Is There a Role For Neck Manipulation in Elderly Falls Prevention? – An overview
Kendall, Julie C.
French, Simon D.
Azari, Michael F.
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Many risk factors exist for falls in the elderly. Dizziness is an important risk factor for such falls. Spinal pain has also been identified as a risk factor for these falls. In this overview of the literature, we examine studies, including trials, of neck manipulation for neck pain, unsteadiness and falls risk relevant to the elderly. We also examine two related, but not mutually exclusive, mechanisms through which a putative beneficial effect may be mediated. These are the effects of neck manipulation on neck pain and on non-specific dizziness. We focus on the available evidence primarily in terms of clinical data rather than laboratory-based measures of balance. We conclude that chiropractors may have a role in falls prevention strategies in the subpopulation of the elderly that suffer from mechanical neck pain or dysfunction and non-specific dizziness. However, this role remains to be rigorously studied and properly defined.