Chiropractic isn’t merely a drug free alternative to easing pain. Rather, chiropractic offers patients a collection of potentially life-changing advantages. I have outlined the top 10 exciting ways regular chiropractic wellness care may improve your life.
#10 Chiropractic Alleviates Pain
Instead of covering up pain with potentially harmful medication, chiropractic addresses the underlying cause of pain disorders, such as headaches, low-back pain, and sports injuries. Quite often these conditions are linked to dysfunctional areas in the spine, known as vertebral subluxations where movement is restricted or spinal bones (vertebrae) are misaligned. I correct vertebral subluxations with gentle, safe maneuvers known as chiropractic adjustments.
#9 Chiropractic Prevents Other Conditions
Chiropractic is not just for pain – far from it. A growing body of research indicates that chiropractic adjustments may word off a vast array of conditions. Disorders that may be helped by chiropractic infantile colic, ear infections, and behavioral problems to PMS, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s disease.
How might chiropractic prevent so many ailments? Researchers found that vertebral subluxations affect the nervous systems function. Along with the brain, the spinal cord is the main component of the central nervous system, which controls nervous system functioning throughout body and supplies nerves for all of the body’s structures and organs. Research indicates that dysfunctions in the spine may inhibit this delicate balance in turn triggering a myriad of health problems.
One of the most important studies to discuss the relationship of diseased organ systems and their relationship to spinal subluxations is the Windsor Autopsies. (I’ll post a new blog covering the Windsor Autopsies later in the week.)
#8 Chiropractic Boosts Productivity
Chiropractic care elevates productivity at both work and play.
Regular chiropractic care may boost work performance by warding off work-related injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome and low-back pain (LBP)
For instance, chiropractic care diffuses low-back pain (LBP) associated with sitting hour after hour in ergonomically incorrect chairs. “Sitting causes the pelvis to rotate backward and causes reduction in lumbar lordosis [the natural curve of the low back], trunk-thigh angle, and knee angle, “note researchers. It also causes “an increase in muscle effort and disc pressure.” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999; 22:594-609.)
Unremitting LBP can lead to work absence and higher medical costs: the focus of a study published earlier this year.
In a review of 250 employee’s receiving worker’s compensation for LBP – 72 of whom had no physically therapeutic care – patients receiving spinal manipulation experienced greater reductions in pain and disability. This translates to lower therapeutic costs and a faster return to work. (Spinal Journal 2006; 6:289-95.)
Chiropractic care effectively restores proper spinal alignment and reduces low-back pain. Missing appointments however, may foster a “one step forward, two steps back,” scenario.
Chiropractic also boosts performance at sports. Professional athletes like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong rely on chiropractic care to reach optimal performance capacity.
#7 Chiropractic May Make You Smarter
Mapping of brain activity before and after chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine revels that chiropractic care stimulates cognitive function.
In a study involving 500 adult volunteers, researchers used cutting edge technology to create maps of functioning in the cortical (exterior) portions of the brain before and after chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine. Researchers found that “cervical manipulation activates specific neurological pathways” in the brain, potentially stimulating cognitive function (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1997; 20:529)
Cervical manipulations also enhances response mechanisms in the brain, according to researchers in New Zealand who conducted a study involving 30 volunteers: all with evidence of cervical spinal joint dysfunction. Instead of cortical mapping, the researchers used reaction time to various stimulation as a gauge.
“Multiple sites of cervical spinal joint dysfunction were related to impaired cortical processing, “noted the researchers. This was demonstrated by “significantly less accurate response selection and a trend toward more variable performance of an anticipated response.” (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005; 28:502-7) After chiropractic adjustment, the volunteers demonstrated improved cortical processing and response selection.
#6 Chiropractic Boosts Immunity
Scientific research reveals that regularly scheduled chiropractic care may boost the body’s immune response. And a powerful immune system is a key component of chiropractic’s all natural preventative strategy.
One study involved 11 – patients over a nin-month period. The pilot study provided preliminary information regarding chiropractic care and possible links to improved immune status. Chiropractic care also boosted other aspects of health and quality of life. (JVSR 2006:1-6)
Another Study indicates that chiropractic adjustments boosts levels of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and monocytes – white blood cells associated with a healthy immune system. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1991; 7:399-408.)
#5 Chiropractic Reduces Stress
Chiropractic care slashed stress by allowing the body to achieve balance. In addition, chiropractic helps keep patients free of physical impediments to regular exercise, which is key to busting stress and preventing stress-related anxiety and depression.
And, while chiropractors do not treat depression, preliminary research demonstrates that chiropractic adjustments may ease depressive symptoms. “It has been long speculated that chiropractic interventions may affect mental health problems,” note researchers.
To test this hypothesis, investigators followed 15 adults who were both clinically depressed and had a vertebral subluxation of their upper neck.
Before and after receiving a chiropractic adjustment, the subjects completed a standard assessment for depression call the Beck Depression Inventory IL
Results reveals a marked reductions in depression scores following the intervention. (JVSR 2005: 1-4).
#4 Chiropractic Increases Physical Activity
New patients frequently find that chiropractic care jumpstarts them toward a more wellness-oriented lifestyle. For instance, many chiropractic patients report increased motivation and ability to adhere to a regular exercise program.
#3 Chiropractic Allows Patients to Avoid Unnecessary Medication
Individuals who maintain regular chiropractic care are far less likely to overuse or misuse medication, which may have hazardous side effects.
Even seemingly benign over-the-counter pain medication may wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal system. In addition, long-term use of pain medication may exacerbate the very symptoms it was intended to reduce.
For instance, people who focus on prevention and maintain regular chiropractic care are less likely to develop medication overuse headache (MOH).
MOH is a relatively new term for long-standing, “unnamed” and largely unrecognized condition caused by taking pain killers – daily or on a regular basis – for migraines or other headaches. Sadly, this condition is common. About 1 in every 50 people develops this problem at some point.
#2 Chiropractic Improves Sleep Quality
Chiropractic patients often enjoy improved sleep quality. This is due to a reduction in pain and anxiety, which often interfere with sleep. Improved sleep enhances immunity, in turn fighting disease.
And, exciting preliminary research links insomnia with vertebral subluxations, which may be corrected with chiropractic care.
The study pooled data on 221 patients being cared for by 15 chiropractors. According to the finding, “one third of the 154 who completed the semi-structured interview reported their sleep pattern was changed immediately after their chiropractic adjustment. All but one of these 52 patients reported improvement.” In the 20 patients with insomnia, improved sleep was noted in the six days following the chiropractic adjustment. However, no consistent trends were noted on the days and weeks following care, so additional research is necessary before a firm link may be established. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005; 28:179)
#1 Chiropractic Creates Wellness
Regular chiropractic care empowers patients with what doctors of chiropractic call “health-esteem.” Patients learn to take charge of their own wellbeing in a way that catapults them to optimal health, increased longevity and heightened quality of life. I think this occurs because I like to talk it out with my patients, rather than just handing them instructions. I want my patients to understand why proper sleeping posture is important in relation to their particular health challenges, or how getting enough water in a day improves spinal disc function. The more you know, they better choices you can make.
If you don’t yet have a Chiropractor, just call (239) 243-8735 to get started. Allow me the time to assess your health, your spine, your diet and get you on your path to better health!