Chiropractic Safety and Effectiveness in Older Adults
Reviewed by Jasmine Bhoola - University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic Student
Best Practices for Chiropractic Care for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Consensus Update
Hawk, Cheryl et al.
Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics , Volume 40 , Issue 4 , 217 - 229
As many may know, chiropractic care is a safe and an effective way of treating musculoskeletal conditions in patients of all ages. The focus of the study was the effectiveness and safety of care in older adults. It is important to understand the similarities and differences in treating different age groups and catering to their needs.
“The most important take-home point from this updated document is that given the growing need for evidence-based, cost-efficient care in the older adult population, chiropractic care is a very attractive alternative,” explained lead author Cheryl Hawk, DC, PhD, Professor at Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas.
The study measured that about fifteen percent of people who seek chiropractic treatment are those aged 65 and older so it is important to understand what the patient needs. Any healthcare provider that facilitates the patient’s ability to overcome their pain should have a role in their care. The chiropractic profession provides a variety of services in conjunction with the patient’s health care provider. It is important to have a great relationship with other certified specialists and health care providers in order to refer out for conditions that are not in our scope of practice. Studies have shown that with more DCs in a population in the area, the primary care medical visits decreased in the Medicare population.
The purpose of the study is the multidisciplinary panel of experts in research serving older adults in order to set recommendations for treatment. There are three basic principles of evidence based practice in treating older patients:
1. Make clinical judgements based on the use of the best available evidence combined with
2. Clinicians experience and expertise
3. Patient’s preference based on values and goals
Along with informed consent!
In treatment, muscle soreness and stiffness is a common side affect of spinal manipulation and soft tissue treatment.
Another very important factor of treatment may not mean that the chiropractor needs to be always hands on. Health promotion is just as important! Recommendations may include staying physically active, maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in social activities. Prescribing exercises is also a form of treatment. It is important to healthy exercises with proper pose, intensity (strength train, endurance, flexibility, proprioception/balance).
In conclusion, caring for the older population may include some differences than treating the general population, however, it is generally the same technique.
At Tri County Chiropractic of Exton we offer many modalities and treatment techniques that are custom to each patient. We offer kinesiology taping, decompression, and massage. We encourage patients of all ages to come in and be treated in order to help them overcome their musculoskeletal conditions!