Chiropractic is more than just treatment of pain symptoms: chiropractic is about optimizing your health in general.
Dozens of medical studies have found that chiropractic can be effective for a variety of health conditions, including:
ADHD and Chiropractic
If you have a child diagnosed as ADHD, you know how challenging it is to find safe, effective treatments. This guide will help you learn why chiropractic care is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for ADHD.
Conventional Treatment vs Chiropractic Care
Conventional medicine usually prescribes medications to relieve symptoms. One of the most frequently prescribed, the stimulant Ritalin, can be effective for some, but it also may trigger a laundry list of side effects, from headaches and nausea to irritability and insomnia. In addition, stimulant drugs arenâ€™t effective for up to 30 percent of children.
Chiropractic care is different. Chiropractors believe that ADHD is caused by muscular and skeletal imbalances that interfere with brain activity. When a chiropractor adjusts the spine, the message pathways are cleared, so the brain and spine can communicate properly with the rest of the body.
Does chiropractic care work?
Small-scale studies have shown promising results for chiropractic careâ€™s effect on ADHD symptoms, including one that found spinal manipulations were 24% more effective than common ADHD medications. Another study found that chiropractic care reduced overt behavior activity by more than 70%, and 57% of the participantâ€™s parents reported lower levels of hyperactivity.
Since chiropractors are focused on total wellness, they also may recommend therapies to complement spinal adjustments, like dietary changes. He or she may suggest foods or vitamins that can correct nutritional deficiencies.
You know how challenging life can be for your ADHD child and your family. You owe it to them to find a drug-free, non-invasive treatment for your childâ€™s condition.
- Kidd, Parris M. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children: Rationale for Its Integrative Management. Alternative Medicine Review 2000 (Oct); 5 (5): 402â€“428
- Giesen JM, Center DB, Leach RA: An evaluation of chiropractic manipulation as a treatment for hyperactivity in children. JMPT 1989;12:353-363.
- Walton EV: “The effects of chiropractic treatment on students with learning and behavioral impairments due to neurological dysfunction.” International Review of Chiropractic 1975;29:4-5:24-26.
Aches and pains are as much a part of the aging process as wrinkles and fine lines, but good chiropractic care can keep the spine strong and allow seniors to maintain normal activity long into their golden years.
How does age affect the spine?
As the spine degenerates over time, structures that handle balance and coordination donâ€™t function as well. This deterioration can lead to arthritis, stiffness, circulatory problems, constipation, and more.
Conventional Medicine vs. Chiropractic Care
The traditional treatment for many age-related problems is pharmaceutical. Over-the-counter and prescription medications do provide some relief from the aches and pains of age, but donâ€™t affect the root cause of the problems. Medicines also can be expensive and, whatâ€™s worse, they can cause unpleasant side effects.
Research supports chiropractic careâ€™s role in a healthy senior lifestyle. A three-year study of senior citizens revealed that patients who received chiropractic care spent fewer days in hospitals and nursing homes than non-chiropractic patients. Here are three reasons seniors should consider contacting a chiropractor:
- Better range of motion â€“ By aligning the spine, chiropractic care allows joints and muscles to move properly. Having a full range of motion allows seniors to perform the kinds of daily tasks that can mean the difference between living independently and entering assisted care.
- Improved wellness â€“ A chiropractorâ€™s job isnâ€™t just to patch wounds or alleviate pains. Regular adjustments keep the spine aligned correctly, allowing the body to heal itself and stay well.
- Better quality of care â€“ Eighty-eight percent of chiropractic patients reported that spinal manipulations were effective, and 59% said they were â€œveryâ€ or â€œcompletelyâ€ satisfied with their care, according to a report in the May 2009 issue of Consumer Reports. Chiropractic patientsâ€™ high level of satisfaction stands in contrast to the 34% of patients who say theyâ€™re highly satisfied with care from their primary-care doctor.
While chiropractic care canâ€™t turn back the clock, it can help your body remain able to do the things you love.
- Lawrence R, Helmick CG, Arnett FC, Deyo RA, Felson DT, Giannini EH, et al, Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and selected musculoskeletal disorders in the United States. Arthritis & Rheumatism 1998;41:778-799.
- Rao JK, Mihaliak K, Kroenke K, Bradley J, Tierney WM, Weinberger M. Use of complementary therapies for arthritis among patients of rheumatologists. Annals Internal Medicine 1999;131:409-416.
- Relief for aching backs: Hands-on therapies were top-rated by 14,000 consumers. Consumer Reports. May 2009
If you or someone you love lives with asthma, you know how it impacts daily living. Asthmatic patients learn to rely on inhalers and other medications to manage their condition, however, chiropractic care can offer a drug-free way that, in combination with traditional medical therapy, can help alleviate asthma and its symptoms.
What does the spine have to do with breathing?
