General | November 21, 2021

Osteopathy For The Elderly: How Can We Help?

Dr Jarryd Crisp-OSTEOPATH-Double Bachelor of Health Science/Applied Science (Osteopathy)

As we all get older, a number of health changes tend to occur, affecting our ability to live and function independently. Many of these changes relate to restricted movement and a gradual loss of physical capacity, ultimately leading to a loss of independence.

This loss of independence, whether it be the ability to dress, bathe or walk is something that concerns all of us. Aging is a part of life! It affects all of us! So, it is extremely important to know that there is assistance available to help improve functional independence and overall quality of life.

Gait and balance disorders are a common cause of falls in the older population. Falls in this population can result in fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and even death. However, there is a small but growing body of evidence showing that older persons with gait and balance disorders may benefit from osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). A prospective study of older persons without gait problems found that those who received OMT showed improved postural stability, whereas those in a comparison group who did not receive OMT showed no improvements in balance and gait.

OMT has also been shown to reduce medication use in patients, especially in patients with low back pain.

It must also be acknowledged the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach when managing older patients. Each patient presentation is unique, all displaying different levels of physical capacity and independence. However, as physical capacity reduces, it is important to involve a number of health care professionals in order to provide the best possible management for that patient.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • General practitioner
  • Manual therapist (osteopath/ physiotherapist)
  • Podiatrist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Exercise physiologist

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give one of our friendly osteopaths a call at the clinic on 9747 0077.


Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Older Patients: A National Survey of Osteopathic Physicians (