1. Migraines and tension headaches
Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional. Some are persistent. Some are dull and nagging, while others cause debilitating pain and nausea. Taking a painkiller and hoping your headache goes away is one option. But there's a better one.
What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
- Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate stress on your system.
- Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet or the addition of vitamins.
- Offer advice on posture, ergonomics, exercises and relaxation techniques.
2. Stress and anxiety
We perceive http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/06/15/how-job-stress-might-be-killing-you-and-what-you-can-do-about-it" style="color: rgb(0, 94, 166);">stress from three basic sources: our environment, our body and our emotions.
Environmental stress includes noise, weather, physical threats, time pressures and performance standards. Body stress includes disease processes, organ malfunction, poor nutrition, poor sleep and physical injury. And emotional stress is more difficult to define, but it encompasses our reactions, in both thought and emotion, to environmental and physical stressors.
Jobs today are increasingly complex as the business world becomes more and more competitive. Physical stresses such as sound, air and water pollution have also grown worse over the last century – especially in the United States – and so have emotional and psychological stresses caused by an increasing awareness of troubles and tragedies around the globe, brought to our attention every hour by the Internet and its 24/7 news cycle.
Many illnesses are caused or worsened by stress, which activates our "fight or flight" reaction. This systemic reaction affects almost every part of the body, as the hypothalamus in the brain stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which causes an increase in heart rate, blood volume and blood pressure, redirecting blood away from our digestive system and extremities.
When prolonged, the long-term effects of this state can be disastrous to good health and cause high blood pressure, muscle tissue damage, diabetes, infertility, damage to the immune system and slowed healing from disease and injury.
Chiropractors work primarily with the spine – the root of the nervous system through which nerve impulses travel between the brain and the rest of the body – and can help the body manage and process this stress in a healthier way.
What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
- Chiropractors can release muscle tension, one effect of chronic stress that leads to nerve irritation and creates uneven pressures on the body's bony structures, which can cause the spinal column to become misaligned. This, in turn, helps the body return to a more balanced, relaxed state.
- Chiropractic adjustments can reduce spinal nerve irritation and improve blood circulation, which can help signal the brain to turn off the "fight or flight" response and begin the healing process.
- A doctor of chiropractic can suggest nutritional supplements, like B complex vitamins, to help the body cope with stress.
- A chiropractor can also recommend relaxation techniques and discuss posture and environmental changes to help you recover from chronic stress.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder involving widespread pain and sensitivity throughout the entire musculoskeletal system. To be diagnosed with FM, a patient typically has a minimum of 11 out of 18 specific tender points on the body. In addition to pain, patients also report long-term fatigue and/or disturbed sleep and mood. Other disorders commonly associated with FM include irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ pain and dysfunction, psychological conditions and some autoimmune diseases.
Fibromyalgia is a widespread condition that affects about 2 percent of the United States, and medical science has yet to discover the cause of this condition.
Since those with FM often experience an altered mood, like depression, many experts focus on the psychological aspect of the disease. Others feel that FM is more physiological and has its origins in physical trauma or chronic postural alterations. Still others suggest that FM is a central nervous system disorder rooted in neurochemical imbalances, since those with FM are hypersensitive to even the slightest stimuli and often have a pain response to normally non-painful pressure or activity. Since all information from the outside world is collected and analyzed by the nervous system, it's logical to assume that if a person with FM is sensitive to a stimulus that others are not, there may be something wrong with this system.
It's often difficult for patients to find solutions for all of their symptoms, but recent studies show that chiropractic adjustments combined with a soft tissue technique called ischemic compression can help FM patients.
In one study, 60 percent of the subjects treated by a chiropractor experienced a significant improvement: reduced pain, improved sleep and decreased fatigue.