Chiropractors can provide comfort and relief from back pain, neck pain, and headaches — but they also offer lesser-known health-supportive benefits beyond that, such as aiding in sleep and exercise performance.
Depending on your condition, chiropractic-care sessions may involve spinal adjustments, soft-tissue therapy, and other joint adjustments. Routine assessments and corrective exercises or stretches may be advised alongside the treatments to assess and accelerate your progress.
If you’re curious if chiropractic care may be a useful add to your health regimen, these are some of the most common reasons patients come to see doctors at the LifeClinic (chiropractic and rehabilitation centers located in select Life Time locations).
1. To relieve tension in the back, shoulders, and neck.
This is one of the most popular and well-known reasons people visit chiropractors. Severe neck or back pain, in particular, can interrupt your daily activities; chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat conditions related to this type of tension. During treatment sessions, a practitioner can help you identify the underlying cause of back, shoulder, and neck pain and target the affected joints, muscles, and nerves with several types of adjustments:
Spinal manipulation: A hands-on technique to adjust the spinal joints by applying controlled force to specific areas of the spine. This can relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, and back by restoring proper alignment.
Soft-tissue therapy: A technique involving massage or trigger-point therapy to relieve tension in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the spine. This can help to reduce pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and back.
Exercise therapy: This includes prescribed exercises or stretches that target specific areas of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, and back. These exercises can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion, which can help to reduce tension and prevent future injuries.
Postural correction: Poor posture can contribute to tension in the neck, shoulders, and back. Chiropractors can provide guidance on how to maintain proper posture throughout the day, and may recommend ergonomic adjustments to workstations or sleeping positions.
It’s important to note that chiropractors may also recommend lifestyle changes and will design a treatment plan based on an individual’s specific condition after performing an initial examination.
2. To reduce headache and migraine symptoms.
Misaligned joints can put pressure on your nerves, which can trigger headaches. Chiropractors help reduce headache symptoms by relieving this pressure through various adjustments. Migraines are a complex neurological condition that can be caused by a variety of factors including nerve irritation and inflammation. Chiropractic care can help address these underlying issues by improving spinal alignment and reducing tension in the muscles surrounding the spine.
A chiropractor can also demonstrate corrective exercises for stretching your neck and shoulders as another tool for helping to alleviate tension headaches and migraines.
3. To increase flexibility and range of motion.
Chiropractic adjustments can improve your flexibility and range of motion by addressing and targeting joint restrictions and misalignments that can cause stiffness and pain. When joints are restricted, the surrounding muscles and soft tissues can become tense and inflamed, which can limit range of motion and cause discomfort.
4. To improve posture.
Proper posture — both while sitting and standing — is important for maintaining a pain-free body and improving physical performance. Chiropractors can identify the underlying causes of postural issues and develop a treatment plan that may include a combination of adjustments, exercises, and lifestyle changes.
For some occupations, adapting your workspace to fit your body’s needs can also help ease pain and stiffness related to your posture. A chiropractor can offer advice around making work areas more ergonomic.
5. To lower blood pressure.
If you have hypertension, pain and stress from muscle injuries and tension can further constrict the blood vessels in your body, which can increase the pressure on the walls of your arteries.
Chiropractic care is an available tool if you’re looking for natural options that may be supportive for this condition — in addition to other lifestyle changes such as moving your body, eating well, and mitigating stress.
Cervical spine adjustments can reduce tension in the surrounding muscles and improve blood flow to the brain. This can help to improve nerve function and reduce stress on the nervous system which may help lower blood pressure.
6. To prevent athletic injuries and improve performance.
Regular chiropractic care can help your body maintain proper mechanical balance and normal range of motion. A practitioner can educate you on how your body moves and what exercises you may need to stabilize certain joints. This personalized approach to your body’s movement can decrease your risk of injury.
Learn more: “How Can a Chiropractor Help Me With My Fitness Goals?”
7. To enhance sleep quality.
Restful sleep is crucial for your health and well-being. Chiropractic care can help reduce aches and pains that may prevent you from falling and staying asleep so that you can wake up feeling well-rested. Chiropractic massage therapy or soft-tissue therapy can also alleviate muscle tension. When your muscles are relaxed, it’s typically much easier to fall asleep.
8. To treat musculoskeletal disorders and joint conditions.
Joint and inflammatory conditions, such sciatica or a herniated disc, are just some of the musculoskeletal disorders commonly treated by chiropractors. For example, the practitioner can apply spinal manipulation to allow the herniated disk to rest back into the correct position. This takes pressure off the sciatic nerve and can restore proper range of motion for the spine.
9. To support the digestive system.
Studies show that chiropractic care can improve nerve function and aid digestion. Spinal adjustments help stimulate the “rest-and-digest” side of your nervous system by reducing stress on your nerves caused by muscle tension.
This rest-and-digest response is associated with improved digestion and nutrient absorption in the body. Additionally, a properly aligned spine and optimally functioning nervous system can help support healthy digestion and relieve conditions including constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.