The number of people over age 65 has doubled since 1980 and is expected to keep on growing due to the fact that people are living longer. Because of this, there is a need to focus on keeping the older generation healthy and active.
When you have a loved one who is elderly, comments such as “she had a fall” take on a whole new meaning. It is no longer an uneventful, clumsy moment from which someone easily recovers. It can be very serious, even life threatening. Balance and coordination issues are common among the aging population, with falls accounting for 76% of injury-related hospital admissions in people over age 651.
A newly published study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has shown some significant results regarding falls and the elderly2. The joint receptors in the cervical spine provide the brain with the information necessary for balance and coordination. Degenerative changes or injuries (old or new) to the cervical spine can affect how these joint receptors function and the information they send.
The study demonstrated that 12 weeks of chiropractic care in a group of older patients resulted in improvements in their sensory and motor functions. These functions play an important part in the risk of falling and also in quality of life. Given that falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospital admissions in older adults, this research strongly supports the benefit of regular chiropractic care for older adults.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean living life with limitations. So many seniors are living longer and more vibrant lives, and including chiropractic care as part of their wellness regime can help them get the most out of their golden years.
- AIHW 2012. Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning, Australia 2009-10. Injury research and statistics series no. 69. Cat. no. INJCAT 145. Canberra: AIHW.
- Holt, Kelly R. et al. Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function Associated With Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Control Trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2016; 39: 267 – 278