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.
The 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."