If you experience chronic back pain, there's a good chance you'll seek treatment from a chiropractor to find relief. But what if you have an ulcer? Or jaw pain? Or sinus headaches? You might be surprised to learn that a chiropractor may be able to help you with all of these issues and more.
A holistic approach
Chiropractic medicine is based on the holistic theory that a practitioner treats the person—not the condition. The idea is that the entire body benefits from treatment, leading to a state of overall wellness.
In chiropractic, the spine is considered the epicenter of overall health. Misalignment in one area of the spine is thought to disrupt the flow of messages from the nerves to the body's organs, resulting in many common ailments throughout the body. Manipulation to realign the spine opens those message pathways again. That's why twisting and cracking your neck and back can help a condition in a seemingly unrelated area, such as your head, stomach or bowels.
Take migraines, for example
Migraines are caused by an overexpansion of the blood vessels in the brain. The size of those blood vessels is controlled by a supply of nerves, many of which come from the neck. Correcting problems in the joints and muscles of the neck can normalize nerve flow to the blood vessels, reducing the frequency of migraines.
A laundry list of benefits
Regular visits to the chiropractor can provide relief from upper and lower back pain, neck strain and posture problems. It can increase flexibility, provide greater range of motion in the joints and aid in recovery from sports injuries and other accidents. Patients have also been known to see improvement in the following conditions:
- Allergies and asthma
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Digestive issues
- Sleep disorders
- High blood pressure
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD)
A viable alternative
Although chiropractic is considered complementary or alternative medicine, it has become increasingly accepted in the medical community as a safe and effective form of treatment. According to the American Chiropractic Association, decades of controlled and independent research studies have proven time and again that chiropractic care is a legitimate solution for pain and associated spinal issues.1
Every body is different, and some people may respond to manipulation better than others. To learn more about how this treatment may be able to help you, schedule an appointment with a chiropractor today.
And if your insurance doesn't cover chiropractic care, your CareCredit healthcare card offers a convenient way to pay.*
Stretching to relieve back pain
Has your life become a pain in the back? These three stretches can help alleviate discomfort and can be done nearly anywhere, anytime.
- Lie on your back. Bring both knees up to your chest and flex your head forward to assume a curled-up position. You should feel a light stretch in your lower back. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Kneel on all fours. Slowly arch your back upward—like a cat—and feel the stretch in your lower back and between your shoulder blades. Return to neutral and repeat.
- Sit cross-legged. Twist to the right side, bringing your left hand to your right knee and your right arm behind you. You should feel a gentle stretch through your spine. Repeat on the left side.
1. "Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic," American Chiropractic Association, http://www.acatoday.org/pdf/Chiro_FAQ.pdf, accessed Mar. 28, 2013
This article is not intended as medical advice.
* Subject to credit approval.
All statements and opinions in "Beyond Back Pain: The Benefits of Chiropractic Medicine" are the sole opinions of the Customer Communications Group and not those of CareCredit. The content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual medical provider with respect to any professional advice presented. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms.
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