You’ll never guess what 5 conditions chiropractors can treat.
YOU MAY BELIEVE that chiropractors only treat backaches, sore necks, slipped discs, and whiplash injuries. If so, you’re missing out.
Chiropractic treatment focuses on the understanding that, provided the opportunity, the mind and body will heal themselves – but here are several conditions that may surprise you.
1. Migraines and stress headaches usually occur side-by-side.
Nine in ten Americans routinely suffer headaches of some kind. Although some are periodic, some are constant. Certain signs appear to linger, and others are dull and annoying, while others can cause debilitating pain and nausea. Taking a painkiller and hoping the headache will go away is a widely available alternative. But there is a simpler one.
Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by chiropractic doctors – is an effective way to treat tension headaches and headaches that begin in the neck.
Research conducted at Macquarie University showed that 72% of patients suffering from a severe type of migraine reported either “substantial” or “noticeable” improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment.
In fact, most headaches are connected to neck muscle strain, which is an increasingly common disorder among Americans who spend hours in the same position or posture (such as in front of a computer or television), resulting in headaches caused by joint pain and tension in the upper back and scalp.
What Can a Chiropractic Do?
- Boost spinal function and relieve tension on your system, perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments.
- Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet or the addition of vitamins.
- Give guidance on posture, ergonomics, exercises, and methods of relaxation.
2. Anxiety and Depression
From three primary sources, we experience stress: our environment, our body, and our emotions.
Environmental stress includes noise, weather, physical hazards, time constraints, and performance expectations. Disease cycles, organ dysfunction, inadequate diet, poor sleep, and physical damage are included in body stress. And it is more difficult to describe emotional stress, but it includes our responses to environmental and physical stressors, both in thought and emotion.
As the business world becomes more and more dynamic, jobs today are increasingly complex. Over the last century, physical stresses such as sound, air, and water pollution have also worsened, especially in the United States, and so have emotional and psychological stresses caused by rising consciousness of problems and tragedies around the world, brought to our attention by the Internet and its 24/7 news cycle every hour.
Stress, which triggers our “fight or flight” response, causes or worsens many diseases. About every part of the body is affected by this systemic reaction. In the brain, the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system, causing the heart rate, blood flow, and blood pressure to rise, redirecting blood away from our digestive system and extremities.
This condition’s long-term consequences can be devastating for good health when sustained, causing high blood pressure, damage to muscle tissue, diabetes, miscarriage, damage to the immune system, and slow recovery from disease and injury.
Chiropractors operate mainly with the spine, the root of the nervous system from which nerve impulses pass between the brain and the rest of the body, and may help the body better handle and treat this tension.
What Can a Chiropractic Do?
- Chiropractors can relieve muscle tension, an effect of constant stress that contributes to inflammation of the nerves and causes irregular pressures on the body’s bone structures, which can cause misalignment of the spinal column. This allows the body, in turn, to return to a more healthy, comfortable state.
- Chiropractic adjustments can decrease inflammation of the spinal nerve and increase blood circulation, helping signal the brain to turn off the answer to “fight or flight” and start the healing process.
- A chiropractic doctor will prescribe dietary supplements, including B complex vitamins, to help the body cope with stress. To help you recover from chronic stress, a chiropractor may also prescribe relaxation techniques and address posture and environmental improvements.
3. With fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia in the entire musculoskeletal system is a chronic condition causing widespread discomfort and sensitivity. To be diagnosed with FM, a patient usually has a minimum of 11 out of 18 unique tender points on the body. Patients also experience long-term exhaustion and disrupted sleep and mood, in addition to pain. Irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ pain and dysfunction, psychiatric problems, and certain autoimmune diseases are other disorders usually associated with FM.
Fibromyalgia is a common disease affecting about 2 percent of the United States, and the cause of this condition has yet to be identified in medical research.
Since an altered mood, such as depression, is frequently encountered by those with FM, many experts concentrate on the disorder’s psychological component. Others feel that FM is more neurological and has its roots in persistent postural changes or physical trauma. Others also believe that FM is a disease of the central nervous system rooted in neurochemical imbalances. Even the slightest triggers are hypersensitive to those with FM and sometimes have a painful reaction to usually non-painful pressure or behavior. Since the nervous system gathers and analyzes all information from the outside world, it is reasonable to conclude that if an FM individual is responsive to a stimulus that others are not, there might be something wrong with this system.
