8 Hidden Benefits of Chiropractic
People who schedule routine visits to see their chiropractor start noticing that their health improves in ways that they weren't anticipating.
Most people are aware that chiropractic can help people suffering from back pain, sciatica, and neck pain. However, some people schedule to see their chiropractor at regular intervals throughout the year, not because they have pain, but because they want their bodies to remain as healthy and strong as possible. There are benefits to seeing a chiropractor on a routine basis. A lot of people already understand that they need to brush their teeth regularly in order to keep their teeth from developing cavities. They know that they should schedule dental cleanings and not only see the dentist when they have tooth pain. Regularly scheduled chiropractic appointments help in a similar way, because lining up the spine and skeleton enables the body to function better and move more fluidly.
Chiropractic adjustments slow degeneration and reduce the unhealthy development of bone spurs. Not everyone develops osteoarthritis at the same rate. People who routinely see the chiropractor from a young age do not develop arthritis until much later in life. The reason for this is because, when the skeleton moves smoothly and correctly, the body doesn’t need to stabilize an area by depositing extra calcium (bone). The body will often want to add extra calcium to bone that has been injured or previously broken, especially if the bone is part of a joint. By gently lining up the skeleton, chiropractors enable the joints to glide more smoothly. A body that has a symmetrical skeleton and healthy joints is less apt to develop arthritis.
Chiropractic manipulations to the rib cage can help a person to breathe better. Sometimes the ribs can misalign. One rib can become too close to another rib, decreasing the amount of space between the two ribs (this can sometimes happen from boating on choppy water, sleeping on an unsupportive mattress, or landing too hard on a karate mat.) This can create a sharp pain or a pinching sensation that may not go away unless the rib becomes properly aligned. There are also occasions when a rib might protrude outward (this can occur after a fall, from a sports injury involving strong rotation, or from the rib cage expanding during pregnancy). Some patients need their ribs to be assessed and aligned several times during the year in order to maintain a healthy tidal volume (ability to draw a large, full breath). People who benefit from rib check-ups and wellness adjustments include: competitive swimmers, Disc Jockeys, auctioneers, professional singers, public speakers, and individuals with lung exceptionalities (asthma, Cystic Fibrosis).
Chiropractic adjustments to the spine, shoulders, and hips can help a person to have a better night’s sleep. When someone can quickly find a comfortable position in which to sleep, they spend less time tossing and turning at night. They spend more hours resting and entering into all the proper stages of sleep. A body that is well-rested functions better. It also has more energy. A mind that is well-rested is better at problem-solving and decision making. Chiropractic adjustments to the neck help a person to sleep more comfortably on their pillow. Chiropractors can also recommend a pillow that will help improve the curve in a person’s neck if needed.
Chiropractic adjustments provide immune support. This is because chiropractors focus on the nervous system (the interconnected network of nerves that send signals back and forth from the brain and spinal cord to the various organs and tissues of the body). The nervous system is closely connected to the body’s immune system. Many patients are aware that their bodies seem to fight off colds and other viruses better when they schedule routine appointments with their chiropractor.
Chiropractic adjustments to the neck reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Although chiropractic cannot help with every type of headache, there are certain types of headaches that can be reduced (and even eliminated) by seeing the chiropractor. The main type of headache that chiropractors can help with is a tension headache that is caused by tightening of the muscles in the neck or in the back of the head. This type of headache can impact the blood vessels in the neck, and the nerves going to the upper spine. Left untreated, this can trigger a migraine headache. Unfortunately, tension headaches are becoming more common because people are spending more time with their necks tilted forward as they utilize tablets and mobile devices. Chiropractors can release tension in the neck with gentle adjustments that carefully mobilize the joints in the neck. This, in turn, reduces muscle spasms.
Chiropractic can increase sports performance in everyday athletes. A person doesn’t need to be a professional athlete in order to experience the benefits of chiropractic. People who go for a morning walk, spent time at the gym, and who enjoy recreational leisure activities (such as golf, tennis, basketball, surfing, biking, and yoga) often enjoy visiting the chiropractor. This is because chiropractic treatments help with skeletal range-of-motion and coordination. A person who schedules routine visits to the chiropractor is less likely to become injured while participating in sports. They also experience increased core strength and better flexibility.
Chiropractic adjustments reestablish correct posture. After a chiropractic treatment, the spinal alignment improves. This places less stress on the joints and muscles of the body. Chiropractic restores symmetry to the skeleton, which enables people to have better posture when seated. People who spend several hours a day working on a computer are particularly susceptible to poor posture and may require a number of chiropractic appointments throughout the year in order to keep their shoulders from rounding forward, or their neck from angling too far frontward.
Chiropractic adjustments help people to have better balance when standing and walking. The receptors inside of joints routinely send important information to the brain. Certain types of receptors send pain information. Other receptors send temperature information. However, there is a specific category of receptor that lets the brain know where the arms, legs, hands, and feet are positioned at all times. This is important, because it enables the brain to be aware of the locations of different parts of the body, even when a person’s eyes are closed. This ability of the brain to recognize where the arms and legs are located is called proprioception. When chiropractors manipulate the joints of the skeleton, they remove pressure from proprioceptive receptors. This allows these receptors to convey accurate information to the brain, resulting in improved balance. It also means that a person will be less likely to take a wrong step, bump into the edge of a coffee table, or lose their balance when walking on an uneven surface.
As demonstrated above, chiropractic offers many unexpected benefits. Patients who only seek chiropractic treatment for pain relief will often experience good results. However, people who schedule consistent visits with their chiropractor by setting up a treatment plan (which may involve monthly or weekly visits) experience benefits above and beyond pain relief. Sleeping better, moving better, breathing better, and enjoying life are just a handful of the hidden benefits from scheduling regular chiropractic treatments.