According to researchers, brain-spine communication is critical for normal immune and respiratory function. When a qualified chiropractor makes spinal adjustments, he or she will open the message pathways that create a healthier respiratory system.
An increasing body of research suggests that spinal manipulations can be an effective treatment for asthma:
- A 2010 review of eight published studies found that some asthma patients receiving chiropractic care reported a higher quality of life.
- A 2002 study noted that asthma patients who received spinal manipulation reported an improvement in symptoms, as well as lower levels of depression and anxiety. Additional testing showed that the patients had lower levels of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol after the treatments.
- Researchers at Northwestern Health Sciences University found that asthma patients who were given three months of chiropractic care reported less-severe symptoms and increased quality of life. The patients who received spinal manipulations also reported fewer uses of their emergency inhalers.
Remember that asthma is a serious condition, and you should always consult your primary-care doctor before discontinuing medications. Also make sure your primary care physician is aware of any complementary care you receive with a chiropractor or other provider.
Chiropractic care has the potential to reduce the number of attacks you suffer. If you live with asthma, consider adding chiropractic care to your treatment program.
- Bronfort G, Evans RL, Kubic P, Filkin P. Chronic pediatric asthma and chiropractic spinal manipulation: A prospective clinical series and randomized clinical pilot study. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics. 2002 Oct;25(8):540-1.
- Hondras MA, Linde K, Jones AP. Manual therapy for asthma. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2002;(4):CD001002.
- Kaminskiyj A, Frazier M, Johnstone K, Gleberzon BJ. Chiropractic care for patients with asthma: A systematic review of the literature. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2010 Mar;54(1):24-32.
Chiropractic treatment has long been shown to be effective for specific symptoms like back pain and neck pain. New research is beginning to investigate the more subtle ways that chiropractic can improve health. A recent study found that spinal manipulation may boost the functioning of the immune system, even in patients with no specific pain issue.
Researchers from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College investigated the effect of spinal manipulation on interleukin-2, a signaling protein that controls immune responses. They selected 74 test subjects with no current symptoms or recent history of manipulation. The patients were randomly assigned to three treatment groups to receive either a control venipuncture treatment or two types of spinal manipulation. All treatments were administered on a single day, and blood samples were collected before each treatment, 20 minutes after the treatment and two hours after treatment.
The blood samples were compared to see if there was any increase in the levels of certain antibodies: induced immunoglobin G (IgG) and immunoglobin M (IgM). These two antibodies generally appear in the bloodstream in response to an infection, and they are powerful tools of the immune system.
The researchers found that subjects treated with spinal manipulation with cavitation had significantly increased levels of IgG and IgM within 20 minutes after the session. After two hours, these patients had significantly elevated IgM levels compared to baseline and the control group. These findings suggest that spinal manipulation can have what they call a “priming” effect on the body’s immune response, possibly resulting in faster responses to new infections. Although more study is needed to better explain this response, this research provides fascinating evidence that spinal manipulation may affect the functioning of the body’s immune system and assist in maintaining overall health.
- Teodorczyk-Injeyan JA, McGregor M, Ruegg R, Injeyan HS. Interleukin 2-regulated in vitro antibody production following a single spinal manipulative treatment in normal subjects. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010, 18:26
High Blood Pressure
The US Food and Drug Administration has a standard for determining the efficacy of new hypertension drugs: it requires “a blinded design with a placebo-subtracted reduction in diastolic BP of 5 mm Hg or more and be free of serious side effects to be approvable.”
With that guideline as their standard, a group of researchers from the University of Chicago set out to determine if chiropractic adjustment of the atlas could reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension. The authors summarize the relationship between the first cervical vertebra (C1) and hypertension:
“Unlike other vertebrae, which interlock one to the next, the Atlas relies solely upon soft-tissue (muscles and ligaments) to maintain alignment; therefore, the placement of C-1 is pain free and thus, remains undiagnosed and untreated, whereas health-related consequences are attributed to other aetiologies.”
“Minor misalignment of the Atlas vertebra can potentially injure, impair, compress and/or compromise brainstem neural pathways. The relationship between hypertension and presence of circulatory abnormalities in the area around the Atlas vertebra and posterior fossa of the brain has been known for more than 40 years.”
In this study, the researchers took 50 patients with Stage 1 hypertension who had either never been on hypertensive drugs or who had stopped taking hypertensive drugs for at least two weeks.
All of the patients were evaluated by a chiropractor for misalignment of C1 using radiographs and leg-length checks. Half of the patients received spinal manipulation of the C1; the other half received a sham treatment that was indistinguishable from a real treatment by the patient.
The diagnostic procedure was conducted at intake, after the treatment and at eight weeks.
