Ollis Chiropractic - Louisville


A large portion of our patient base is between the ages of 35-50.  Obviously, these patients have parents in their late 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s.  Once these patients become educated on chiropractic care, its benefits, and how it can improve their health and symptoms, we often hear, “I’ve got to get my dad in here,” or “I’ve got to get my mom in here.”  We love to hear this because it means that our patients have connected the dots between the benefits of chiropractic care and how the human body works.  So, is chiropractic care beneficial for older adults?  The answer is yes, very much so!

In 2014, researchers at the University of Iowa conducted a study to evaluate how well a population of Medicare patients could carry out various activities of daily living while under chiropractic care versus Medicare patients that only received medical treatments.  These activities of daily living were things such as dressing, grooming, walking, housekeeping, cooking, using transportation, etc.  At the end of the study, the older adults that sought chiropractic care outperformed the older adults that sought medical treatments.  The study concluded that chiropractic care is significantly protective against a 1-year decline in various important activities of daily living and worsening health.  In addition, the study concluded that Medicare patients that received chiropractic care had a better rated self-health, they were more satisfied with their follow-up care, and they were more satisfied with the information provided to them about why they were experiencing the problems they were experiencing.  So, not only did chiropractic care improve their functional ability, they also seem to have had a more overall positive experience.  

Not only is chiropractic care beneficial for older adults in general, but it likely is important for preventing falls.  This is because chiropractic care can help to improve your brain's sense of your joint position, which improves your ability to maintain your balance.  According to the CDC website, falls are the leading cause of death in adults 65 years and older.  In 2019, the CDC recorded approximately 3 million emergency visits in older adults related to falls.  If falls aren’t fatal, they often result in a dramatically reduced quality of life and/or independence of the individual involved.  Therefore, it is of vital importance to reduce fall risk in older adults.

In 2016, a randomized control trial was performed in New Zealand that evaluated a possible association between chiropractic care and the reduction of fall risk in older adults.  The study consisted of a control group of older adults that received no chiropractic care and an experimental group of older adults that received chiropractic care over a 12-week period. After 4 weeks of consistent chiropractic care, the experimental group saw a significant improvement in their ability to react to and step on lighted panels that would randomly light up on a platform. After 12 weeks of consistent chiropractic care, the experimental group saw a significant improvement in the joint position sense of their ankles (note:  no extremities were adjusted, but only the spine was adjusted) and the overall quality of their physical life.  Please notice that the chiropractic care had a cumulative effect over time.  The longer these older adults continued to seek care, the more they improved and the more benefits they enjoyed.  Also of note is that this study was compared to another study where older adults only performed physical exercises.  Amazingly, it took approximately 6 months worth of physical exercise to achieve the same results that chiropractic achieved in 12 weeks!

Interestingly, this same study in New Zealand evaluated how well these older adults could integrate sensory information taken in from sight and hearing.  What they found was that the older adults under chiropractic care were better able to integrate sight and hearing sensory information from their environment, which is very important for reducing fall risk in older adults. 

The aforementioned research also corresponds to what we have seen in clinical practice.  We work with many older adults and have seen them improve greatly time and time again with consistent, quality chiropractic care.  

In summary, chiropractic care can help improve an older adult's ability to maintain their balance and reduce their risk of falls, which can be detrimental to their health and well being.  Do you know an older adult that could benefit from chiropractic care?  If so, we would love the opportunity to work with them.  Are you an older adult that wants to move better, feel better, and improve your functionality and quality of life?  If so, know that chiropractic care can help you achieve your health goals.  To schedule an appointment, please reach out to the Ollis Chiropractic team at (502) 412-8580 or [email protected].  We look forward to hearing from you!

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