I’m going to cover the five facts that most people don’t know about the chiropractic adjustment. First and foremost, what most have to understand, including ourselves, is that there’s an intimate relationship between the spine and the central nervous system, the spine and the brain that is irrefutable on any level science. Because of that relationship is the reason why we get the results and have gotten the results for 122 years as of today.
Number one: Hormones: Your chiropractic adjustment influences the autonomic nervous system which has responsibility for hormone-mediated responses. Chiropractic adjustments have an effect on your hormones, particularly lower stress hormones and start to balance good hormones and all organ function.
Number two: Autonomic effects. Because of an autonomic nervous system effect, adjustments affect the immunity. Many studies have shown immunoglobulin balance and change due to a chiropractic adjustment which influences immunity.
Number three: balance, posture and reaction time. The reason why we influence this is because of the relationship between the cerebellum and joint position and movement. When you actually influence joint movement and the position, you influence or better improve the communication with the cerebellum, which is going to give you better balance, posture and reaction time.
Fourth: improving joint movement, you increase nutrition and hydration of the joint disc. That’s going to minimize osteoarthritis and degeneration.
Fifth: Positive effect on neurotransmitters. Your chiropractic adjustments have a positive effect on the neurotransmitters released in the brain. This influences how we think, feel and behave.
That, ladies and gentlemen, are the five top things that most people don’t know about chiropractic adjustment.
Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate back pain relief and healing like chiropractic adjustments can. The European Spine Journal published findings from a clinical trial uncovering how chiropractic adjustments resulted in a 72 percent success rate in treating sciatica-related symptoms. This can be compared to a 20 percent success rate from treatment with physical therapy, and a 50 percent success rate from corticosteroid injections.
Another randomized, double-blind trial published in the Spine Journal comparing active versus simulated chiropractic manipulations on patients with sciatic nerve pain who were residing in rehabilitation medical centers found that active manipulations had more effect than simulated manipulations. Active manipulations reduced the number of days patients experienced moderate or severe back pain and other sciatica symptoms, and also caused no reported adverse effects. (2)
Low Back Pain and Neck Pain
One study involving chiropractic patients with neck pain found that 96 percent of respondents indicated that they were either “Very satisfied” or “Satisfied” with the chiropractic care they received and that 98 percent said that they “Definitely would” or were “Very likely” to choose chiropractic care again if they experienced a similar problem. (3)
In a 2003 study published in the British Medical Journal, 183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to receive either manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise) or general practitioner care (counseling, education, and drugs) over the course of a 52-week period. The clinical outcome measures showed that chiropractic adjustments resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Moreover, total costs of the chiropractic-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care. (4)
(chiropractic and exercise) continued to report at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to an average of just 38 percent pain reduction among those who only took medication. (6)
Headaches (Tension and Migraine)
Second only to back pain, headaches — both tension headaches and migraine headaches — are one of the most common conditions regularly managed by chiropractors. At the time I conducted this research, over 230 peer-reviewed articles referenced chiropractic’s ability to help cure, prevent and ease the burden of headaches and migraines in people all across the globe!
A group trial found that 22 percent of people who had chiropractic treatment saw the number of attacks drop by 90 percent. In that same study, 49 percent said they had a significant reduction in pain intensity. Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate headache relief naturally, without the risks of taking drugs long-term, like chiropractic adjustments can. (7)
Colic, Acid Reflux and Ear Infections in Children
A 2011 systematic review published in the journal Explore — which included a review of 26 articles in total, including three clinical trials and four cohort studies — found that chiropractic adjustments helped greatly reduce colic symptoms. According to the authors of the review, “Our review revealed that chiropractic care is a viable alternative to the care of infantile colic and congruent with evidence-based practice, particularly when one considers that medical care options are no better than placebo or have been associated with adverse events.” (8)
Why are chiropractic adjustments helpful in these situations? The reasons for this vary, but there is one common theme: nerves located in the gut and brain are quite sensitive to neurological insult caused by vertebral subluxations. By realigning the spine and reducing pressure on placed on certain nerves, the gut-brain connection is improved. This works the same way in both children and adults. A healthier, “happier” gut at any age can help increase immune function, reduce inflammation and reduce pain in various parts of the body.
