For decades, chiropractors have been effectively treating people who have suffered from neck and back pain. The theory goes that if the spinal bones are misaligned, then the nerves coming out of the central spine experience pressure or interference, which triggers local back pain. When you correct the spine alignment, the pain goes away. However, is the benefit of chiropractic care limited to only back pain relief?

Well, our nerves do much more than just cause pain. Pain is certainly a warning sign to pay attention to, but the nerves give other symptoms of imbalance besides just pain. Nerves control your muscles, the functioning of your organs, glands, and your senses – these areas of the body have a long list of symptoms of imbalance and dysfunction. For example, if the nerves that help control breathing experience interference from misaligned bones in the spine, then the nerve signals it sends to the respiratory muscles can get erratic. It may affect the proper muscle function and level of tension in your breathing passageways. So you may develop symptoms such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty taking a deep breath, which are symptoms of asthma. A 2010 article published in The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association found that there are some notable benefits to chiropractic care for those who have asthma, and can help as adjunctive asthma care. Under chiropractic treatment, correcting the misaligned spinal bones can restore the proper nerve signaling, which can make a difference in many situations.

Chiropractic can also benefit illnesses due to functional imbalances, as well as serve as preventive health care. If you think of the nerves as regulating and controlling the function of different areas of your body, then symptoms of dysfunction could potentially improve by correcting the related area in your spine. Whether it is dysfunctional digestion causing acid reflux or colicky symptoms, or women who experience pelvic symptoms such as painful cramps, painful periods, or unexplained pelvic symptoms – these dysfunctional areas can potentially improve with simple chiropractic treatment. When the faculty at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College was surveyed, they indicated that there was a role of chiropractic care in many non-musculoskeletal-related situations, especially for asthma, constipation, chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, infantile colic, and vertigo. What this implies is that experienced chiropractors are finding benefits for their patients in areas of health beyond standard back pain.

Possibly one of the most important perspectives to consider is that of overall wellness and preventative health. This area is particularly meaningful in my work as a naturopathic doctor, as I have found working with chiropractors to benefit my patients. If you can prevent a problem, then that is the best of situations regarding our individual health, and for our health care system in general. Imagine the savings for hospitals, insurance companies, governments, and society overall, if we could reduce the amount of illness and related costs. Chiropractic colleges also train their students in overall nutrition, more than medical schools do for future physicians. Better nutrition has an important role in preventative health – just witness the level of obesity in North America. So it is not uncommon to get some nutritional advice from your chiropractor. They have a broader view of the factors that impact your health, and can give you well thought advice for your benefit.

Consider this: if you go for an annual medical checkup, perhaps you should go for an annual chiropractic checkup, and regular maintenance and preventive chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care has so much more to offer than just handling back pains – maybe it’s time for you to find a chiropractor, for you and your family.

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