STAY FIT SENIORS: BENEFITS OF PREVENTATIVE CARE

Stay fit; stay well

STAY FIT SENIORS: BENEFITS OF PREVENTATIVE CARE

SENIORS can improve their quality of life, reduce their need for medication and cut the cost burden on our healthcare system by using preventative health treatments, according to the Chiropractors‟ Association of Australia (NSW) President, Mr Bryce Conrad.

By seeking preventative health treatments such as chiropractic care which uses safe and natural methods seniors could improve health and prolong a vibrant and productive life.

Mr Conrad said chiropractic care in particular can help reduce the risk of falls - a common cause of injury in the growing population of 65 years and older (an age group estimated to number world-wide almost two billion by 20501) – which has a direct cost to our health system of approximately $6,500 per one fall injury episode in Australia2.

“Falls and consequent injuries (such as hip fractures, upper limb injuries or traumatic brain injuries) in the aging population are often due to problems in balance and coordination and can come from injury or degenerative changes to the spine,” he said.

“Chiropractic care can help restore balance and coordination by stimulating the joint receptors (mechanoreceptors) in the cervical spine through adjustive techniques and soft tissue therapy,” he said.

“Chiropractors can also prescribe stretching and exercise programs to increase strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and coordination, which aid in fall prevention.”

A US-based study3 found elderly chiropractic users were:

· less likely to have been hospitalised or use a nursing home;

· more likely to report a better health status;

· exercised more;

· more mobile; and

· were less likely to use prescription drugs.

Many senior patients treated with regular chiropractic care agree with the benefits. It‟s very common to hear them say things such as “I can sleep through the night‟, “I have so much energy now‟, “I can garden again without pain‟ and simply “life is worth living again‟.”

“As a result of the improved mobility achieved by using chiropractic treatment, I know a grandmother who is now able to bend down to pick up her grandchildren again, and a senior golfer who says he can now get a longer distance out of a driver on the golf course,” said Mr Conrad.

He said chiropractic treatments can be specifically tailored to elderly patients and are designed to eliminate acute and chronic pain, increase flexibility, improve mobility and function, increase strength, enhance balance and increase the overall quality of life.

REFERENCES:

1 “WHO Global Report on Falls Prevention in Older Age”, World Health Organisation (2007) p. 3

2 Cost cited in AUS $,6500 in 2001 -2002, “WHO Global Report on Falls Prevention in Older Age”, World Health Organisation (2007) p 6

3 “Chiropractic care for the Elderly”, “Topics in Clinical Chiropractic”, Coulter et al. (1996) (www.acatoday.org)

The study found:

* 44% of those who used chiropractic care reported having arthritis compared with 66% in the non-chiropractic care group;

• those who used chiropractic care were more likely to do strenuous levels of exercise;

• at three years follow-up, less than 5% of those who used chiropractic care lived in a nursing home while 48% of those who did not use chiropractic care did live in a nursing home;

• at five years follow-up, only 26% of those who used chiropractic care were hospitalized compared with 48% of those in the non-chiropractic group

Chiropractic is the world‟s largest non-surgical, non-drug prescribing, primary contact health care profession. In Australia, there are more than 4,000 registered chiropractors and nearly 200,000 patient visits to chiropractors each week, according to Mr Conrad.

Adapted from: CAANSW 16 March, 2010 MEDIA RELEASE

 

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