Migraines significantly impair one’s function and productivity, which translates into diminished quality of life for individuals, and large financial burdens to both health-care systems and employers. According to the World Health organization, migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world and affect individuals during their most productive years. Given this, investing in the most effective treatment of migraines is largely beneficial to both the patient and society. Many migraine patients rely on pharmaceuticals as a primary means of symptom relief. Unfortunately, these medications may actually be causing more headaches. A recent study found that medication overuse causes daily headaches in 1 in 50 people. Fortunately, there are natural and more effective treatment options that don’t put the patient at risk for worsening head pain.
In 2000, a Randomized control study was conducted for the purposes of assessing the efficacy of chiropractic for migraine. This was one of the first studies performed on this topic. This study involved 127 migraine patients between the ages of 10 and 70. All participants suffered from a minimum of one migraine per month. Half of the patients received chiropractic adjustments, while the other half served as the control. The treatment group received two months of chiropractic spinal adjustments, with a maximum of 16 adjustments.. Throughout the study, participants completed headache diaries noting the intensity, duration, frequency, disability, associated symptoms, and medication use for each migraine.
When compared to the controls, the treatment group demonstrated statistically significant improvements in average responses for migraine frequency, duration, disability, and medication use. Twenty-two percent of participants reported more than a 90% reduction of migraines after undergoing two months of chiropractic care.
This summer, a large systematic review on the effects of manual treatment for headaches was conducted. It involved 14 randomly controlled studies published between 2000 and 2013. The systematic review paralleled the results of the study mentioned earlier, concluding that the studies showed positive results, including reduction in headache intensity and frequency, reduction of medication consumption, and improvement in quality of life.
Another recent academic publication demonstrated that chiropractic care reduced pain severity in migraine patients by an average of 68%. In other words, chiropractic patients had their pain levels drop from an average of 5 to 0.5 on scale of 1 to 10. In a fourth study, people with cervicogenic headache who received chiropractic treatments reported a 50% reduction in headache symptoms.
Given that a high percentage of individuals with migraines report stress as a major migraine factor, it appears likely that chiropractic care affects physical conditions related to stress, thereby reducing the effects of the migraine.
Jahangiri JN, Vatankhah N, and Baradaran HR. Reduction of Current Migraine Headache Pain Following Neck Massage and Spinal Manipulation. Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. 2012; 5(1): 5–13. Tuchin P, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2000; 23 (2) 91-95.
Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal 2010; 10: 117-128.
Lozano López C, Mesa Jiménez J, de la Hoz Aizpurúa JL, Pareja Grande J, Fernández de las Peñas C. Eficacia de la terapia manual en el tratamiento de la cefalea tensional. Una revisión sistemática desde el año 2000 hasta el 2013. Neurología. 2016;31:357–369.
Low back pain can be a serious problem when you’re expecting: A recent study shows that 61% of women report back pain at some during pregnancy.
“Despite the apparent impact it has on women, many cases of low back pain of pregnancy go unreported to prenatal providers and/or untreated,” researchers publishing in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health wrote. Unfortunately, many conventional treatments for back pain (like drugs, surgery or steroid injections) aren’t an option during pregnancy. So what should women in debilitating discomfort do?
Researchers decided to study the effects of chiropractic care on 17 women with low back pain lasting an average of 21.7 days. The intensity of the back pain was 5.9 on a 1-10 scale, and the onset of pain occurred at 20.6 weeks into the pregnancy. For 28% of women, pregnancy was the first time they ever have experienced intense back problems and 75% said they had not suffered from lower back pain prior to pregnancy.
Each study participant was treated with chiropractic care according to the particular symptoms that the patient was experiencing. The authors reported the following:
About half of the women were self-referred, and the other half were referred by their obstetrician.
The average time to reach clinically significant pain relief was 4.5 days
The average number of chiropractic treatments necessary to reach clinically relevant pain relief was 1.8.
The pain levels decreased from the 5.9 at the beginning of the study to 1.5 at the end.
The patients received between 3 to 15 adjustments, with the average being 5.6.
One patient did not experience clinically significant pain reduction.
There were no adverse reactions reported by any of the patients.