It is often difficult for patients to find solutions to all their symptoms. Recent findings suggest that FM patients can be improved by chiropractic changes paired with a soft tissue technique called ischemic compression.
In one study, a substantial change was observed by 60 percent of the subjects treated by a chiropractor: reduced discomfort, better sleep, and decreased fatigue.
What Can a Chiropractic Do?
- Chiropractors are certified as neuromusculoskeletal experts, and the positive effect it can have on an individual’s nervous system is one of the key focuses of chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care will also strengthen an FM patient’s nervous system, which gives them a greater chance of recovery.
- Pressure points, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and musculoskeletal injury pain may be managed through chiropractic treatment.
- Chiropractors may also minimize the overall pain of a patient through spinal changes that improve mobility between spinal vertebras that have become limited, locked, or slightly out of proper position, thereby improving the range of motion of the cervix and lumbar.
4. Weakened immune systems
There is an inextricable connection between the nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system. Together, they share small messenger molecules that mediate contact between them, producing optimal body responses to adapt and heal properly.
One of these messenger molecules, IL-2, was thought of as a molecule of the immune system until recently. However, recent studies have clearly shown its existence and activity in the nervous system, leading researchers to conclude that neural dysfunctions are traumatic for the body due to spinal misalignments and can cause abnormal changes that contribute to a poorly organized immune response.
Subluxation is the term for spine misalignments that cause nerve pathways to compress and irritate, affecting the body’s organs. Subluxations are an instance of stress on the physical nerve that impacts neuronal function. According to researchers, such stressful circumstances contribute to altered immune function measures and an increased vulnerability to a number of diseases.
It is important to remember here that by releasing cortisol in the adrenal glands, endocrine glands that are directly linked to the nervous system via the sympathetic nervous system, a stress hormone that stimulates the immune system, the endocrine system also affects the immune system.
If the sympathetic nervous system is too “switched on” due to stress and subluxation, the synthesis of cortisol by the adrenal glands may be increased, influencing the immune system in turn.
What Can a Chiropractic Do?
The only way to detect and remove subluxation is chiropractic treatment, and chiropractic changes have been shown to minimize nervous system tension, thus improving the nervous and immune systems’ synchronized responses.
One research group found that the white blood cell count collected increased significantly when an adjustment was applied to a subluxated environment.
Another research assessed the effects of six months of daily chiropractic treatment on the function of HIV patients’ immune systems. The patients who received daily changes reported a 48 percent increase in the number of CD4+ T cells at the end of six months of treatment, while patients who were not changed showed an 8 percent decrease in CD4+ T cells.
It’s easy to take our wide range of motion and flexibility for granted while we’re younger. When we age, our ability to move the way we used to can be impaired by a variety of health problems and the combined effects of wear and tear.
But a decline in mobility and flexibility range can lead to a downward spiral of impairment.
For instance, our flexibility and range of motion can be limited by an injury or degenerative condition that causes discomfort, swelling, and stiffness. When this occurs, either consciously or unconsciously, we can avoid behaviors that involve the affected body parts.
This then becomes a classic case of “use it or lose it.” The muscles and joints stiffen, adhesions and scar tissue can develop without regular exercise, and mobility can be further decreased. Eventually, a person can become totally impaired, and everyday activities can become incredibly difficult or painful, such as picking up something from the floor or tying your shoes.
Normal chiropractic care can help to enhance both movement range and flexibility.
A study performed by researchers at the Phillip Chiropractic Research Centre of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic adjustments increased the range of motion in the 105 patients who participated in the study. There were three phases of this study, in which each of the participants was given no adjustments, fake adjustments, or true adjustments. In each phase, the patients who were given the true adjustments showed a significant improvement in range of motion, which was not the case for the other two groups.
What Can a Chiropractic Do?
- A chiropractor uses spinal changes and manipulations to realign the bones and joints to other areas of the body in order to minimize discomfort, restore mobility range and strengthen flexibility, balance, and coordination.
- In order to improve your strength and endurance, your chiropractor will also prescribe unique exercises that can be performed at home so that you can retain and expand on the benefits of your chiropractic care.
- The root of your back and joint pain can be minimized or removed by consistent chiropractic treatment, helping you to resume your usual activities and stay more flexible through your golden years.
Dr. Jason Addison, the founder of Addison Sports Clinic in Kennesaw, Georgia, is here to help! Call to schedule your appointment today!