One of the fast emerging types of complementary therapies for use in the treatment of elderly patients is Homeopathy. This treatment was developed in the 1800’s by the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann , who believed that “like cures like”. Basically, the treatment involves introducing minute amounts of natural substances that usually cause adverse reactions in normally healthy people. The idea was simply to introduce a remedy to the disease that was similar in effect thereby causing the body to neutralize the toxin.
The reason that this treatment is seemingly fast gaining ground worldwide is because most people seem to have a misconception that any natural remedy is better than a medical remedy because the natural remedy does not introduce foreign bodies or chemicals into the human system. Although some doctors these days try to combine both scientific and homeopathic therapies when treating their patients, there is still a risk involved for both the patient and physician.
For the patient, he risks misdiagnosis as homeopathy tends to cure all symptoms without proper medical evaluation. Back pain seems to be a chronic illness among the elderly and one form of alternative therapies used to treat this when medicines have failed is Chiropractic therapy. This therapy is based upon the belief that by realigning the position of the nerves within the spine, the pain caused by the pressure on the nerves is alleviated.
Chiropractors, although required to have a license by each state, are not considered to be doctors and therefore cannot prescribe any medication other than herbal remedies. The main disadvantage of using such therapies on the elderly is that these patients already have brittle bones afflicted by osteoarthritis or degenerative discs. Therefore, any sort of pressure applied to the spine could break the spinal column and leave the patient either paralyzed for life or, as in a worst case scenario — dead.