The Role of Chiropractic Care in Older Adults
SOURCE: Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2012 (Feb 21), 20: 3
Paul E Dougherty, Cheryl Hawk, Debra K Weiner,
Brian Gleberzon, Kari Andrew, Lisa Killinger
There are a rising number of older adults; in the US alone nearly 20% of the population will be 65 or older by 2030. Chiropractic is one of the most frequently utilized types of complementary and alternative care by older adults, used by an estimated 5% of older adults in the U.S. annually. Chiropractic care involves many different types of interventions, including preventive strategies. This commentary by experts in the field of geriatrics, discusses the evidence for the use of spinal manipulative therapy, acupuncture, nutritional counseling and fall prevention strategies as delivered by doctors of chiropractic. Given the utilization of chiropractic services by the older adult, it is imperative that providers be familiar with the evidence for and the prudent use of different management strategies for older adults.
By 2030, nearly one in five U.S. residents is expected to be age 65 or older . An estimated 14% of patients treated by doctors of chiropractic (DCs) are 65 and older . The most common reason for an older adult to see a DC is musculoskeletal pain, most often lower back pain . Although the most common reason for older adults seeking chiropractic care is for musculoskeletal symptoms, DCs may also provide a diverse range of services to these patients  .Given this fact, for the purpose of this manuscript chiropractic care will be defined as; “the provision by a doctor of chiropractic of services related to patient assessment, maintenance of health, prevention of illness, and treatment of illness or injury.” The focus of this manuscript is to describe the evidence for achievement of some of these goals in the older adult population. The purpose of this manuscript is to present an overview of information to the practicing chiropractor on utilization of specific management tools. This is not meant to be a systematic review of the literature or an evidence based guideline. The authors each have personal experience in evaluating and treating older adults as well as established expertise in research and publication in these areas. The authors recognize that there is a need for further research in the area of management of the older adult by DC’s and discuss in the conclusion future research considerations. (more…)