Research on Chiropractic Care: Common for neck and back pain in the elderly.
A recent study on how and why the elderly utilize chiropractic services was published in BioMed Central Geriatrics on April 23, 2021. The background of the study "was to describe the demographic characteristics of older adults seeking chiropractic care, and to report problems diagnosed by chiropractors and the treatment provided to older adults who seek chiropractic care."
The study first pointed out that most older adults seek primary medical care for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Older adults are the highest consumers of health care services overall. This study specifically looked at chiropractic care for the older population.
The authors of the study describe chiropractic by saying, "Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health."
The study reported statistics based on Australian and Canadian patient encounters from 94 chiropractors who agreed to participate in the study. The chiropractors were asked to manually record patient encounters on 100 consecutive patient encounters in their facilities. The information was recorded on forms by either fill-in information or check box. Demographic information regarding date, age, sex, height, and weight were recorded, along with up to three reasons the patient came to see the chiropractor on that particular visit.
The chiropractors also provided information as to how the patient was referred for chiropractic, and the patient diagnosis as well as the types of care rendered. The average age of the chiropractor in the study was 43 years, with an average of 16 years in practice. A total of 6781 chiropractic patient encounters were recorded for this study.
The results showed that 16% of clients were patients over the age of 65 years. Of those seniors, 56% went to the chiropractor for back problems, while 10% went for neck problems.
In the conclusion of the study, the authors gave a summary of the results. "From 6781 chiropractor–adult patient encounters across two countries, one in six chiropractic patients were over 65 years old. Among older adult patients, back pain was the most common problem diagnosed by chiropractors (accounting for 82 in every 100 encounters). Neck pain and lower limb problems were the next most common presentation to chiropractors."