by Brent Hearn •
To most people—whether or not they’ve ever been treated by a chiropractor—the word “chiropractic” refers to neck and back care. This is completely understandable, of course, but it points to an incomplete understanding of the many and varied benefits of chiropractic care.
The human body is a complex system; when something goes awry in one part of it, it tends to affect the whole. Think of a garden hose: It doesn’t matter how sturdy the material it’s made of or how long its reach; if there’s a kink anywhere in it, the water flow slows to a trickle. It no longer works as intended. The same is true with your body. When there’s a “kink” in some part of it, chances are there will be repercussions for your health in other ways as well. Conversely, if said kink is relieved (through chiropractic care, for instance), there can be numerous benefits for your health. Here are just a few:
Relief from Arthritis Pain
Those suffering from pain due to arthritis know how much it can affect their quality of life. For those looking for a non-pharmaceutical solution, chiropractic care can sometimes help to relieve back or neck pain as a result of osteoarthritis.
Treating arthritis with chiropractic comes with a major caveat: If you have an inflammatory disease (psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), a chiropractic adjustment should be off-limits. That said, there’s a lot more to chiropractic care than high-velocity adjustments. Don’t think of it as a one-size-fits-all approach; there are other treatments a chiropractor can offer that may be able to offer some relief, including ultrasound, electrotherapy, cold laser treatment, or an infrared sauna.
Less Reliance on Pain Medications
In the last few years, a great deal of press has been given to the risks of prescription opioids. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) cautions: “In addition to the serious risks of addiction, abuse, and overdose, the use of prescription opioids can have a number of side effects, even when taken as directed.”
Under the right circumstances, chiropractic can serve as an alternative to opioids for the relief of pain. In one study, patients who received treatment from a chiropractor for spinal pain had half the risk of filling an opioid prescription. (As always, consult your physician to determine what’s best for your particular situation.)
If you’ve ever suffered from pain in your neck or back, you know how debilitating it can be. Even moderate pain can be enough to hamper physical activity. With a decrease in activity can come a secondary issue: an increase in weight. If left unchecked, the weight gain can exacerbate the back or neck pain, creating a vicious cycle, not to mention the many health issues that can be caused by or made worse by an unhealthy weight.
Chiropractic treatment can help to alleviate the pain, making it possible to resume a healthy level of physical activity. In other words: If you’re suffering from neck or back pain, what are you waiting for? Get the kink out of that hose!