A study published on December 21, 2010 in the journal Chiropractic & Osteopathy reviewed how senior citizens utilize chiropractic care. The study was based on data obtained from a survey and Medicare claims from the years 1993 to 2007.
During the time of the study it was shown that 14.6 percent of seniors had used chiropractic at some time. However, many of those only used care in one of the years in the study. This meant that on average 4.8% of seniors used chiropractic in any given year.
The study noted that previous research showed that the population in general utilized chiropractic at a higher rate than did seniors in this study. The general population was reported to go to chiropractors at a rate of between 6.8% and 16% annually depending on the location and time of the study.
The study reported that the average senior who went to the chiropractor averaged 19.5 visits in a year. Other facts of usage also showed that the percentage of seniors going to chiropractors was higher in rural areas. The study also showed that chiropractic patients had greater mobility and function with simple tasks such as light lifting, climbing stairs and walking several blocks. Overall the study showed that the senior chiropractic patients had less difficulty with daily activities.
One interesting finding of the study was that those patients who went to the chiropractor more than 12 visits seemed to utilize chiropractic care at a much higher rate than the rest of the senior population who was seeing chiropractors. This shows that those who incorporate chiropractic as a part of their regular healthcare continue chiropractic even after their Medicare benefits have been exhausted.