There is a common misconception that chiropractic care is a glorified massage that makes your spine pop. In actual fact, chiropractic practitioners are able to treat a wide variety of conditions and injuries and receive extensive training to doctorate level to be able to practice. Chiropractic care can run the gamut from diagnostics to treatment, to long-term aftercare. Choosing chiropractic care can provide a whole host of benefits, some of which can be surprising or unexpected to many.
The benefits of chiropractic care
1) Chiropractic care can relieve neck and back pain
This benefit is the most well-known. Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for back pain, especially lower back pain, and for neck pain. It is a strongly recommended treatment option from the American College of Physicians for chronic lower back pain (1) and a review of the combined evidence found that the strongest treatment for neck pain was spinal manipulation plus exercise (2).
2) Chiropractic care can help treat chronic pain
Chronic pain can be debilitating, and patients often end up reliant on pain medications. Chiropractic care can help to treat many chronic pain conditions and reduce the need for medication, particularly the use of opioids (3).
3) Chiropractic care can lower blood pressure
High blood pressure is a common problem that can lead to serious, and potentially fatal, health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Chiropractic care can lower blood pressure, through the relief of pressure in the Atlas vertebra (4). This vertebra is located at the base of the skull and pressure there could restrict blood flow in the arteries.
4) Chiropractic care can lower inflammation
Chronic inflammation is another widespread health issue that can lead to much more serious problems, such as cancer, through its effect on the autoimmune system. Chiropractic care has been shown to lower the markers for inflammation, reducing the response (5).
5) Chiropractic care can reduce the frequency and the intensity of headaches and migraines
Chronic headaches and migraines are one of the leading causes of disability. Chiropractic care can increase the number of pain-free days, reduce the intensity of headaches, and reduce the need for pain medication (6).
6) Chiropractic care can reduce poor posture
Poor posture can have a wide range of negative effects on the body, including chronic pain. Through a variety of methods, chiropractic care has been shown to improve even severe postural problems, such as those with hyperkyphosis (hunched back) (7).
7) Chiropractic care can increase happiness
Consistent ongoing chiropractic care has been shown to improve people's physical state, mental state, emotional and overall wellbeing (8). This combined effect means that people who receive chiropractic care can expect to feel happier.
Chiropractic care is not limited to treating problems with the back, neck, and spine (although it is an effective treatment for problems in this area). It can have wide-ranging effects on the rest of the body, including lowering blood pressure and chronic inflammation, reducing chronic pain and the need for pain medications, reducing headaches and migraines, and even increasing happiness.