Most people and healthcare professionals recognize that chiropractic treatments are effective, safe and cost-friendly for treating many of the aches, pains and injuries one may experience is our musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. However, it is lesser know that regular treatments, which is different from person to person as we all have different needs, can be beneficial for several reasons. Here are five reasons why continued chiropractic treatment is important:
1. Pain Management: Here in New Hampshire, we are experiencing an opioid epidemic. It is well understood a large contributing factor was overprescribing of addictive pain medication. It is also known that regular chiropractic treatments will reduce the discomfort associated with chronic pain. Whether the pain is a result of chronically tight muscles, poor posture, or repetitive movements – chiropractic helps address these issues. Typically, treatment results in improved tolerance to daily activities, improved tolerance to pain, less medication use, and more complicated, a reduction of the fear of being injured (fear-avoidance/catastrophizing).
2. Improving Mobility and Flexibility: Chiropractic treatment addresses the root cause of a lack of mobility and/or flexibility. When the spine is restricted, aberrant information is being sent to the brain for processing and the body then reacts accordingly, often called compensations. Spinal manipulations improve spinal segment motions, effectively resetting the afferrant (ascending) information to the brain. While this is great, the relief can be temporary. That is where exercises come in to play. Once the system has been “reset,” the movement patterns need to be retrained – this will rid you of the compensation. The downside is, like any skill, practice is important, and the exercises need to be progressed. Hence, the importance of recurring or “maintenance” treatments as a way to check in with your chiropractor. Sports chiropractors, in particular, are a great resource for proper exercises to address mobility and flexibility limitations. This is different from physical therapy which typically focuses on rehabilitation of a specific injury or surgery. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who sit at a desk all day or engage in repetitive motions that can cause muscle tension and stiffness.
3. Stress Relief: For some, chiropractic treatment is simply relaxing. Often patients express having less pressure in their body following treatment. We all know people who “carry stress in their shoulder.” Relieving this tension reduces stress. Additionally, by restoring proper spinal mobility, the body’s ability to cope with stress improves.
4. Preventing Future Injuries: The best predictor of a future injury is…a previous injury. With regular treatments, patients receive updated exercise and nutrition advice, Chiropractic care can help prevent future injuries by addressing the underlying mechanical issues that can lead to pain and injury. By improving spinal alignment and mobility, chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the risk of future injuries, such as muscle strains and sprains.
5. Improved Overall Health and Well-being: I often say we all need two types of treatment; active and passive. Active treatment is what you are doing for yourself (exercise, diet, etc.). Passive treatment is when someone is doing something to you (chiropractic, massage, etc.). Regular check-ups with your chiropractor will allow you to meet with and discuss your ongoing health care goals, helping you to overcome obstacles to reach the best version of you!