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.
Pain 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.