Chiropractic Care for Older Patients with Chronic Back Pain

It is estimated that by 2031 almost one in four Canadians will be over the age of 65. Statistically speaking, as we age, medical conditions with associated healthcare costs also rise, and looking for ways to reduce suffering, and decrease costs are important steps in helping to manage an aging population. Chronic low back pain is one of the many conditions that are prevalent in the older adult population.

Chiropractic care, specifically spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), has been shown to be an effective treatment for low back pain, and is a recommended treatment for older adults. A recent study* in the United States sought to find out if there are any differences in health care costs between older patients (age range 66-99) with chronic back pain who received SMT and those who received conventional medical care.

The study found:

  • Patients who used only SMT to manage their back pain had lower Medicare costs than those who used only conventional medical care, or a combination of SMT with conventional medical care.
  • Those who used used a combination of SMT and conventional medical care had lower Medicare costs than those who used only conventional medical care.
  • Those patients who used either SMT only, or SMT plus conventional medical care, showed a decrease in prescription medication costs.

This study adds to the established, and growing research demonstrating that chiropractic care can be an effective treatment for a large portion of our population. It can also be suggested that encouragement of collaboration between chiropractors and medical doctors can open up more options for those patients in need of finding relief from low back pain.

If you know of someone suffering with back pain who might be looking for a chiropractor in the Guelph area, please pass this along, or have them contact us. We’re always happy to chat.

*Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2016; 39(2): 63–75.

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