Senior man is suffering from pain in lower back

Spinal Complaints In The Older Generation

Are you over 65? If yes, then you make up 1 in 7 of the population and you contribute to 9% of the total disability for musculoskeletal conditions! – Disease and disability increases with age and research into this area are significantly important due to the debilitation that it can present.

Study – Spinal Pain in older women and associated Comorbidities

A study involving 579 older community dwelling women with spinal pain found that they had significantly lower mental and physical quality of life scores as well as associated obesity (or were found to be overweight), increased evidence of diabetes, pulmonary comorbidity and cardiovascular comorbidity. Comorbidities were significantly more common in women with spinal pain that in women without spinal pain. It also found that an increase in comorbidities increased the chance of experiencing spinal pain.

Study – Rehabilitation or Spinal Manipulation – Does is Help Older Adults’ with Back Pain?

This study involved 230 individuals over 65 with subacute lower back pain. They had supervised rehabilitation or spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) treatment over a 12 week period with self reported outcome measures of pain severity, back disability, health status, medication use, satisfaction and care and global improvement at weeks 4, 12, 26 and 1 year. The 3 groups were: home exercise: home exercise and SMT: SMT, home exercise and supervised rehabilitation. Pain severity was reduced by 30-40% with the largest difference favouring SMT and home exercise over home exercise alone. The two groups were significantly superior to home exercise alone with satisfaction of care.

Study – Short term and Long term Treatment Chiropractic for neck and low back pain – which is better?

This study involved two groups of 12 weeks of care versus 36 weeks of care for back and neck related disability in older adults.

Both the short term and long term groups reported significant improvements in back disability and the long term management group experienced self -reported greater improvement in neck pain, functional ability and balance at week 36. These findings may be important for healthy aging and spinal care in the elderly and warrant further investigation.

Other Studies

A Nordic Study – Maintenance Spinal Care as Key to Prevention of Low Back Pain

“It has been found that for individuals with recurrent or persistent non-specific low back pain (LBP), exercise and exercise combined with education have been shown to be effective in preventing new episodes or in reducing the impact of the condition. Chiropractors have traditionally used Maintenance Care (MC), as secondary (aiming to reduce the impact of a condition (LBP) that has already manifested) and tertiary prevention strategies (aiming to reduce the impact of persistent or chronic LBP). This is usually done by helping people manage long-term, often complex pain conditions in order to improve their quality of life and ability to function. The aim of this trial was to investigate the effectiveness of MC on pain trajectories for patients with recurrent or persistent LBP”.

Maintenance care is similar to servicing a car or visiting a dentist for teeth cleaning, even though you brush your teeth regularly. The main hypothesis for spinal maintenance care is that treatment may improve biomechanical and neuromuscular function thereby reducing the risk of relapse into pain. This study was actually done on 328 people between the ages of 16-65 years.

The definition of maintenance care is “…a regimen designed to provide for the patient’s continued well-being or for maintaining the optimum state of health while minimizing recurrences of the clinical statue” and “…treatment, either scheduled or elective, which occurred after optimum recorded benefit was reached, provided there was not evidence or relapse”

Hyperkyphotic posture (Dowagers Hump posture) predicts Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Men and Women

An increase in the thoracic (mid back curve of the spine) has associated risk factors of vertebral fractures, degenerative disc disease, muscle weakness, decreased mobility and according to this study of 1353 individuals, an increase in mortality. Hyperkyphosis was specifically associated with an increased rate of death due to atherosclerosis concluding that men and women with hyperkyphotic posture have higher mortality rates.

Some case reports suggest that myofascial, spinal, and scapular mobilization techniques improve postural alignment in patients with hyperkyphosis. Physical therapists reported reduced hyphosis after soft tissue myofascial, neurodevelopmental, spinal, and scapular mobilization, and active therapeutic movement techniques.

Why not consider a Chiropractor

Our Sydney chiropractors have a special interest in posture correction and are here to help. Our care is gentle and effective care is possible for many. Exercise alone is often not enough for pain reduction, improving function and movement patterns. Even for old or chronic injuries, improvement in functionality and pain scales can still be possible, We have found that our gentle care, with exercise prescription and combined with the application of low-level laser therapy can really make a difference.