Exciting research is currently being conducted via upright MRI scans showing how upper cervical adjustments affect various brain-based conditions. What we have seen so far is quite remarkable. Not only are MRI scans revealing that cerebral spinal fluid and blood flow are markedly increased after a chiropractic adjustment, researchers are observing that cerebellar invagination (when the cerebellum drops down below the skull line) is being reversed and brain plaquing (common in multiple sclerosis patients) is disappearing! One example is Montel Williams, the famous TV host, who was interviewed about his experience as an MS patient under chiropractic care. Check it out here to see how it changed his life.
Additionally, there’s evidence supporting the use of chiropractic to help people with epilepsy and seizures. One study found that when 15 pediatric patients were treated with upper cervical care all reported positive outcomes as a result of chiropractic care. The conclusion of the study was that “Chiropractic care may represent a non-pharmaceutical health care approach for pediatric epileptic patients.” (10)
In 2007, George Bakris, the world expert on hypertension, published a study with a team of researchers in the Human Journal of Hypertension showing that one upper cervical chiropractic adjustment had the same effect as two blood pressure-lowering drugs. Even more fascinating, the effects of just one adjustment lasted more than six months!
THE RESULTS WERE ABOUT 14MM/HG DROP AFTER THE ADJUSTMENT
Other studies have shown similar findings with HYPOtensive patients, and their low blood pressure was raised to normal levels after chiropractic care. This is exciting because it highlights the body’s ability to create a homeostatic balanced environment once vertebral subluxations are removed.
Chiropractic has long been heralded by natural health care providers as a natural method to prevent back surgery. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association just recently published its low back pain guidelines and suggested that people suffering from back pain first try chiropractic before resorting to surgery.
Last year a clinical trial was published describing how patients suffering from the debilitating condition frozen shoulder responded to chiropractic care. Of the 50 patients: 16 resolved completely; 25 showed 75 percent to 90 percent improvement; eight showed 50 percent to 75 percent improvement; and one showed 0 percent to 50 percent improvement. Before chiropractic treatment the patients reported a median initial pain score of 9 out of 10. But after treatment the median score dropped down to 2, with a range of 0 to 10. (12a)
There’s evidence showing that specific chiropractic adjustments, coupled with muscular rehabilitation techniques, may help prevent the progression of scoliosis. Some people have seen a 10 to 30% improvement in curvature
There’s good reason why for years professional athletes seek chiropractic care. Michael Phelps, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana get regular chiropractic adjustments. In fact, over 50 percent of NFL teams have a chiropractor on staff. This way the players always have access to adjustments, stretches and exercises when needed.
Chiropractic care is so effective at pain-based and pathological conditions. But, one of the most overlooked aspects of chiropractic care is that it enhances everyday function.Reduces inflammatory cytokines
- Boosts the immune system
- Enhances pulmonary function
- Decreases mental and oxidative stress
- Relieves muscle tension
- And can naturally increase energy levels
Meanwhile, chiropractic can address sports injuries to areas of the body referenced above. The lower back, shoulder, hipsall are helped with Chiropractic care. “Chiropractic care can help with a multitude of sports injuries such as tendonitis, sprains, strains, back and neck pain. The goal is to help reduce inflammation, enhance joint function and reduce pain. It will also help improve range of motion, minimize recovery time, and maximize athletic performance.” (12b)
Additional Chiropractic Benefits
The benefits mentioned above might draw the most patients to visit chiropractors. But, there are also many more reasons why chiropractic care is such a valuable treatment approach. Additional benefits of chiropractic adjustments include helping to treat:
- Conditions tied to high inflammation levels respond well to chiropractic care. Interleukin (13)
- Back pains due to pregnancy (14)
- Osteoarthritis and joint pain (15)
- Asthma and other respiratory issues (16)
- ADHD (17)
- Anxiety, due to adjustments activating the parasympathetic nervous system (18, 19)
- Vertigo and dizziness (20)
- Reduced range of motion, trouble with flexibility and fibromyalgia (21)
- Bell’s Palsy (22)
- Insomnia and trouble sleeping, which can be tied to pain, anxiety or trouble breathing properly (23)