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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Walking Improved with Chiropractic According to Study

Is It Normal To Have One Leg Shorter Than The Other? Can Chiropractic Help With A Short Leg?

A study published in the June 16, 2014, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research showed that chiropractic adjustments have a positive effect on walking, and basic lower body balance and biomechanics. This study looked at leg length differences and documented that chiropractic adjustments changed leg length which had an effect on walking.

Walking Improved with Chiropractic According to Study | Best Austin ChiropractorThe authors begin by noting that there are two types of short legs as seen on patients. “Two types of leg length inequality (LLI) exist, anatomical and functional. It has been suggested that a consequence of possessing a short lower limb is that it places abnormal mechanical stress on both lower limbs.” They explain that an anatomical short leg is one where the leg itself is actually shorter either from birth, disease or accident. A functional short leg is one that is not really any shorter but seems to measure shorter when compared to the other leg. The functional short leg is believed to be resulting from the person’s hips or spine being out of alignment therefore causing one leg to look shorter.

This study was designed to look at the effects of chiropractic adjustments on leg lengths and how that affected people’s walking gait called “walking kinematics.” In this study, 41 participants were tested with a 90-second baseline gait analysis utilizing specific equipment that measures their gait while walking. A short leg analysis was also performed on all subjects to look for functional short legs. Those participants that had a short leg were divided into two groups. One of the groups received a chiropractic adjustment while the other group did not. After this, all subjects were given a follow-up 90-second gait analysis. All participants had no symptoms.

The results showed that there were changes in walking for those participants who were adjusted. Adjustments on the side of the longer leg seemed to cause a larger change than that on the shorter side. There was also improvement noted in step length and knee angle. These improvements were noticed even though the patients included in this study had no symptoms or pain.

The authors of this study concluded, “Preliminarily this suggests that adjustment in response to a functionally short leg results in small changes in certain gait parameters in 18-45 year-old asymptomatic individuals.”

To see if chiropractic care can help with your leg length differences, or if you have difficulties with your gait, call (512) 452-2525 to schedule today.

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