiropractic care focuses on the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC).”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.


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Parkinson’s Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Help Parkinson’s Disease? How Does Chiropractic Care Slow or Stop the Progression of Parkinson’s?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on June 1, 2015, documenting a case of a patient with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) being helped over the course of a decade to have an improved quality of life. The authors noted the purpose of this study saying, “In this case study we will add to the small but growing body of evidence that reports on the association between chiropractic care and PD.”

Parkinson's Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorAccording to the WebMD website, “Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Parkinson’s disease symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.” The authors of this study add that PD affects about one percent of the population over the age of 65.

“PD has a major effect on the quality of life of patients, who gradually lose autonomy and cognitive function. The decline in quality of life proceeds at a rate that is five to seven times faster than the average yearly decline caused by normal aging in individuals without the disease,” state the study authors.

In this study, a 63-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking relief from his lower back pain. He was also suffering with tremors in his right arm for five years and had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years prior. He was on a daily medication for his Parkinson’s. The case history showed that the man’s main complaints related to his PD were tremors in the right hand, gait disturbances in the left leg mainly caused by foot drop, and trouble walking with a loss of balance.

A chiropractic examination was performed including spinal range of motion, neurological and orthopedic tests, and spinal x-rays. The results led to the determination that subluxations of the spine were present. Based on these findings a specific series of chiropractic adjustments were begun.

The patient initially was seen 3 times per week for the first month. After the initial 12 visits the frequency of care was reduced to once per week. The man continued his chiropractic care for another 10 years before the writing of this study.

After 10 years, the now 73-year-old man reported that his PD symptoms had not worsened, but had actually improved since he started chiropractic care. He noted that the tremor in his right hand was not present as often and had not spread to any other part of his body. He reported that he was able to return to playing badminton more easily due to improvements in balance and an improved range of motion.

The study authors point out that this study and others they reviewed showed that some patients with PD had a slow down or stopping of the progression of their disease. They point out this is contrary to medical care alone which can treat the symptoms but does not seem to have any effect on the progression of PD.

“The aim of chiropractic care is to enhance nervous system function so the body is better able to heal itself. In contrast, the medical treatment of Parkinson’s relies on external input,” note the study authors. “The findings in our case study support previous literature which has examined the symptomatic progression, quality of life and neurological function of PD patients under chiropractic care.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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