Dizziness in Older Adults and Chiropractic Care

A report on the scientific literature 



83% of dizziness sufferers showed improvement or eradication under chiropractic care


According to Maarsingh , Dros, Schellevis, van Weert, Bindels, and van der Horst in BMC Family Practice (2010), dizziness in older patients is a very common occurrence as reported by family medical practitioners. They reported that an 8.3% one-year prevalence of dizziness was reported in patients over the age of 65, with females having a higher incidence. It was also reported that the number could be higher as this is a symptom reported by the patient.

According to Web MD in 2009, "Dizzinessis a word that is often used to describe two different feelings. It is important to know exactly what you mean when you say 'I feel dizzy' because it can help you and your doctor narrow down the list of possible problems.

Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or 'pass out.' Although you may feel dizzy, you do not feel as though you or your surroundings are moving. Lightheadedness often goes away or improves when you lie down. If lightheadedness gets worse, it can lead to a feeling of almost fainting or a fainting spell (syncope). You may sometimes feel nauseated or vomit when you are lightheaded.

Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. When you have severe vertigo, you may feel very nauseated or vomit. You may have trouble walking or standing, and you may lose your balance and fall.

Although dizziness can occur in people of any age, it is more common among older adults. A fear of dizziness can cause older adults to limit their physical and social activities. Dizziness can also lead to falls and other injuries" (http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/dizziness-lightheadedness-and-vertigo-topic-overview).

As reported by Hampton (2005), dizziness has become such a prevalent problem that in spite of rising health care costs, in 2003, Medicare introduced that routine screenings to new beneficiaries for hearing loss, balance disorders and dizziness would be covered. The reason is that the government is looking long-term to save money; something that rarely happens, but in this case is the best solution.

According to Lynn, Schuster, and Kabcenell (2000), Medicare creates "RUG," a classification of patients in nursing facilities grouped by disability and other care needs, for the purpose of determining coverage and rates in the Medicare system. Dizziness is one of the criteria in determining the reimbursement rates for skilled nursing facilities. The costs for a skilled nursing home depending upon the RUG score ranges from $424.97 to $155.66 per day and the variable is the documented impairment of the resident and the amount of care needed to support that population of residents. From a financial perspective, the Federal Governmental and Medicare have a very high stake in ensuring that hearing and dizziness is cared for and corrected at as early an age as possible to save the system significant money.

In 2009, Hawk and Cambron studied the relationship between chiropractic care and dizziness over an 8 week course of manipulative care (chiropractic spinal adjustments). The patients having a "dizziness handicap inventory" baseline score indicating significant dizziness reported an 83% improvement or eradication of the dizziness as a direct result of chiropractic care. Hawk and Cambron reported that this was a pilot study and more research is needed, but their findings could encourage others to find solutions to a growing problem among older adults in American and could positively impact both the lives of Americans and the financial burden of our economy.

These studies along with many others conclude that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions for patients with dizziness. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.USChiroDirectory.com and search your state.



1. Maarsingh, O. R., Dros, J., Schellevis, F. G., van Weert, H. C., Bindels, P. J., & van der Horst, H. E. (2010). Dizziness reported by elderly patients in family practice: Prevalence, incidence, and clinical characteristics. BMC Family Practice, 11(2), Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2296/11/2
2. WebMD (2009). Dizziness: Lightheadedness and vertigo-topic overview. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/dizziness-lightheadedness-and-vertigo-topic-overview

3. Hampton, D. (2005). New medicare benefit includes screening for hearing loss and dizziness. Hearing Review, Retrieved from http://www.hearingreview.com/issues/articles/2005-03_07.asp
4. Lynn, J., Schuster, J. L., & Kabcenell, A. (2000). 9.1.2 Skilled nursing facilities. In Improving care for the end of life: A sourcebook for healthcare managers and clinicians. Retrieved from http://www.mywhatever.com/cifwriter/content/66/4332.html
5.  Hawk, C., & Cambron, J. (2009). Chiropractic care for older adults: Effects on balance, dizziness, and chronic pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 32 (6), 431-437.

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