Thirty million Americans can’t be wrong. That’s the number of both adults and children who benefit from chiropractic care. Chiropractic care is supported by research that shows the effectiveness of this comprehensive, whole-body, drug-free approach to treating a variety of conditions—although it’s probably best known for treatment of back pain.
Many studies have concluded that chiropractic manual therapies for lower back pain are generally productive, including treatment of lumbar herniated disc, radiculopathy and neck pain. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), there’s strong evidence that spinal manipulation is just as effective at treating back pain as a one-two combination of medical care and exercise. Meanwhile, there is some evidence that this treatment is equally effective to prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) combined with exercise.
In addition to relief for back and other types of pain, this complementary medicine offers multiple benefits. Here are just some of the unique benefits of chiropractic:
- Stress relief: A balanced body means that the muscular and skeletal system are correctly positioned and that the nervous system is working properly. Chiropractic provides this balance, resulting in a less tense and more relaxed body. This allows people to manage stress more effectively.
- Improved posture: Curvature in the spine and neck contribute to poor posture. Neck and back issues are more prevalent than ever today (and at younger ages) since people sit for long periods of time, often bent over keyboards, tablets or smartphones. This is particularly true for office workers. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help realign the curves and titling in the spine, thus improving posture.
- Immune system stimulation: The immune system function (as well as general health) is connected to the nervous system. Chiropractic emphasizes the open pathway of nerves coupled with eliminating any obstructions to the immune system to help the body optimally heal and protect itself.
- Better athletic performance: From recreational athletes and sports enthusiasts (including weekend warriors) to Olympic and professional athletes, these people put it all on the line, and their bodies undergo a huge amount of stress. This stress can cause chronic aches and pains or injuries. By use of spinal alignment and other techniques, a chiropractor can aid in sports injury treatment and prevention, as well as flexibility, range of motion and performance enhancement.
As an important aside, it’s good to know that while many health insurance plans do not include complementary forms of treatment, they do include chiropractic services. In fact, chiropractic care is accommodated by most major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare and some Medicaid plans. It is also available to armed forces active-duty personnel on numerous military bases as well as to veterans at medical facilities.
From many angles, it appears as though those 30 million Americans are on to something.