Chiropractic Helps Prevent Disability In Older Adults
Healthcare seems to be something that American seniors are more engaged in today than ever before. Much of it has to do with changes to the Affordable Care Act, as many are re-evaluating how they go about managing their health. With such a diverse range of options for health care, including chiropractors, physical thisapists, family practice physicians and orthopedists, it’s easy to become confused about which treatment methods are the most cost- and results-effective.
The Comparative Effect Of Chiropractic & Medical Treatment On The Health Of Seniors
Due to recent significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid, this is especially true for seniors who deal with back pain.
Now a new report out of the University of Iowa that examines the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment compared to medical treatment for seniors on Medicare has made a strong case for chiropractic care. It’s no secret that chiropractic is one of the best options for back pain in older adults, but the study suggests that regular visits to a chiropractor can also protect them from declining spinal function and limitations in their ability to perform daily activities as they get older.
The report analyzed data from a US national survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, called the Survey on Assets and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old. The study identified 1,057 Medicare recipients with back pain for inclusion in the survey. Patients were asked about their overall health and ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), such as walking up stairs or grocery shopping. Researchers analyzed medical records to identify which patients had received chiropractic care and/or traditional medical care during the study period.
Results of The Study
After adjusting for baseline characteristics, the researchers found that the older adults who had utilized senior chiropractic care were significantly less likely to have experienced declines in functional health than medical-care only seniors. The chiropractic patients also reported higher levels of overall self-health.
The researchers suggested that regular chiropractic care appears to have a protective effect against the functional decline and disability commonly associate with aging. Commenting on the report, they concluded, “These results suggest that when chiropractic care is delivered in practice at care levels comparable to those used in clinical trials and relative to medical care-only services, chiropractic confers significant and substantial benefits to older adult functional ability and self-rated health.”
The Bottom Line
Like seeing a dentist biannually helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, seeing your chiropractor for regular checkups can ensure that your spine is in good shape to maintain your functional health and overall quality of life well into your senior years.
At Ascent Chiropractic in Brookfield, we utilize a low-force, non-invasive, conservative approach to geriatric chiropractic care for older adults in Brookfield, Wauwatosa, New Berlin & surrounding areas. To make an appointment at Ascent Chiropractic, call 262-345-4166 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.
Weigel PA, Hockenberry J, Bentler SE, Wolinsky FD. The comparative effect of episodes of chiropractic and medical treatment on the health of older adults. J Manipulative Physiol This. 2014 Mar-Apr;37(3):143-54.