New Research on Quality of Life in the Elderly

Research News Staff
New Research on Quality of Life in the Elderly

Chiropractic Improves Quality of Life for Suffering Woman  

Recent research reporting on a 75 year old woman who was suffering from chronic pain and insomnia for over 20 years reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for people with these conditions. The research, reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research includes a review of the literature on chiropractic and the care of these types of conditions. 

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“Research is revealing that structural shifts of the spine such as disc degeneration secondary to vertebral subluxation can be improved following chiropractic care” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy continued “This case adds to the body of scientific literature suggesting that chiropractic should play an important role in managing people with structural spinal distortions.” 

Abnormal spinal alignment and posture are associated with poor general health, physical function, emotional function, social function, neck and low back pain. Normal spinal alignment and movement provides shock absorption and leverage, which protect the spinal cord and nerves from the forces of gravity and other daily traumas one may encounter. 

McCoy stated “Abnormal spinal alignment and posture also increase stress and strain to the nerve and blood supply of the spinal cord. This can seriously affect the nervous system.” It is a rare phenomenon for resolution of these abnormalities in the absence of intervention. However, there is literature that supports the effectiveness of chiropractic to restore a healthy spinal alignment and motion according to the research, thereby lowering the risk of chronic pain, degeneration and poor health. 

The patient reported on in this study was a 75-year-old female suffering with complaints of chronic and constant shoulder and neck pain for over 20 years following a fall where she fractured her collar bone. She had burning across her shoulders and neck. She could not sit or perform her daily activities without significant pain. She could not sleep without taking codeine, was constipated and had low back and leg pain. 

The chiropractor examined her and found forward head carriage, muscle spasm, abnormal posture and abnormal range of motion of the spine. X-rays taken revealed spinal degeneration and structural shifts in her spine. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.  

The woman was adjusted by the chiropractor over a period of seven weeks for 14 visits and reported resolution of her neck and back pain, her sleep, posture and range of motion improved. She was able to stop taking codeine and reported overall improvement in her quality of life.   

The study’s authors called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population of patients. 

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research

McCoy Press