Balance, Chronic Pain and Chiropractic
William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
When we age, it seems that there are more and more challenges to our health and well being. Falling and chronic pain are most likely fighting to be #1 on that list. Whether there was a prior injury, decades of hard labor, years of inactivity or just simple daily wear and tear, chronic pain is difficult to manage. Our societal tendencies are to medicate to “make the pain go away,” but the TRUTH is, it is still there, we just feel it less. What happens to our bodies when year after year, we continue to work through it? Well, the problem gets worse and we take more pills!
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
In a recent study from the University of California’s Geriatric Primary Care lecture, the presenter stated, “Ambulatory elderly fill between 9-13 prescriptions a year...” (Johnston, 2001, slide 3 ).She goes on to state, “Surveys indicate that elders take average of 2-4 nonprescription drugs daily” (Johnston, 2001, slide 5). Adding additional “pills” to the mix for pain is often not a very good idea. Although necessary medications are clearly indicated and needed, what are the options for those medications that are optional and potentially dangerous when taken over a long period of time?
In a recent study published in a chiropractic research journal, the authors stated, “The purpose of this study was to collect preliminary information on the effect of a limited and extended course of chiropractic care on balance, chronic pain, and associated dizziness in a sample of older adults with impaired balance" (Hawk, Cambron, & Pfefer, 2009, p.438). The results showed decreased pain and increased balance (helping to avoid falls).
The authors finally reported, "Another interesting finding in this study that warrants further investigation is that is appeared that for the group on the extended care schedule, pain and disability decreased and remained at a lower level than for the limited care schedule, for the year we followed patients. This provides preliminary support for chiropractic maintenance care for older adults with chronic pain” (Hawk, Cambron, & Pfefer, 2009, p.445).
This study along with many others concludes that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions for pregnant patients with balance disorders and chronic pain. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.uschirodirectory.com and search your state.
1. Johnston, C. B. (2001, May). Drugs and the Elderly: Practical Considerations. PowerPoint presentation presented at the UCSF Division of Geriatrics Primary Care Lecture Series.
2. Hawk, C., Cambron, J. A., & Pfefer, M. T. (2009). Pilot study of the effect of a limited and extended course of chiropractic care on balance, chronic pain and dizziness in older adults. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 32(6), 438-477.