Some Surprising Conditions That Can Be Diagnosed and Treated by a Chiropractor
A chiropractor can be a surprising “first line of defense” against more aggressive treatments for people suffering from pain, loss of mobility and chronic conditions. Many people assume that it’s only time to call a chiropractor if they’re suffering from conditions like whiplash or slipped discs following accidents. Yes, it’s true that a chiropractor is a good resource when trying to correct or heal an injury or misalignment stemming from an accident. However, that’s really just the beginning of what chiropractic care has to offer. In fact, many people are able to find relief through chiropractor care after being told that only methods like invasive surgery or long-term medication use could help them to find relief and enjoy their lives again. Take a look at the three surprising conditions and injuries that can be diagnosed and treated by a chiropractor.
The Three Surprising Conditions That Chiropractors Can Diagnose and Treat
Many people who suffer from chronic headaches, migraines and tension headaches go from treatment to treatment without much relief. Unfortunately, most conventional headache treatments rely on either “locking yourself away” in a dark place until the pain subsides or popping pain relievers. Neither option is practical for someone hoping to resume their life. Chiropractic care has become a bright light for many headaches sufferers in recent years. In fact, research done at Macquarie University involving migraine sufferers shows that 72 percent experienced substantial or noticeable improvements following chiropractic treatments.
It is believed that chiropractic care is so beneficial for migraines and headaches because this type of pain is related to muscle tension in the neck. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle of spending long hours commuting or sitting in front of screens leaves us vulnerable to tension and joint irritation. Here’s a rundown of how chiropractors address headaches and migraines naturally:
- Perform spinal manipulation to promote better spinal function.
- Use chiropractic adjustments to alleviate stress on the body.
- Offer guidance regarding exercises, relaxation techniques, ergonomic strategies and posture to prevent tension and strain.
- Discuss diet changes or supplementation.
Some migraine and headaches sufferers find relief after just one session. However, a regiment involving several visits is often needed to address the long-term strain that may be contributing to chronic headache pain. It’s also possible that “maintenance” sessions will be needed even after an acute migraine situation has cleared up.
A Lowered Immune System
A strong immune system is the foundation for a healthy body that allows us to look, feel and perform our best! Chiropractic care ties into this because it focuses on the nervous system. As you may know, the nervous, endocrine and immune systems are closely linked for overall body function. We know that neural dysfunctions stemming from misalignment in the spine put stress on the body in a way that can lead to a reduced or inhibited immune response. The result is that we may get sick more often, get “sicker” when we do get sick and take longer to recover. We may also simply not feel our “best” even when we aren’t sick if our immune response is compromised.
When you visit a chiropractor, you will probably hear the term “subluxation” discussed. A subluxation is a type of nerve stress that occurs when nerve pathways are blocked or irritated. Generally, we see that pressure and imbalance from a subluxation can cause the body to produce excess amounts of the stress hormone called cortisol. Unfortunately, high cortisol levels can create everything from stress and anxiety to heart issues. Many patients find enhanced organ function and overall improved function following chiropractic care to address subluxations.
Stress and Anxiety
The cortisol connection discussed when talking about the role of chiropractic care in assisting with immune function is also relevant for this next category. For many, chiropractic care is an incredible tool for better mental health. Chiropractors focus on the spine because it’s the root of the body’s nervous system. As a result, the spine is really where nerve impulses and information travel from the brain to the rest of our systems and organs. Due to the centrality of the spine, we’re really fighting a multi-pronged battle when using chiropractic care to address stress and anxiety. Here’s a look:
- Chiropractors address chronic stress by alleviating pressure within the body’s bony structures that may be warping the spinal column into misalignment.
- Aligning the spine and addressing nerve irritation can free up circulation to allow blood to reach the brain more easily. This turns off that very taxing fight-or-flight response that we arrive at when we feel stressed.
- Posture techniques are used to arrest and prevent pressure and damage in the nerves and spine that recreate that fight-or-flight response.
Generally, chiropractors like to look at chronic stress and anxiety from a holistic perspective even if initial treatments for aligning the spine and promoting better blood circulation do produce good results. This typically includes looking into supplements that can help the body to better cope with stress. In addition, it’s important to look at environmental factors that may be taxing the body. That doesn’t always mean making radical changes. For instance, a chiropractor may be able to help you create a better work station that alleviates muscle strain if you work long hours at a desk.
Some Additional Issues That Chiropractors Treat
Most people are surprised to hear that chiropractors routinely diagnose and treat the three conditions above. However, this is far from the whole story. Let’s also quickly go over some additional conditions that chiropractors deal with daily:
- Degenerative disc disease (DDD) caused by disintegration of intervertebral discs.
- Sciatica nerve pain.
- Limb-length discrepancies where one leg is shorter than the other.
- Joint and muscle pain.
- Spinal osteoarthritis.
- Myofascial pain manifesting as a pain disorder across the body.
- Coccydynia pain in the tailbone.
- Back pain.
- Back sprains.
Chiropractors look at all of these issues from a holistic viewpoint that traces the causes of pain instead of merely trying to mask them. However, that doesn’t mean that chiropractic care needs to be at odds with traditional treatments. In fact, chiropractors routinely use traditional diagnostic tools like scans and X-rays as part of the diagnostic process.
Who Should See a Chiropractor for a Diagnosis?
It’s a good idea to consult with a chiropractor if you’re experiencing any of the pains or conditions mentioned above. However, one doesn’t need to be in debilitating pain that has brought them to a breaking point in order to benefit from chiropractic care. Working with a chiropractor may be extremely beneficial if you’re highly active, you’ve recently been in an accident, you sit for long periods of time due to your job, you’re suffering from chronic pain anywhere in your body or you’re simply interested in finding a way to integrate physical and mental health for better living. Of course, it’s important to know that chiropractic care may not always be the best first course of action for certain physical and medical emergencies. This can include things like bone fractures, bone tumors, joint infections, bone infections or severely pinched nerves. Chiropractic care can always be useful as a supplemental or supportive measure when seeking more intensive and invasive treatments for severe maladies. Book your appointment to get on the path to wellness and healing with a chiropractor today!