Skip to main content

July 2021 Health Newsletter

Print-Friendly Newsletter

Current Articles

» Chiropractic Reduces Falling Risk in the Elderly
» Understanding Why Your Health History Is Critical to Excellent Chiropractic Care
» Are Arthritis Sufferers Hesitating to Pursue Relief?
» Stop Drinking Soda & Coffee for Energy Ė Climb the Stairs Instead!

Chiropractic Reduces Falling Risk in the Elderly

 

Chiropractic Care Improves Senses and Reduces Risks of

Falling in the Elderly Population

 

By: Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP

 

As our population ages, our most senior are being told that their heart diseases or cancers won’t be as likely to cause death as sequella from a fall. Therefore, doctors are urging that sect of population to rely more and more on canes, walkers and other devices to help offer greater support when balance issues become even slightly problematic. According to Holt et. Al (2016) “Falls account for more than 80% of injury related hospital admissions in people older than 65 years and they are the leading cause of injury related death in older adults. Approximately 30%-40% of community-dwelling older adults suffer from at least 1 fall per year.” (pg. 267)

 

Holt et. al. listed the following risks associated with falls

  1. Lower limb weakness
  2. Recent History of Falling
  3. Gait Deficits
  4. Deterioration of the sensorimotor system that occurs regularly with normal aging

 

The National Institute of Health (NIH) expanded the list of risk factors in older adults to include:

  1. Muscle weakness
  2. Balance and gait
  3. Blood pressure drops
  4. Postural hypotension
  5. Reflexes slower
  6. Foot problems
  7. Sensory problems
  8. Vision issues
  9. Confusion
  10. Medications

(http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/causesandriskfactors/01.html)

 

Comparatively speaking, both the Holt et. Al. and the NIH are in agreement that falling can be a multifactorial issue with often no single cause or solution. However, if an older person, who has one or more of the above risk factors can minimize those risks, the likelihood of falling can be decreased and potentially extend their life. Holt et. al. continued “There is however, a growing body of basic science evidence that suggests that chiropractic care may influence sensory and motor systems that potentially have an impact on some of the neuromuscular risk factors associated with falling.” (pg. 268) In short, the evidence has suggested that chiropractic can reduce the risk of falling in older adults.

 

Holt et. al. found that the mechanisms where chiropractic may influence sensorimotor functions are:

  1. Neuroplastic processes in the central nervous system through altered afferent input.
  2. Pain and altered cognition as a result with respect to attention focus and physical function
  3. Muscle strength and muscle activity patters
  4. Deterioration of the sensorimotor system that occurs regularly with normal aging

Looking at those neuroplastic processes or effects of chiropractic on the central nervous system, Gay et al. (2014) reported, “…pain-free volunteers processed thermal stimuli applied to the hand before and after thoracic spinal manipulation (a form of MT).  What they found was that after thoracic manipulation, several brain regions demonstrated a reduction in peak BOLD [blood-oxygen-level–dependent] activity. Those regions included the cingulate, insular, motor, amygdala and somatosensory cortices, and the PAG [periaqueductal gray regions]” (p. 615). In other words, thoracic adjustments produced direct and measureable effects on the central nervous system across multiple regions, which in the case of the responsible for the processing of emotion (cingulate cortex, aka limbic cortex) are regarding the insular cortex which also responsible for regulating emotion as well has homeostasis. The motor cortex is involved in the planning and execution of voluntary movements, the amygdala’s primary function is memory and decision making (also part of the limbic system), the somatosensory cortex is involved in processing the sense of touch (remember the homunculus) and, finally, the periaqueductal gray is responsible for descending pain modulation (the brain regulating the processing of painful stimuli).

 

This is a major step in showing the global effects of the chiropractic adjustment, particularly those that have been observed clinically, but not reproduced in large studies.  “The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in FC [functional changes] between brain regions that process and modulate the pain experience after MT [manual therapy]. The primary outcome was to measure the immediate change in FC across brain regions involved in processing and modulating the pain experience and identify if there were reductions in experimentally induced myalgia and changes in local and remote pressure pain sensitivity” (Gay et al., 2014, p. 615). 

 

Coronado et al. (2012) reported that, “Reductions in pain sensitivity, or hypoalgesia, following SMT [spinal manipulative therapy or the chiropractic adjustment] may be indicative of a mechanism related to the modulation of afferent input or central nervous system processing of pain” (p. 752). “The authors theorized the observed effect related to modulation of pain primarily at the level of the spinal cord since (1) these changes were seen within lumbar innervated areas and not cervical innervated areas and (2) the findings were specific to a measure of pain sensitivity (temporal summation of pain), and no other measures of pain sensitivity, suggesting an effect related to attenuation of dorsal horn excitability and not a generalized change in pain sensitivity” (Coronado et al., 2012, p. 752).These findings indicate that a chiropractic spinal adjustment affects the dorsal horns at the root levels which are located in the central nervous system.  This is the beginning of the “big picture” since once we identify the mechanism by which we can positively influence the central nervous system, we can then study that process and its effects in much more depth.    

