Most of us go to the chiropractor when we are experiencing neck or back pain, but did you know that spinal adjustments can help with other conditions as well? Your chiropractor can effectively treat a wide range of health conditions from impaired immune function to digestive ailments.
Spinal manipulation, also known as an “adjustment,” is the practice of correcting misalignments in the spine. Since the spine houses your spinal cord, the main highway of your nervous system, misalignments in your spine can affect many other parts of your body. When your spine is misaligned, it puts a strain on the nerves in your spinal cord, hampering their signaling ability. This is what chiropractors aim to correct.
Here are seven health benefits of chiropractic care:
If ads for medications are any indication, digestive problems are epidemic in our society. Conditions like heartburn, IBS, and chronic constipation can be miserable to live with. Unfortunately, there’s not much that modern medicine can do for these other than recommend dietary changes and hand out pills. This leaves many patients feeling frustrated.
Our gut has so many nerves that scientists have started referring to it as our ‘second brain’. Nervous dysfunction is often the root cause of chronic digestive problems. This dysfunction usually originates in the thoracic area of the spine. The nerves in this middle section of your back are responsible for signally to your gut. They tell your stomach how much acid to produce and how slowly or quickly your intestines should be moving food along. Problems with these signals can lead to under or overproduction of stomach acid, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.
A chiropractic adjustment of the thoracic spine can relieve these symptoms, sometimes completely. If you are suffering from chronic digestive problems, talk to your chiropractor. He or she can tell you how many adjustments you may need to start seeing results. You should also consider setting up a maintenance regiment after your initial goals are achieved to keep the problem from reoccurring.
Like all parts of your body, your lung function is governed by your nervous system. That same middle section of your back that houses the nerves that signal your digestive system also sends signals to your lungs. If these nerves are impeded, asthma and other breathing problems can result. Adjustments to the thoracic spine can improve asthma symptoms and help you to breathe more easily.
The physical and psychological stresses of everyday life can take a toll on your musculoskeletal system. Often, minor muscle aches and persistent tightness go unnoticed; people get used to feeling uncomfortable. These sorts of unrecognized symptoms are often the culprits behind sleep problems or an unexplained run down and tired feeling that you just can’t seem to shake.
Regular chiropractic care will keep your joints moving freely and your nervous system working optimally. If your spine is aligned correctly, the muscles in your back, neck, and shoulders won’t be under as much strain. Chiropractic patients are often surprised by how much more energetic they feel when receiving regular treatment.
Your immune system is governed by specialized cells that find and kill invaders like viruses and bacteria. But what regulates those cells? You guessed it, the nervous system. Studies have shown that people who receive regular chiropractic maintenance catch fewer colds. This is because when the spine is aligned, and the nervous system is unimpaired, the immune system is stronger. If you are feeling run down or if you are frustrated by how often you get sick, make an appointment with your chiropractor. He or she can set you up on a maintenance plan to help strengthen your immunity.
Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often referred to as the “silent killer” because its victims often have no symptoms before it becomes deadly. Everyone should visit their doctor once a year to have their blood pressure checked. If you have been told that your blood pressure is on the rise, consider adding chiropractic care to your treatment plan.
A specific manipulation technique, known as the “Atlas Adjustment,” has been shown to help stabilize blood pressure. This technique works with the atlas vertebrae, the highest vertebrae in your neck that your skull sits on. Misalignment of the atlas vertebrae can negatively impact the vertebral artery and cause nerve irritation throughout the body. Adjustments to this upper part of the neck have been shown to be as effective as a double dose of blood pressure medication for those who have high blood pressure.
Fewer Migraines and Headaches
Migraine headaches can be debilitating. If you suffer from them on a regular basis, chiropractic care may help. Adjustments to the neck can take the pressure off of nerves that may be contributing to your migraines. Chiropractic care will not necessarily cure someone who has chronic migraines, but it may make migraines less frequent or less severe.
Neck problems often cause headaches. Often the sufferer does not realize that their neck is out of place because they are not feeling pain in their neck. Headaches are a common side effect of conditions like whiplash, that affect the cervical spine. If you have started experiencing headaches more regularly than usual, neck problems could be to blame. Often, these types of headaches can be completely cured with the proper chiropractic adjustment.
A Healthier Pregnancy
Several common problems during pregnancy, including back and hip pain, intrauterine constraint, and breech position, can be treated or prevented with chiropractic care. Many women have a misaligned pelvis; this condition is often unnoticed before pregnancy but can cause serious problems during pregnancy. The position of the pelvis affects the position of the uterus. If the uterus is not positioned correctly, the baby may not have enough room to move around. This can lead to problems in the baby’s development before and after birth. A misaligned pelvis can also keep the baby from being able to be in a proper head-down birthing position. The Webster Technique is a specific type of pelvic manipulation that has been proven to correct breech positioning in 82% of cases.
Chiropractic care can also help alleviate discomfort for the expectant mother. The changes that occur during pregnancy can put a significant strain on the spine and pelvis. Keeping these aligned will help to minimize pain during pregnancy and increase the chances of a healthy, non-invasive delivery. Chiropractic care can also help to relieve nausea caused by pregnancy.