As we age, our body and nervous system changes… these changes can include memory loss and difficulty carrying out tasks of daily living including dressing, bathing and cooking. Due to the decline and changes in the nervous system, we also see an increase in the rate of falls (Tinetti and Kumar, 2010). Studies have also shown that falls have a rising frequency in the elderly population, especially after 75 years of age (Gryfe, Amies & Ashley, 1977).
A randomized control trial by Holt et al. (2016) studied the effect of chiropractic care on sensorimotor function compared with no intervention. A range of outcome measures were assessed included proprioception (ankle joint position sense), postural stability, sensorimotor function (stepping reaction time), multisensory integration (sound-induced flash illusion) and health related quality of life.
Improvements were seen in sensorimotor function and multisensory integration which is associated with fall risk. The physical component of quality of life also improved compared with the control group. Further research is needed to investigate the mechanism of the observed changes in this study.
Chiropractic care can help older people to be more active, more independent in carrying out tasks of daily living (Weigel et al., 2014) and increase sensorimotor function which can affect fall risk (Holt et al., 2016). If you or someone you know is wanting to see if you can maintain your health and independence as you are ageing, please get in contact with our practice as we would love to see if we can help.
Gryfe, C.I., Amies, A. and Ashley, M.J., 1977. A longitudinal study of falls in an elderly population: I. Incidence and morbidity. Age and ageing, 6(4), pp.201-210.
Holt, K.R., Haavik, H., Lee, A.C.L., Murphy, B. and Elley, C.R., 2016. Effectiveness of chiropractic care to improve sensorimotor function associated with falls risk in older people: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 39(4), pp.267-278.
Tinetti, M.E. and Kumar, C., 2010. The patient who falls:“It's always a trade-off”. Jama, 303(3), pp.258-266.
Weigel, P.A., Hockenberry, J., Bentler, S.E. and Wolinsky, F.D., 2014. The comparative effect of episodes of chiropractic and medical treatment on the health of older adults. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 37(3), pp.143-154.
Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health