Past Articles

Chiropractic Care and Falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three individuals over 65 years old falls each year. Further, 2.5 million of these falls lead to emergency room visits annually. These incidents can have devastating results, from hip fractures, to head injuries, or even death. The CDC reports that the number of deaths from unintentional falls have risen by approximately 25 percent from 2004-2013, and medical expenditures for falls cost upwards of $34 billion annually. An important step in preventing falls is to identify why people fall. There are many reasons individuals can sustain a fall, from strength, to reflexes, to sight, and more. One growing area of research is the effect that chiropractic treatment may have on minimizing risk factors for falls, particularly in the elderly. A study released recently by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics assessed this potential through a program that attempted to improve sensorimotor function, proprioception (the sense of the ankle joint's position), and other outcomes in elderly participants after 12 weeks of chiropractic therapy. Those receiving chiropractic care were compared to participants who received no intervention. After 12 weeks, participants who received chiropractic care saw significant improvements over those who did not. The group who received treatment had improved stepping reaction time, proprioception, and health-related quality of life. While the researchers acknowledged that these improvements do not prove that these individuals are at lower risk for falling, the study does strongly suggest that chiropractic care can minimize potential risk factors for sustaining a fall in the elderly population. The authors concluded with a call for further research on the promising topic of minimizing fall risk through chiropractic care.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016 May;39(4):267-78.