Patients that are most needy of chiropractic care are seniors. Most seniors are suffering from chronic pain and impairment from musculo-skeletal conditions. In fact, joint related pain and restrictions are the greatest cause of physical impairments/disabilities in senior citizens and the low back and neck are the two most common areas of joint problems that cause impairments in seniors.
By the time we mature to be seniors, so have the problems and injuries to our bodily structure matured. We develop joint injuries, especially in the spine, that can sit dormant much of the time for many years, with usually some flare ups periodically that remind us of old injuries or ways of life that have left us less than fully healthy in our framework. Gradually we find that certain activities must be avoided due to the tendency to flare up an old injury. This situation eventually evolves into a fear-avoidance cycle that has us doing less and less over time until we can't do very much as we get older.
This gradually diminishing capacity pattern can be interrupted and capacities for activities can be recovered substantially, the sooner we do something constructive about it. Sometimes it might be that a person just decides to get up and around more and stop being so sedentary, but for the more chronic conditions something more of an intervention is needed.
This is where a good chiropractic assessment and treatment plan can often change a person's life. Some of the most rewarding experiences I have with patient care is in these seniors that recover their health and function and begin to start enjoying their physical lives more again. A large number of seniors are depressed, largely due to their loss of ability to do the things they wish to do.
One research study followed over 200 seniors under chiropractic care for 16 years and compared their statuses to a similar group of people demographically that never received chiropractic care and found that the depression scores in the chiropractic group were 17% compared to over 80% in the non-chiropractic group. Another study done on Medicare patients by a leading university found that if a patient had consulted a chiropractor at any time during the year, they spent less money on the rest of the Medicare system providers. If fact, chiropractors were the only Medicare providers that saved the system money! If a patient saw any other type of practitioner in Medicare, they ended up additionally spending more money in the rest of the system. Another very recent study showed that among Medicare beneficiaries aged 66-99 with an office visit risk for a neuromusculoskeletal problem, risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk within 7 days was 76% lower among subjects with a chiropractic office visit as compared to those who saw a primary care physician. So its much less likely to suffer an adverse affect if you're a senior and you go to the chiropractor versus the medical doctor for those problems.
Seniors often do quite well in response to chiropractic care, but each individual is different and must be cared for as such. In Chico, visit us at Lopes Chiropractic Health Center. Dr. Lopes has 34 years of experience in treating seniors.