The authors found that the patients who received the chiropractic treatment experienced a dramatic drop in average blood pressure compared to the control subjects:
- Control Treatment
- BP Baseline 145.3/91 147/92.5
- BP End of Study 142.1/89.2 129.8/82.2
The drop in blood pressure was so impressive the authors state that it “is similar to that seen by giving two different antihypertensive agents simultaneously.”>
Furthermore, 85% of the patients needed only one treatment to realize the improvement in blood pressure.
In addition, the study also documented the degree of pelvic misalignment and the position of the C7 vertebra; these measurements are used with this particular method of chiropractic to diagnose dysfunction of the C1 vertebra. Just as they found with the results for blood pressure, the degree of misalignment was reduced dramatically in the treatment group, but not the control group.
“As discussed in the Methods section of this paper, techniques are now available to screen for atlas misalignment. This type of screening should be the responsibility of the primary care physician and should be performed on patients who have a history of head and neck trauma even if it is deemed insignificant. Those patients who present with pain related to head and neck trauma should not be screened. At a time when the prevalence of hypertension is increasing and its control more difficult due to a variety of factors, linking the correction of C1 misalignment to the subsequent lowering of BP may represent an important advancement in the screening of such patients.”
- Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, et al. Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007;21:347-352.
Pregnant women can safely receive chiropractic care. In fact, chiropractic treatments can promote a healthy, stress-free pregnancy by alleviating joint pain, muscle aches and nausea.
Chiropractors are trained to accommodate the special needs of pregnant women. Treatments are modified so that no pressure is applied to the abdomen. Some chiropractors receive specialized training to address specific conditions that can arise during pregnancy. Such a practitioner will have a special table that adjusts to accommodate the belly at all stages of pregnancy.
Misaligned joints may be caused by the massive changes that occur during a pregnancy. Weight gain, changes to the alignment of the pelvis, changes to posture, and increased curvature of the back all contribute to pain and discomfort. Chiropractic treatments can be especially effective in reducing the effects of these physical stresses on the body.
Chiropractic treatment can provide relief for other symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea and morning sickness. Stress to the uterus and its supporting ligaments may be reduced by means of a specialized technique in establishing balance in the pelvis.
Maintaining a healthy spinal alignment will assist the body in functioning more effectively during this significant time of change.
A chiropractor is trained to detect poor posture and its underlying reasons. Unhealthy posture can indicate problems with the spine or nervous system. It is important to discover the reason for poor posture and to treat the problem before further health issues arise.
A common posture problem is forward tilt of the pelvis. The bodyâ€™s weight shifts forward, causing excessive curvature and muscle weakness. This can cause chronic lower back and muscle pain, sciatica, leg weakness and circulation problems in the lower extremities. Premature spinal arthritis of the joints and discs can develop.
Chiropractic treatment can address health issues caused by forward tilt of the pelvis and other posture problems. A chiropractor may use spinal manipulation to realign the pelvis and prevent it from tipping. Myofascial therapy can alleviate trigger points (areas of tenderness in the muscles). Stretching exercises may be prescribed to help reduce muscle tension and pain.
Research has shown that poor posture can lead to further health problems. Take good care of your spine and attend to any painful areas early on. A chiropractor can teach you how to maintain a healthy posture, so that you can protect your back while you sleep, exercise and work.
No fever. No nausea. No problem? Even the doctor says youâ€™re fine, so why do you feel so cruddy? Perhaps youâ€™ve been seeking health instead of wellness. This guide will explain how health is not the same as wellness, and how a chiropractor can help you achieve the wellness you deserve.
Health and Standard Medical Treatment
Conventional medicine defines health as the absence of disease. When you have a problem, standard medical care focuses on treating the symptoms. For example, if you live with back pain, a physician might prescribe medications, which can have side effects, or recommend painful, pricey surgery. Some of these treatments are the equivalent of slapping a bandage on a bleeding woundâ€”it might stop the bleeding, but it wonâ€™t do a thing to cure what caused the bleeding in the first place.
Wellness and Chiropractic Care
Wellness is a state in which the entire body works as it is designed to do. This means that youâ€™ll feel well, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.
Chiropractic care can help you achieve a state of wellness by looking for internal disturbances or misalignments, called vertebral subluxations, that have the potential to trigger a host of chronic conditions, from headaches to carpal tunnel syndrome. When the chiropractor finds one, he or she will manipulate the body back into a position that allows it to function properly. These adjustments are typically made with the hands, although sometimes the chiropractor will use special tools.
Because your chiropractor is concerned with wellness rather than applying a temporary fix to aches or pains, he or she may also recommend stretching or strengthening exercises that you can continue to do at home to keep your body in working order.
Be aware that there are conditions that require conventional medical treatments or procedures. However, if you are looking for a way to improve your quality of life and allow your body to heal itself in a healthy and natural way, itâ€™s time to make a chiropractic care appointment.