If you or someone you love is an older adult suffering with chronic joint or muscle pain, you may be considering trying chiropractic medicine for pain relief. If so, perhaps you are asking yourself: are chiropractic spinal manipulations safe and effective for pain relief in older adults?

In 2017, the Best Practices for Chiropractic Care for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Consensus Update was published. It focuses on gathering research including MDs, chiropractors on exactly this subject. A 37-member panel of many types of expert medical specialists evaluated current research and recommended best practices. Research on this topic was done, collected, evaluated for quality methods, and then carefully studied. The members of the board were required to have no less than 80% agreement in order to make recommendations for the best practices in chiropractic medicine.

Their findings showed:

  • Older adults voiced high levels of satisfaction and positive physical outcomes following mobilizations of the spine and limbs.
  • Chiropractic care is traditionally associated only with minor and temporary complaints such as muscle soreness.
  • Serious adverse events are exceedingly rare.1

Not all adjustments are the same

Please know that by virtue of their 4 years of extensive education, chiropractors are well trained to evaluate the patient’s state of health as well as to make educated decisions about methods for treatment. Similar to medical school preparation, the chiropractic curriculum includes studies in: anatomy, biochemistry, embryology, histology, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, pathology, and physiology. This range of knowledge is immensely important because older adults are more likely to have complicated health challenges that require communication with a patient’s medical team.2

Chiropractic doctors are trained to tailor care to the unique needs of each individual. There are many varieties of treatment options and methods available. Most doctors are trained in multiple modalities in order to best serve their patients. San Anselmo Chiropractic offers low force, gentle adjustments as well as traditional adjustments. Additional modalities include ultrasound and electric stimulation.

Here are some of the ways in which chiropractic care is customized to your unique needs:

  • Manual force manipulations are modified according to your medical history and a thorough physical examination.
  • Higher force manipulations are avoided in cases of severe osteoporosis or bone weakness and alternate treatment options can then be used.
  • If you are taking steroids or anticoagulants and bruise easily, soft tissue techniques can be selected.
  • All techniques are discussed and adapted to best support your needs and comfort.

If you are an older adult considering chiropractic medicine for muscle or joint pain, you can feel confident that it is a safe, reliable option which provides millions of people with fabulous and effective results.

1Hawk, C., Schneider, M.J., Haas, M., Katz, P., Dougherty, P., Gleberzon, B., Killinger, L.Z., Weeks, J. (2017). Best Practices for Chiropractic Care for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Consensus Update. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 40 (4), 217-229.

2Davis, M.A., Yakusheva, O., Gottlieb, D.J., and Bynum, J.P. (2015). Regional supply of chiropractic care and visits to primary care physicians for back and neck pain. Journal of American Board of Family Medicine, 28, 481-490. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2015.04.150005