 

One of the main questions asked by Corando et al. (2012) “…was whether SMT (chiropractic adjustments) elicits a general response on pain sensitivity or whether the response is specific to the area where SMT is applied. For example, changes in pain sensitivity over the cervical facets following a cervical spine SMT would indicate a local and specific effect while changes in pain sensitivity in the lumbar facets following a cervical spine SMT would suggest a general effect. We observed a favorable change for increased PPT [pressure pain threshold] when measured at remote anatomical sites and a similar, but non-significant change at local anatomical sites. These findings lend support to a possible general effect of SMT beyond the effect expected at the local region of SMT application (p. 762).

 

The above mechanisms take the effects of chiropractic care out of the realm of theory and validates the processes through which chiropractic works based upon the scientific evidence (literature).

 

 

Holt et. Al found that outcomes measured for both sensorimotor and quality of life increased with chiropractic care. The primary outcomes of improvement choice stepping reaction time (CSRT)and sound-induced flash illusion. The CSRT involves feet placement in a timed scenario and sound-induced flash illusion involves multisensory processing to ascertain reaction to perceived illusions. Both have been significantly related to older populations and falling. Although the results of this study has its limitations, as many studies do. Holt concluded” The results of this trial indicated that aspects of sensorimotor integration and multisensory integration associated with fall risk improved in a group of community-dwelling older adults receiving chiropractic care. The chiropractic group also displayed small, statistically significant improvements in health-related quality of life related to physical health when compared with a “usual care” control. These results support previous research which suggests that chiropractic care may alter somatosensory processing and sensorimotor integration.” (pg. 277)  

 

As with many of our articles from here forward, I would like to leave you with a last and seemingly unrelated statement.  I felt it was important to add this at the end since many of our critics negatively portray the safety of chiropractic care.  This statement shall put that to rest leaving only personal biases left standing. Whedon, Mackenzie, Phillips, and Lurie (2015) based their study on 6,669,603 subjects and after the unqualified subjects had been removed from the study, the total patient number accounted for 24,068,808 office visits. They concluded, “No mechanism by which SM [spinal manipulation] induces injury into normal healthy tissues has been identified” (Whedon et al., 2015, p. 5). This study supersedes all the rhetoric about chiropractic and stroke and renders an outcome assessment to help guide the triage pattern of mechanical spine patients.

 

References:

  1. Holt K., Haavik H., Lee A., Murphy B., Elley C., (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) 267-278
  2. Falls and Older Adults, Causes and Risk Factors (n.d.) National Institute of Health, retrieved from: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/causesandriskfactors/01.html
  3. Gay, C. W., Robinson, M. E., George, S. Z., Perlstein, W. M., & Bishop, M. D. (2014). Immediate changes after manual therapy in resting-state functional connectivity as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging in participants with induced low back pain.Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 37(9), 614-627.
  4. Coronado, R. A., Gay, C. W., Bialosky, J. E., Carnaby, G. D., Bishop, M. D., & George, S. Z. (2012). Changes in pain sensitivity following spinal manipulation: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Journal of Electromyography Kinesiology, 22(5), 752-767.
  1. Whedon, J. M., Mackenzie, T. A., Phillips, R. B., & Lurie, J. D. (2015). Risk of traumatic injury associated with chiropractic spinal manipulation in Medicare Part B beneficiaries aged 66-69 years. Spine, 40(4), 264-270.

Author: Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP and William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
Source: US Chiropractic Directory


page toppage toppage top




Understanding Why Your Health History Is Critical to Excellent Chiropractic Care

Chiropractors gather a new patient's full health history before the first round of care because it's crucial to providing not just the right care, but also the right chiropractic care. It's more than giving an adjustment. It's also about treating you as a whole. The human body is intricate and interconnected, making every last piece of your physical and mental health valuable. Missing information can thwart even the most experienced chiropractor's effort to help you heal.

Health History and Whole Body Chiropractic

Filling out that health history form is a necessary process. Your health history sets the stage for what kind of care you need. It also offers clues to health issues you might not be aware of, and helps your doctor arrive at the right conclusion when seeking a diagnosis. Itís critical to treating you as a whole instead of just your symptoms.

