2 Your Health: Seniors benefit from chiropractic care

Editor’s Note: “2 Your Health” is a new column in the SaddleBrooke Progress dedicated to health issues. Each month different doctors and or medical associations, from varying specialties, will be writing on issues of importance. Articles are based on experiences and independent research conducted by the doctors or medical associations. We encourage anyone considering changing medications and or altering medical therapy, as a result of information contained in these articles, to consult your doctor first. Robson Publishing, a division of Robson Communities, Inc. is not liable for information contained in these articles.

Craig W. Brue

The above is the headline of an October 2012 article that appeared in the Herald Online, a publication that serves the Twin Cities area. The health release notes, “Seniors who utilize chiropractic care experience fewer symptomatic chronic conditions, experience less days in the hospitals and nursing homes and have more mobility than elderly non-chiropractic patients.” How is this possible?

Back and neck pain are the chief complaints for which patients seek chiropractic help. Chiropractors focus on the biomechanics of the spine; asymmetry, imbalance and spinal misalignment. Chiropractors, through specific spinal adjustments of vertebrae, bring the musculoskeletal structure into proper alignment allowing the body to heal. Effectiveness studies demonstrate that specific spinal adjustments are conservative, safe and an effective way to help relieve both acute and chronic spine pain.

The medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, recently published a study demonstrating that spinal adjustments performed by a chiropractor, along with rehabilitative exercises relieved neck pain far more effectively than medication. In another study, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported that an integrated approach to healthcare—including chiropractic care—resulted in a 52% reduction in pharmaceutical costs and 43% fewer hospital admissions.

The general population is going to chiropractors in record numbers. Seniors, the fastest growing segment of the population, recognize the effectiveness of chiropractic care for back and neck pain. According to an August 24, 1999 article in USA Today, more than 80% of the senior community, age 65 or greater, are utilizing alternative medicine. The use of chiropractic treatment leads the way with a utilization of 32%.

A recent study published in Topics in Clinical Chiropractic reported data that found chiropractic geriatric patients were “less likely to have been hospitalized, less likely to have used a nursing home, more likely to report a better health status, more likely to exercise vigorously and more likely to be mobile in the community.”

In addition to spinal adjustments, many chiropractors provide additional health services. Chiropractors can provide nutrition advice, give exercise recommendations, perform physical therapy and offer lifestyle counseling. The successful management of chronic conditions may require a multidisciplinary approach. It is important that you consider having a health advisory team that includes prevention and wellness care.

Chiropractors are health professionals that specialize in a non-surgical, non-drug approach to spinal health. If you are experiencing back or neck pain, you might consider having a chiropractic physician on your health team.

Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer and provides chiropractic care in the SaddleBrooke community.