Motion and Pain Improved with Chiropractic in 75-Year-Old Man

Do Chiropractors Adjust Elderly People? How Old Are Chiropractic Patients?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on September 12, 2016, documenting the progress of an elderly man with limited motion being helped with chiropractic. Mobility is a primary concern for the elderly and has a direct effect on the overall quality of seniors’ lives.

motion-and-pain-improved-with-chiropractic-in-75-year-old-man-austin-tx-chiropractor-nextdoor-reviewsThe study begins by noting that the population of older people is growing rapidly worldwide. It is estimated that by the year 2050, people over the age of 60 will represent 21.1% of the worlds population with numbers greater than 2 billion.

The author of the study reviewed other studies involving chiropractic and motion in the elderly. In summarizing these studies he noted, “In recent studies chiropractic care, primarily focused on the correction of vertebral subluxation, has been shown to positively impact the older adults’ ability to remain independent, perform activities of daily living, and to be able to participate in life on many different levels, including physical and social functioning.”

In this case, a 75-year-old man with a 20-year history of low back and neck pain went to a chiropractor. Due to his age, he believed he may not be able to improve and may have to “learn to live with it.” His history revealed that 48 years ago, the man had fallen over 22 feet down a sewage pit.

The man reported exhibiting discomfort while sitting and standing. His physical activity was curtailed to walking only short distances due to his pain and stiffness. His pain had gotten to the point where, over the prior four weeks before seeking chiropractic care, he had started taking over the counter pain medication. During the examination, the man rated his physical health as 4/10 and mental health as 7/10.

The examination showed that the man carried his head forward while also having an increased hunched-type curve in his middle back. His spinal range of motion was limited in most all directions. Thermography and surface EMG studies also showed problem areas in the man’s spine.

Chiropractic care was begun at the rate of two visits per month. The study stated that after the sixth visit, the man reported increased flexibility and was able to walk for longer distances than before. On the seventh visit, the man commented, “It is important for me to be able to bend forward and move my head, I can do that easier now,” He also commented, “I’ve noticed my posture is more upright and not bent forward.”

As a result, the man’s self rating of his health improved from a 4/10 to an 8/10, and his mental health improved from 7/10 to 8/10. Additional improvements included increased range of motion in all of his movements, and he was able to discontinue his over-the-counter pain medication.

In his conclusion the author wrote, “Chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxation was associated with improvements in the patient’s presenting musculoskeletal complaints and resultant quality of life.”

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. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Older Americans Taking More Medications

What is Polypharmacy? Can Chiropractic Care Reduce My Need For Medication?

The headline above comes from a March 21, 2016, Reuters news story published in response to a pre-released study on this subject published in the April 2016 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. This article, and several others on this same subject, reported on the growing usage of medication by the increasing elderly population.

Older Americans Taking More Medications - Austin Texas Chiropractor help for car accident injuryThe study showed that 87.7% of the population 62 to 85 years old used at least one prescription medication in 2010-2011. This was up from 84.1% in 2005-2006. Even more alarming was that the study showed that people using five or more prescription medications increased from 30.6% to 35.8% in the same five year period.

The Reuters article begins by noting that people using multiple medications, known as polypharmacy, was associated with an increase in major drug interactions in older Americans. Dr. Dima M. Qato, the study’s lead author from the University of Illinois at Chicago, commented, “That’s a concern from a public health standpoint, because it’s getting worse.”

The study showed that because of the increase in polypharmacy, the percentage of people at risk for serious or even life-threatening drug interaction has gone from 8 percent in 2005-2006 to 15 percent in 2011-2012.

Dr. Qato also stated in a CBS interview on this issue, “Many of these potentially deadly drug interactions involve prescription and non-prescription medications and supplements that are not commonly used, but are increasingly being used by older adults. While it is not known how many older adults in the U.S. die of drug interactions, the risk seems to be growing and public awareness is lacking.”

“It is time to take the next leap forward. We need to create systems that support an ongoing process of monitoring medications,” said Michael A. Steinman, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, in an accompanying editorial. “Such systems would help us periodically assess the benefits, harms and ongoing need for each of a patient’s medications, as well as the reasonableness of the medication regimen as a whole. These systems could also help physicians with deprescribing, for example by supporting gradual down-titration of a medication and monitoring patients for adverse drug withdrawal reactions after a drug is stopped.”

“As much as we need to support reforms in medication monitoring, we seriously need to examine the culture of taking so many medications,” says Robert Braile D.C. chairman of the International Chiropractors Association Public Relations Committee. “Americans represent about 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume about 50% of the prescription medication in the world. This, coupled with the fact that the U.S. ranks far below many other nations in almost all health statistics except spending, should lead us to question whether or not the culture of a pill for every ill is a healthy and prudent direction.”

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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