For decades, researchers studied the therapeutic effects of chiropractic care for treating common musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain, neck pain and headaches. Today, there is solid scientific evidence to recommend chiropractors as the go-to professionals for spinal pain syndromes. For example, a Canadian government group agreed that chiropractic care, combined with staying active and continuing work, are the most important factors in recovering from auto-accidents.
However as mentioned in my previous articles, chiropractic is not just about pain relief. The entire profession is founded upon optimising health and promoting wellness. Chiropractors are “wellness doctors”. It’s a grateful feeling when patients get out of pain with chiropractic care. But the ultimate reason why I’m so passionate about what I do is that I get to see individuals maintain their health and even reach higher heights of wellness.
Traditionally, doctors were sought after only when we experienced certain symptoms and the concept of wellness may be confusing for many. If this is the case, I urge you to read the article: What Does A Chiropractor Really Do? But in a nutshell, chiropractors recognize that misalignments in the spine can interfere with proper nervous system function. These misalignments are termed subluxations and due to their malposition or abnormal motion, it leads to irritation, inflammation and/or pressure on the nerves. A chiropractor’s job is to analyse and remove subluxations through specific chiropractic adjustments. Once the interference(s) is removed, it inevitably leads to improved brain-body connection.
The traditional medical model of symptom-relief healthcare is rapidly waning. More and more people are seeking wellness and preventative measures to express their health to their highest potential. This doesn’t come to a surprise. We are more educated than ever before and we understand that having good health is essentially having wealth. Especially when we read articles titles such as “Medical Bills Are The Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies.”
We no longer have to wait until we are sick to call for a healthcare professional’s advice. Our awareness in health, the detrimental effects of daily stress (link Stress article) and the importance of the mind-body connection have increased exponentially. In fact, in a recent report from the Center for Disease Control, the four most popular forms of alternative and complementary medicine were listed as natural products, deep breathing, meditation and chiropractic (1).
More and more, the public is seeking regular chiropractic care not for pains and aches but for wellness. But still, many sceptics are questioning the very concept of wellness care, asking for evidence. Fortunately, researchers are finally catching up to what chiropractors have been preaching for years.
In a recent, extensive study that reviewed all the available research to date, investigators found that “chiropractic adjustments, often for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxations, confer measurable health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms (2).”
In a multi-nation study involving thousands of chiropractors and thousands of chiropractic patients, researchers sought to measure the incidence of non-musculoskeletal responses to regular chiropractic care. They found that a large number of patients experienced systemic benefits from chiropractic care, whether or not they mentioned any symptoms in these areas at the onset of care. The most common benefits reported were (3):
- Breathing (27%)
- Digestion (26%)
- Circulation (21%)
Another groundbreaking study proved that chiropractic adjustments were effective in decreasing blood pressure, one of the leading causes of preventable death in North America. This study was carried out by a director of the University of Chicago Hypertension Center, which stood up to medical scrutiny and showed that vertebral subluxations of the upper cervical vertebra can be detrimental to the health of the individual, and not just pain in the neck (4).
The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) literally controls everything in your body – every single cell, tissues, and organs. If your spine is misaligned or certain segments are not moving as they should, it needs to be corrected. This is a fact, not a theory, and it’s good to know that researchers are finally catching up.
1. Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin R. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults and Children: United States, 2007. CDC National Health Statistics Report #12. December 10, 2008.
2. Hannon SM. Objective Physiologic Changes and Associated Health Benefits of Chiro- practic Adjustments in Asymptom- atic Subjects: A Review of the Literature. J Vertebral Subluxation Research 2004 (Apr.): 1-9.
3. Leboeuf-Yde C, Pedersen EN, Bryner P, Cosman D, Hayek R, Meeker WC, Shaik J, Terrazas O, Tucker J & Walsh M. Self-reported Nonmusculoskeletal Responses to Chiropractic Intervention: A Multi- nation Survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Jun.); 28(5): 294-302.
4. Bakris G, Dickholtz M, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, Avery E, Miller M, Brown J, Woodfield C & Bell B. Atlas Vertebra Realignment and Achievement of Arterial Pressure Goal in Hypertensive Patients: A Pilot Study. Journal of Human Hypertension 2007 (May); 21(5): 347-352.