Health history reveals a lot about your lifestyle, too. For example, if you come in with neck pain and your health history shows a change in lifestyle that revolves around a desk job, which coincides with developing neck pain, not only can your chiropractor adjust chiropractic methods to meet your needs, s/he can offer you lifestyle guidance on how to prevent desk job-induced neck pain.

Health history also serves the purpose of identifying the root cause of your health issue(s). Say that same neck pain patient was also in a car accident a year previous to the appointment. That's going to trigger another set of questions to determine whether it was the car accident or the desk job causing neck pain. The true root cause determines the best way to treat you. Your chiropractor can make connections you might have never considered.

Your Emotional Health and Whole Body Chiropractic

Emotions manifest physically in so many ways. Positive emotions are life-giving while negative emotions can manifest as pain, hormone imbalances, impede organ function, give you headaches, rob you of sleep, upset your stomach, make you gain weight and so much more.

If a patient has so much pent up stress and anxiety, chiropractic doctors want to address that and make referrals as necessary. Sometimes a misalignment in the spine can lead to emotional distress, which then leads to physical ailments tied to where the misalignment is, like how high anxiety can give a person stomach issues. Addressing the root cause of your emotional imbalances can empower you to achieve true healing.

Chiropractic can help with emotional health in so many ways because of how it helps you physically. One of the most powerful ways is how the right adjustment in the right place can help restore proper neurological function. For example, that anxious patient with stomach issues likely has a lot of tension interfering with nerve signaling to the stomach. Chiropractic can help your body relax enough to curb anxiety and restore proper nerve signals, alleviating stomach issues in the process.

Your Current Health and Whole Body Chiropractic

Beyond the obvious that youíre at your trusted local chiropractor for obvious reasons, delving into your current health often unearths clues as to whatís going on. Candid conversations with your chiropractor help them get a better picture of whatís going on inside your body and gives them a better idea on how to best help you.

Your chiropractor wants to help you and connect you with the right care whenever your needs are best addressed by a different kind of health professional. There are so many ways chiropractic can do so much to help your body heal and achieve optimal health when they have the complete health history picture.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: ChiroPlanet.com


page toppage toppage top




Are Arthritis Sufferers Hesitating to Pursue Relief?

Arthritis is a serious and frustrating condition that affects tens of millions. This type of ailment can make a personís daily routine much more difficult than it should be. Those afflicted with arthritis may have trouble lifting things, and they may even be inhibited from being mobile without facing serious pain. According to the CDC, more than 54 million adults in the US suffer from arthritis. The total number of afflicted individuals has increased by about 20 percent over the past 15 years. Not only is the condition's widespread prevalence concerning to the medical industry, but the lack of attention given to arthritis' status as a serious disability is also alarming.† One of the main reasons that people may be holding off on pursuing solutions for this condition is that the way to handle it can sometimes result in more pain in the short-term. A healthy amount of physical activity has been proven to help reduce arthritis pain. However, since exercise can be painful for someone who is already suffering from arthritis, some people avoid it altogether.† Though movement can be difficult for a person with this type of disability, it can be used to help ease the severity of the issue. The growing number of sufferers indicates that people are holding off on pursuing relief, though doing so could benefit them in the long-term.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: CDC, online March 7, 2017.


page toppage toppage top




Stop Drinking Soda & Coffee for Energy Ė Climb the Stairs Instead!

Drinking coffee first thing in the morning may seem like the logical way to perk up low energy levels. Researchers have found, though, that caffeine Ė either from soda, energy drinks, coffee, or tea Ė has less of an effect on a personís energy as does physical activity. The physical activity promoted in this recent study: stair climbing. Climbing the stairs may be the last thing a person wants to do when theyíve had a long night, but according to a study in Reuters, taking the stairs has a more profound effect on energy than caffeine. The study followed young, busy women, as this is a demographic that is largely often sleep deprived. The women in the study averaged less than 6.5 hours of sleep each night. Some of the women were given a placebo, others a 50mg dose of caffeine, and the last group had to climb stairs for 10 minutes. After this, they were asked to describe their level of energy, and were also tested for cognitive awareness and function. This included testing their memory and reaction times. The women who climbed the stairs felt significantly more energized, particularly right after their exercise. According to Menís Health, the activity didnít reduce the participantís cognitive function, which means that when a person exerts themselves physically they donít exhaust themselves mentally. Medical News Today reports that the participants even had greater motivation to work after their jaunt up the stairs. So, after a sleepless night Ė ditch the caffeine and hit the stairs. Youíll feel better!

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Physiology and Behavior, online March 14, 2017.


page toppage toppage top






Articles 1-4 of 4 << first < previous next > last >
Google+