This corroborates other studies showing that chiropractic offers a safe solution for pain while you’re expecting. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Chiropractic and Manual Therapies found that 85% of pregnant patients had significant improvements in pain within three months of receiving chiropractic treatments for back and pelvic problems. Another study showed that chiropractic was more effective than standard medical care for alleviating pregnancy-related back pain. In both studies, there were no serious adverse effects of treatment.
Chiropractors use a low-force, gentler style of adjustments when caring for mothers-to-be. Plus, women do not have to worry about the potential impact that painkillers may have on a growing fetus. Instead chiropractic offers drug-free, natural relief to ensure your pregnancy is as comfortable as possible.
Anyone who engages in athletics can benefit from regular Chiropractic checkups to ensure that their spine is balanced and free from structural stress and subluxations. When the spinal column is brought into balance and alignment, the body’s nervous system and body biomechanics (movement and posture) are maximized.
“Changes in the optimal spinal position produce spinal pathologies and loss of function. Spinal pathologies destroy joint reflexes, arc fibers and cause nerve impedance. Postural strength and coordination are essential for injury prevention and sports performance.”- Thomas Harris, MD, The Sports Medicine Guide
“Posture affects and moderates every physiological function, from breathing to nervous system function, and despite the considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians.”-American Journal of Pain Management
Chiropractic’s focus on the nervous system and postural biomechanics allows the body to function properly and to heal itself. The healing process always occurs from within the body, but research has shown that Chiropractic has an amazing potential to assist the body in the recovery process. “The quality of healing is directly proportional to the functional capability of the nervous system to send and receive nerve messages.”-Journal of Neurological Science
More sports-related non-fatal injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments than any other type of unintentional injury. Standard medical procedures may be necessary when an athlete is injured. Traditional medical professionals specialize in the management and care of fractures, dislocations, lacerations and damaged tendons and ligaments. However, many athletes leave the hospital with as much spinal stress (subluxations) as they were suffering from when they entered.
Doctors of Chiropractic focus on the entire structure of the body rather than just the obviously injured part. For this reason, they can often detect and help to prevent an injury that might normally be overlooked or ignored.
Because Doctors of Chiropractic are experts in the field of human biomechanics, they are very aware of proper posture and movement. A Chiropractor can often detect and prevent a structural problem that can lead to injury or poor performance. Athletic injuries are often caused by improper biomechanics or muscle imbalances within the spine.
Athletes have also discovered that Chiropractic care allows them to achieve an optimal level of performance when training and competing in their respective sporting event. A proper biomechanical structure allows athletes to achieve and maintain their optimal level of performance—safely and naturally. There is a growing body of research and case studies, which clearly show the relationship between Chiropractic care and athletic performance.
A Canadian research team included Chiropractic care in the rehabilitation program of sixteen injured female long distance runners. Not only did these runners recover quickly, seven of them actually scored “personal best” performances while under Chiropractic care.
The extent of Chiropractic’s “winning edge” was tested on fifty athletes who were divided into a control group and a group which added Chiropractic care to their usual training procedures. After six weeks, the group under Chiropractic care scored significantly better on standard tests of athletic ability. When tested on their reaction time, the control group demonstrated less than one percent improvement, while the Chiropractic group achieved reaction times more than eighteen percent faster than their initial scores.
A landmark research effort from the New Zealand School of Chiropractic and the University of Auckland, has evaluated the effects Chiropractic adjustments may have on reaction times. Two groups were tested to study variations in reaction times: one group received spinal adjustments, while the other group, only receiving a short period of rest, acted as a control group for comparison.
There was a marked improvement for the group that received an adjustment over the group that got nothing but rest. The group that got only a rest period did show an average decrease in reaction time: 58 milliseconds, an 8% faster reaction time. The group that received the Chiropractic adjustment showed a decrease in reaction time of 97 milliseconds, representing a 14.8% faster reaction time.12
The implications for these findings are far reaching for any activity in the “game of life,” and the data can objectively support anecdotal evidence of enhanced athletic performance under Chiropractic care. The ability to react more quickly to any of the demands life can impose provides added performance enhancement benefits for athletes, who rely on optimum reaction reflexes to perform at their maximum competitive capacity. Field-based practice experiences indicate that Chiropractic care appears to both enhance an athlete’s ability to perform and to recover from injuries when they occur; this study provides objective evidence that a vital component of athletic performance—rapid reaction time—is markedly improved through the Chiropractic adjustment.
