We see many back pain patients in our Fargo office, and while back pain is difficult, no matter what your age, it's especially problematic for older adults. At a time when mobility and health are more at risk than ever, dealing with a back condition can often make matters even worse. One 20-year study recently released in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics offers hope for individuals in this age range who are suffering with various back conditions, as researchers found that chiropractic provides a “protective effect” with regard to health and abilities, especially when compared to medical care.
Researchers looked at 1,057 persons with a mean age of 82 years (the minimum age was 70) who received either medical care or chiropractic treatment for a back related condition, resulting in a Medicare claim. The typical pattern of treatment for older adults with back pain consisted of either 12 chiropractic visits spread out over many weeks, or 1-2 visits with a medical doctor during the same time-frame. The goal of the research was to determine what, if any, difference there was between the effects of chiropractic and medical care when it came to self-reported health and ability to perform everyday activities.
What researchers found was that self-reported health was higher for the subjects who engaged in chiropractic care (71 percent) than for those that received medical care only (59 percent). Chiropractic patients also had fewer depression-related symptoms (1.42 versus 1.76 in the medical care group). Additionally, fewer individuals involved with chiropractic care reported being in pain when compared to the medical-care group, they exercised more, and had fewer hospitalizations.
Based on these findings, researchers concluded that chiropractic provides a “protective effect” against declines in activity levels and health for older adults with back issues. It should also be noted that approximately one-half of the study subjects were overweight. Therefore, health professionals who address this issue as well can give their patients a higher quality of life yet.
Don't let the effects of aging slow you down! Chiropractic is a safe and effective way to stay out of pain and keep yourself mobile. Give our office a call today at (701) 893-7878 for an appointment.
Weigel PA, Hockenberry J, Bentler SE, Wolinsky FD. The comparative effect of episodes of chiropractic and medical treatment on the health of older adults. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2014;37:143-154.