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Elderly Health

What are some of the issues?
As we age, health issues often begin to catch up with many of us.
The incidence of degenerative disease increases. And conditions such as the arthritis groups, gout, rheumatism, diabetes, heart problems, hypertension, depression, are just some of the health issues that affect the aged.
But there is a good side. There is a large body of elderly people who are healthy, and experience only minimal health problems.

What then is the 'Chiropractic approach' to help the elderly.
When considering our health, something often missed is the nervous system. Good health depends upon it. It is often an 'unspoken factor' when we talk of health issues.
Chiropractors assist the nervous system. How does it do this? It is because the nerves of the central nervous system exit out through the spinal column. Hence it is important to care for the spine.

Consider these facts. In a 1 centimeter square area of skin it is estimated there are 10,000 nerve endings. How big then is our Central Nervous System? It reaches into the whole body. There are thousands of nerves exiting from the spine and these reach into all the body organs, tissues and even into single cells.

There are millions of impulses traveling along this system at any given moment. Perhaps we take it for granted. This system regulates all the organs, stomach, heart, liver - all our body functions.
In treating the spine Chiropractors are assisting the nerves to have an uninterrupted connection to all our body organs. If for some reason the spine becomes 'jammed' resulting in back pain, it can crimp a spinal nerve. This 'jamming' or restriction is what chiropractors call subluxation.

What the research papers say
Maintenance care: health promotion services to US chiropractic patients aged 65 and over, Part 11. Rupert, RL, Manello D, Sandefur R: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2003;23(1):10.
This study listed 73 patients who attended Chiropractors and received (MC) Maintenance Care. They were interviewed and asked, "How important do you feel chiropractic treatment has been in maintaining and promoting your health?" Of the group 95.8% said Chiropractic was either "considerably" or "extremely" valuable. Also it was noted the longer patients received care, the more they reduced their nonprescription drugs. The authors stated: "Chiropractors may administer more prevention and health-promotion services than any other health profession." … But this care reduces their dependency on drugs. Other findings from the study:

With (MC) Maintenance Care… these patients had a significant reduction in nervousness and depression. Patients receiving MC had twice as many consultations with a Chiropractic physician during the year. This resulted in a 50% reduction in medical doctor visits. The big savings occurred with reduced hospital admissions, and the associated medical costs, and specialists medical procedures etc

The annual cost of health care services for MC patients was a third compared to the average expenses made be US citizens of similar age. The (MC) maintenance care patients felt their care also assisted their 'prevention approach' to health. These are interesting findings.

Chiropractic patients in a comprehensive home-based geriatric assessment, follow-up and home promotion program. Coulter ID et al. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic 1996: 3(2): 46-55.

A sample group of 414 patients 75 years an older were evaluated. Of this group 23 (5.65) were receiving chiropractic care. The chiropractic patients where reported with an improved health status, more likely to exercise vigorously, and more mobile in the community; they also where less interested in using nursing home facilities. They advised that they where less inclined to use prescription drugs.

Study associates chiropractic with better health in the elderly.

Today's Chiropractic November/December 1996 (originally published by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research).

This was a three years randomized trial of 75 years plus patients. The study was to assess the overall health and quality of life of those who received chiropractic care.

The patient group reported less chronic conditions, less days in nursing homes and hospitals with better overall health. They where less inclined to use prescription drugs. The chiropractic group 87% of those surveyed said their health was excellent. The non- chiropractic group assessed themselves at 67.8% - a 20% difference.

How Chiropractic helps
Many of us "learn to live" with our health issues. Nobody is going to give you a medal for putting up with suffering! So do something good for yourself and consider a drugless alternative. Keeping 'spine wellness' is a great start.

When you get a chiropractic adjustment you should feel your energy levels increase, a sense of wellness. Daily thousands of patients visit Chiropractic offices with different health issues. Patients are often unaware about the variety of conditions that we treat. We encourage you to call our office and talk with us,- maybe you, or maybe a friend you know,- could be helped.