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Safety First

Whenever you visit a health care provider, safety is always a concern: How will that treatment (whether a drug, procedure, etc.) affect me? Those fears are magnified in elderly patients, who can generally handle less physical trauma than their younger counterparts.

Well, the statistics don't lie: A recent study in the peer-reviewed journal Spine compared two groups of elderly patients' experiences with chiropractic and medical care, respectively, arriving at an interesting conclusion: Chiropractic is the safer of the two options in terms of the elderly patient's likelihood of suffering an injury within seven days of an office visit.

safty first - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register MarkThe study evaluated the risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk after an office visit for chiropractic spinal manipulation or evaluation by a primary care physician. The cumulative probability of injury in the chiropractic group: 40 injury incidents per 100,000 subjects; in the primary care group: 153 incidents per 100,000 subjects.

The study authors' conclusion makes their findings crystal clear: "Among Medicare beneficiaries aged 66 to 99 years with an office visit for a neuromusculoskeletal problem, risk of injury to the head, neck, or trunk within 7 days was 76% lower among subjects with a chiropractic office visit than among those who saw a primary care physician."

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