Author's note: A recent Medicare report has much to say that is favorable toward the chiropractic profession, yet some of the more important implications have not been widely discussed.The following patient-education article will help fill in that gap. Feel free to distribute it at your front desk, post it on your bulletin board, and provide it at lay lectures.
Recently, a study of chiropractic care for Medicare patients was submitted to Congress.1 While musculoskeletal pain was the most frequent complaint among Medicare chiropractic patients, the second most common complaint was difficulty walking. Sixty percent of the surveyed Medicare patients reported substantial or complete relief from their symptoms under chiropractic care. Only 11 percent reported this level of relief when treated with pain pills, injections, surgery and other non-chiropractic interventions.
While pain relief is an impressive benefit, the importance of walking should not be overlooked. Obviously, recovery of one's ability to walk is a key factor in maintaining mobility and independence. This is a tremendous benefit not only for the Medicare patient, but for their family as well. In addition, physical activities such as walking reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and diabetes.2-7
The role of chiropractic care in enabling a more active lifestyle is not restricted to senior citizens. People of all ages have been able to get back on their feet thanks to chiropractic care. Professional athletes in particular have long understood the ability of chiropractic care to get them back in the game after an injury. During what many consider to be the Golden Age of baseball, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig all depended on the care of Erle Painter, DC, for rapid recovery from injuries.8-9
Whether you are trying to regain your ability to run the bases at a major-league ballpark or working to restore your ability to comfortably walk in your local park, a doctor of chiropractic should be part of your health care team. Have a beautiful, active summer, and if you are so inclined, play ball!
- Stasson WB, Ritter G, Shepard DS, et al. Report to Congress on the Evaluation of the Demonstration of Coverage of Chiropractic Services Under Medicare. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy.
- Kiely DK, Wolf PA, Cupples LA, et al. Physical activity and stroke risk: The Framingham Study. Am J Epidemiol, 1994;140(7):608-20.
- Kokkinos P, Myers J, Kokkinos JP, et al. Exercise capacity and mortality in Black and White men. Circulation, 2008;117:614-22.
- Lee I-M, Paffenbarger RS. Physical activity and stroke incidence: the Harvard Alumni Health Study. Stroke, 1998;29:2049-54.
- McGinn AP, Kaplan RC, Verghese J, et al. Walking speed and risk of incident ischemic stroke among postmenopausal women. Stroke, 2008;39:1233-9.
- Miller GJ, Cooper JA, Beckles GLA. Cardiorespiratory fitness, all-cause mortality and risk of cardiovascular disease in Trinidadian men: The St. James Survey. Int J Epidemiol, 2005;34(6):1387-94.
- Manson JE. A prospective study of exercise and incidence of diabetes among U.S. male physicians. JAMA, 1992;268:63-7.
- Dintenfass J. "Dr. Erle Painter,Pioneer Sports Chiropractor, Presents His Experiences With the Boston Braves and the New York Yankees." Chiropr Sports Med, 1987;1(3):114.
- Rehm W. "'Doc' Painter and the 'Mighty' New York Yankees ... Ruth, DiMaggio, and Gehrig Were His Patients." Chiropr History, 1992;12(1):10.
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