The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek chiros and praktikos,meaning “done by hand”. Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, and it is now practiced in over 100 countries.
What Is Chiropractic All About
The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek chiros and praktikos,meaning “done by hand”. Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, and it is now practiced in over 100 countries. Chiropractic is a safe and natural form of health care and is well-known for helping people with their aches and pains, but there is so much more to it than meets the eye!
Chiropractic care focuses on optimizing your body’s own ability to function at its best. It achieves this by removing interference on the nervous system. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive and drug-free approach to health. Chiropractic does not include medications or prescription drugs, which often cover up important symptoms. A health symptom is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that it is an important signal one should not ignore. Medication may provide temporary relief but it often doesn’t address the underlying issues. Chiropractic care focuses on addressing the cause of your symptoms as opposed to just camouﬂaging them. When your body is functioning properly, it has a tremendous ability to regulate and correct its own problems.
WHAT IS A SUBLUXATION?
The spinal cord has 31 spinal nerves that exit between the spinal bones. Although the spinal column offers protection for these sensitive spinal nerves, their well-being can be disrupted if the spinal bones become misaligned. Subluxations are misalignments of the spine, incurred when the body is stressed beyond its capacity to adapt to its environment (physically, bio-chemically and psychologically). Subluxations create interference on the nervous system, which is the master system, and can compromise the vital communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Since we live our lives through our nervous system, we need to ensure that it is working at its best to achieve optimal health.
Sound confusing? Here is an analogy I tell my patients to help them really grasp the concept of a subluxation. What happens when you plug too many items in an electrical outlet? The breaker linked to this speciﬁc outlet will trip, right? If you go to the back panel and look at all the breakers, you will see that they are all aligned except one – the one you have tripped. A subluxation is just that – your body “tripping” because it has been stressed beyond its capacity to adapt. The stress could be a physical stress, a fall or hours in front of the computer. It could be a psychological stress, receiving bad news or an aggravating teenager. It could be a biochemical stress like eating greasy fast food or not drinking enough water. Do you see my point? Now, everybody has a different level at which they will “trip” their panel. We are all different depending on our body’s capacity to adapt! My patients often think that there has to be a big physical event or activity to cause a spinal subluxation – not so! Subluxations can occur in any of the three dimensions – physical, psychological or biochemical.
THE FOUR IMPORTANT TRUTHS OF CHIROPRACTIC
Chiropractic is based on four self-evident truths:
1. The body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. Self-healing – when you cut yourself you have the ability to heal because you are a living organism (this would not happen with a cadaver); Self-regulating – your heart is beating right now and you’re not telling it to do so. Your stomach is also digesting the food you just ate without you commanding it to.
2. “The nervous system is responsible for coordinating the function of every cell, tissue and organ in the body.” – Gray’s Anatomy. This statement is rather self-explanatory – the nervous system is the master system and controls everything.
3. Subluxations (spinal misalignments) are the number one cause of interference with the body’s innate ability to heal itself and self-regulate through the nervous system.
4. Chiropractic is the only healing science responsible for locating and correcting subluxations through the chiropractic adjustment, thereby restoring the body’s ability to heal itself.
TYPES OF CHIROPRACTORS
There are two types of chiropractors: a limited-scope chiropractor, who focuses mostly on pain relief, and a wellness chiropractor, who will deal not only with your body’s signs and symptoms but will focus on the function of your nervous system and on the lifestyle stresses which may be causing your health challenges.
A wellness chiropractor will not only assess you for subluxations but also for the underlying causes in every dimensions of your life – physical, biochemical and psychological. A complete lifestyle evaluation will allow the chiropractor to make speciﬁc recommendations on those three dimensions and help diminish the negative stresses which may be perpetuating your subluxations. From time to time, you will be reassessed and your care program will be modiﬁed according to the changes and progress you have made in your life.
I always tell my patients that they have a choice in terms of what they want out of their chiropractic care. Symptomatic care may deal with a current health crisis, however wellness care will allow one to function optimally and effectively cope with lifestyle stresses. Studies are showing that patients under regular wellness care have better overall immune functions.
Feel free to pass this along to your friends and family so that they too can understand what chiropractic is all about.