In our last post we discussed the benefits of chiropractic adjustments on balance in our elderly patients! Here is a case report of one of Dr. Hurley’s patients who experienced significant improvement in his balance through chiropractic care.
Caucasian male, 71 years old. Chief complaint of lack of balance. Patient denies dizziness, but reports his balance issues as a sensation of feeling ‘wobbly’. His wife reported that in the last two or three years during their yearly trips to Aruba, he had been having much difficulty getting on and off of the boat.
No known mode of onset or cause.
I observed that his gait is pretty steady but cautious.
Patient was unable to stand with feet together without significant sway and felt he was going to fall. I placed my hands on his shoulders for reassurance and asked him to close his eyes. He immediately started wobbling side to side. I repeated the test standing on one foot and then the other with eyes open and closed. The lack of balance was similar in these observations, and I had to hold him upright throughout each test.
We began a treatment plan of two visits per week, with full spine chiropractic adjustments. We added cranial work each visit and as needed lower extremity adjustments to the ankles and feet to stimulate proprioception.
To date we have significant subjective and objective improvements. The patient has resumed his workouts on the treadmill, they both reported his being able to get on and off the boat in Aruba being greatly improved.
His Rhomberg’s test results have progressed as well. With feet together, eyes closed he has little to no sway. He can tolerate a one-legged stance for a few seconds before becoming unbalanced as well. He is holding his adjustments well with only once a week care and reports being very happy that his balance has improved so much.
These findings have been supported in research. Older patients with balance problems have reported improved balance with Chiropractic adjustments. A study on the effect of balance in older adults and reducing the risk of falls showed that their reaction time, proprioception and visual processing improved with chiropractic care.