Falls and The Elderly

Falls are a main cause of morbidity and disability in the elderly. More than one-third of persons 65 years of age or older fall each year, and in half of such cases the falls are recurrent. The risk doubles or triples in the presence of cognitive impairment or history of previous falls.

Reducing the risk of a fall has a few factors to it, balance being a major one as well as the ability of your brain to recognise where your limbs are in space (proprioception is the technical term for those who are interested). 

An interesting study performed here in Auckland at the Chiropractic College demonstrated improved stepping reaction time and ankle joint position awareness following 12 weeks of chiropractic care.  Although this is only one study and we can’t necessarily say this will carry over into real world falls reduction, it does show improvements in factors linked with falls risk and stability.

It’s noteworthy that the participants in this study were all in their mid sixties and older. You are never too young or too old to benefit from utilising chiropractic care to improve the function of your nervous system and spine!

References:

Holt, K. R., Haavik, H., Lee, A. C. L., Murphy, B., & 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), 267-278.

Queensland Health (2017). Falls statistics – Stay On Your Feet | Queensland Health. [online] Available at: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/stayonyourfeet/facts/statistics [Accessed 8 Aug. 2017].

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