According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, there are a rising number of older adults in the United States. By the year 2030, nearly 20% of the population will be 65 or older. Pharmaceutical companies seem to be aware of these staggering statistics, hence the proliferation of television commercials urging older adults to buy their particular brand of pills that come with amazing benefits. However, what we rarely see on television or hear about on the radio, are how older adults are consistently benefiting from chiropractic care.

BioMed Journal (2010) notes that chiropractic care 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. This article highlights some of the important aspects of chiropractic care in older adults—for older adults themselves, and for younger adults who assist in the care of the older adults they love.

Firstly, chiropractic care consists of various types of interventions, including preventive strategies. This article focuses on the evidence for the use of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), and fall prevention strategies as suggested by chiropractic doctors.

Role of Spinal Manipulative Care (SMT) in Older Adults
BioMed Journal states that the most common reason for an older adult to see a chiropractic doctor is musculoskeletal pain, most often lower back pain. Spinal pain is also a significant musculoskeletal problem among older patients. A recent report states the prevalence of disabling and non-disabling back pain in community-dwelling adults is 6% and 23%, respectively. SMT plays an important role in managing patients’ spinal and peripheral joint pain.The majority of SMT consists of high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) maneuvers that are applied manually to spinal and peripheral joints. These maneuvers move the joints from the end of their active and passive ranges of motion into the paraphysiological joint space, but not beyond their limit of integrity. These maneuvers induce a therapeutic stimulus to the joint complex, relieving pain while keeping the joints from stiffening.

Role of Fall Prevention in Older Adults
Chiropractic doctors recognize that prevention may be more important. Approximately one-third of those aged 65 and older fall each year, and falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries and unintentional injury deaths. Related direct medical costs are at least $19 billion, expected to reach $44 billion by 2020. Of those that fall whose injuries require hospitalization, 40-50% subsequently loses their independence and enters a nursing home (BioMed 2010). While chiropractic care is readily available, following your primary care doctor’s suggested preventative strategies can save time and money.

Author's Bio: 

At Butler Family Health Center, Dr. Chris Butler and his staff genuinely care about their patients’ well-being and provide only the finest quality care through the use of modern chiropractic equipment and technology. Butler Family Health Center is dedicated to helping you achieve your wellness objectives by eliminating pain and creating optimal health and wellness. In addition to enhancing overall health, Dr. Butler has helped thousands of people with back pain, neck pain, headaches, injuries from auto accidents and many other conditions. For more information on Butler Family Health Center, please call 303-221-3900 or visit