Although the word chiropractor may be synonymous with the term “back doctor” and many may associate a chiropractor’s main purpose to alleviating back pain, there is actually more behind the science of chiropractic than one may be familiar with. Below is the rundown of the top 9 reasons you should see a chiropractor:
9. Chiropractic Alleviates Pain–and Gets to the Source
Chiropractors address the underlying cause of pain disorders, headaches, low back pain and sports injuries by treating the cause, not covering the symptoms. Quite often, those painful conditions are linked to dysfunctional areas in the spine known as vertebral subluxations – where movement is restricted or spinal bones are misaligned. Chiropractors adjust vertebral subluxations and this often alleviates the pain.
8. Chiropractic Prevents Other Conditions
Disorders that may be helped by chiropractic range from infantile colic, ear infections and behavioral problems to PMS, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s disease. It is well understood that vertebral subluxations affect nervous system functioning. Along with the brain, the spinal cord is the main component of the central nervous system, which controls nervous system functioning throughout the body and supplies nerve energy for all the body structures and organs. Many patients who present to chiropractors for treatment report positive changes in other areas of their health as well.
7. Chiropractic Boosts Productivity
Since chiropractic care keeps you healthier, you will also find that your efficiency at work increases, as well. For example, chiropractic care rids Low Back Pain associated with sitting hour after hour in ergonomically incorrect chairs. “Sitting causes the pelvis to rotate backwards and causes a reduction in the lumbar lordosis, chunk-phi angle, and knee angle” notes researchers. Treatment also causes “an increase in muscle effort and disk pressure” (*JMPT 1999; 22:594-609). In relating, LBP can lead to work absence and higher medical costs: the focus of a study published earlier this year. In a review of 250 employees receiving workers compensation for low back pain– 72 of whom had no physically therapeutic care — patients receiving spinal adjustments experienced greater reductions in pain and disability. This translated into lower therapeutic costs and a faster return to work (*Spine Journal 2006; 6:289-295). Chiropractic care effectively restores proper spinal alignment and reduces LBP. Missing appointments however, may foster a “one step forward, two step back” scenario.
6. Chiropractic Improves Cognitive Function
Mapping of brain activity before and after chiropractic adjustments of the spine and the neck reveals 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 portions of the brain before and after chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine. Researchers found that “cervical adjustments activate specific neurological pathways” in the brain, potentially stimulating cognitive function (*JMPT 1997;20:529). Chiropractic adjustments also enhance 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.” (*JMPT 2005;28:502-7). After chiropractic adjustments, the volunteers demonstrated improved cortical processing and response selection.
5. 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 chiropractics all-natural approach. One study involved 11 patients over a nine-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 – as mentioned above (*JVSR 2006 1-6). Another study in 1991 even found that chiropractic adjustments boost levels of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and monocytes — white blood cells associated with a healthy immune system (*JMPT 1991; 7:399-408).
4. Chiropractic Reduces Stress
Chiropractic care reduces stress by allowing the body to achieve a balance. In addition, chiropractic helps keep patients free of the impairments to regular exercise, which is key to reducing 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 by increasing endorphins. “It has been long speculated that chiropractic interventions may affect mental health problems,” note researchers. Investigators followed 15 adults who were both clinically depressed and had cervical spine subluxations. Before and after receiving an adjustment, the subjects completed a standard assessment for depression called the Beck Depression Inventory II. Results revealed a marked reduction in depression scores following treatment (*JVSR 2005:1-4)
3. Chiropractic Care Encourages Increased Physical Activity
New patients frequently find that chiropractic care jump starts them toward a more wellness oriented lifestyle, simply because they can move more and with less pain. For instance, many chiropractic patients report improved function and with that, an increased ability to stick to a regular exercise program.
2. Chiropractic Reduces Dependency on Medications
Individuals who maintain regular chiropractic care are far less likely to over use medication, which all have dangerous side effects. Even OTC pain medication may cause problems in the gastrointestinal system. In addition, long-term use of pain medication can actually worsen the very symptoms they were intended to reduce – a “rebound’ reaction. “Rebound” headaches are
relatively new, and describe a long standing, “unnamed” and largely unrecognized condition caused by taking painkillers — daily or on a regular basis — from migraines or other headaches. Remember, these conditions are common, they are NOT normal!
1. Chiropractic Improves Sleep Quality
Chiropractic patients often enjoy improved quality of life, including sleep quality. This is due to a reduction in pain and anxiety which often interferes with sleep patterns. Improved sleep enhances immunity and your ability to fight disease. Some exciting preliminary research links insomnia with vertebral subluxations. The study collected data on 221 patients being cared for by 15 different chiropractors. According to the findings, “one third of the 154 patients who completed the semi structured interview reported their findings 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 in the days and weeks following care, so additional research is necessary before a firm link may be established” (*JMPT 2005;28:179).
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If you and would like to know if chiropractic may be beneficial for you, you can schedule a complimentary consultation with experienced chiropractors in Augusta GA at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic. Many of our patients have said they wish they had considered other alternatives such as chiropractic sooner. Our complimentary consultations are an integral part of our patient experience here, and our goal is to make sure that you remain in control of your healthcare.
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
Augusta GA Chiropractors Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care to the Augusta, Martinez, and Evans GA communities. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for customized chiropractic in Augusta GA.