The benefits of chiropractic treatment for improving the musculoskeletal system are well known; however, it is not common knowledge that chiropractic can be used to treat four lesser known conditions. Disorders ranging from gastrointestinal problems to autoimmune diseases are often improved using chiropractic techniques, and many conventional doctors are starting to recommend this chiropractic treatment to their patients on a regular basis.
Chiropractic care is considered part of the group of treatments that belong to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). A licensed, trained chiropractor manipulates the spine and other portions of the body to correct misalignments of the spine and joints, known as ‘subluxations’. Many patients report almost instantaneous relief from chronic pain and muscular disorders, and the therapy is now being studied for its potential benefits in treating many other health conditions.
Chronic Headaches and Migraines
The link between muscle tension and chronic headaches is well documented. Persistent headaches and migraines can also be attributed to trapped or irritated nerves. A study involving 218 patients who suffered from migraine headaches tested the effectiveness of chiropractic care by giving one group an 8 week course of painkillers (amitriptyline), another group received chiropractic treatment, and the final group was given a combination of both. The study was performed at the Center for Clinical Studies, North-western College of Chiropractic, Bloomington, Minnesota and found that spinal therapy was just as effective as painkillers for the treatment of migraine headaches, and there was no real benefit to be had by combining the two therapies.
Depression and Anxiety
A study conducted by Dr. Madeline Behrendt, Associate Editor of Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), and Dr. Nathan Olsen, a chiropractor in Boise, Idaho, found that chiropractic treatment reduced the symptoms of anxiety in a particular patient by 80%, and reduced their headaches by 90%. The research was published in JVSR and detailed the effects of a four-month course of treatment that uncovered a series of spinal subluxations in the patient that were the result of several car accidents, and only after receiving treatment did the patient experience relief from years of severe anxiety and chronic headaches.
Another study published in Molecular Psychiatry attempted to examine the effects of chiropractic therapy as an alternative treatment for patients at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. The study was conducted at the Exodus Treatment Center in Miami Beach, Florida under the supervision of Dr. Jay Holder, a chiropractor and physician. The results showed that not only did all the patients receiving chiropractic adjustments complete the entire rehabilitation program, symptoms of depression and anxiety which were highly reported dropped significantly.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Many chiropractors claim that spinal manipulation can help with the symptoms of IBS, as it releases pressure on the nerves that carry signals to the digestive system. A growing number of researchers believe IBS to be the result of a neurological disorder that affects muscle contractions and sensations within the bowels, and causes the unpleasant symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. Chiropractic treatment is especially helpful to those suffering from neurological disorders, and there is even a specialized form of treatment known as chiropractic neurology that deals specifically with these conditions. Whatever the cause, IBS has been scientifically proven to worsen in times of stress, and become much more manageable when stress is reduced. Chiropractic treatments have brought relief to thousands of patients who suffer from stress related illnesses including IBS, and it can sometimes prove more effective than conventional treatments.
Autoimmune diseases are being diagnosed at an alarming rate, and are now the third largest cause of disease in the United States. Many conventional doctors will simply prescribe their patients a long list of different pharmaceuticals including steroids and NSAIDS to deal with their symptoms, and will not attempt to treat the disease itself. A study into the effects of chiropractic adjustment on patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) led by Dr Erin Elster, a chiropractor based in Colorado, found that patients with MS have an upper cervical misalignment in the top portion of their necks, and this was backed up by another study performed by chiropractor, Dr Scott Rosa. Dr Rosa used FONAR Upright MRI scans to prove that the cervical misalignment restricted the flow of cerebral spinal fluid in MS patients, and both researchers found that chiropractic treatment not only reduced symptoms, but slowed the progression of the disease. There have also been reports of chiropractic neurologists successfully treating patients whose autoimmune diseases are the result of a neurological imbalance, and many have found relief from Hashimoto’s hyperthyroidism, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chiropractic treatment seeks to realign the body to allow the correct function of bones, joints, muscles, and nerves, and chiropractors attempt to treat the patient as a whole and not just their symptoms. For health and wellbeing, all the body’s systems must work together in harmony, and it is this philosophy that is at the heart of chiropractic care. Many conventional medical practitioners still reject the idea of chiropractic therapy as a viable treatment option for disease, despite the wealth of scientific studies that have proven its effects. Many patients have received relief from years of chronic pain and debilitating symptoms caused by various diseases through chiropractic therapy, and it is their recovery and testimonials that show the true potential of this powerful alternative therapy.
Permission is granted to copy the title and first one hundred words with the provision that the author's name be included and a link to the original article be added.