2 Your Health: Seniors benefit from chiropractic care


Craig W. Brue, D.C.

The above is the headline of a health 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 fewer days in 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 percent reduction in pharmaceutical costs and 43 percent 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 the USA Today, more than 80 percent 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 percent.

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 for rehabilitation, utilize physical therapy procedures, and offer lifestyle counseling. The successful management of chronic conditions may require a multidisciplinary approach. It is important that you consider having health care providers that offer prevention and wellness care.

Chiropractors are health professionals that specialize in a non-surgical, non-drug approach to spinal health. My advice: If you are experiencing back or neck pain, consider the inclusion of an excellent chiropractic physician on your health team.

Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer and a chiropractic provider in SaddleBrooke, AZ.