Did you know that nearly 62 million people went to the chiropractor last year? And 77% of those people found their care “very effective.” Take a look at five ways a chiropractor can help you live a healthier, happier life.
1. You’re experiencing back pain, neck pain and/or headaches
This is the number one reason people visit the chiropractor, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Back pain is also one of the most common reasons for missed work, and is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, only outnumbered by upper respiratory infections. Plus, most back pain is mechanical, which means it’s not caused by a serious condition. Chiropractic care, which doesn’t utilize prescription medications, can often address the problem through spinal manipulation, rehabilitative exercise, massage or nutritional advice.
With the rise of opioid use, it’s important to explore pain relief that doesn’t rely on prescription drugs when possible. For many people, this is a realistic option and an important choice—especially since one in four people prescribed opioids struggles with addiction.
Dr. Jeffrey Tucker, DC, takes an integrated approach to caring for his patients. He uses a combination of manual manipulation, instruments, nutrition information and exercises to help patients improve their overall health.“You’ve got to get this person moving in ways to help them heal better. And I often do that by starting out with their body weight. I want people to really own their own body weight and movement first, and then I introduce them to TheraBand® for resistance,” he says. “I love the CLX™ band, every patient is going to get a CLX band. And once they’re good at that, maybe they’re ready for kettlebells or free weights.”
This mix of manual manipulation and other in-clinic methods helps treat the root cause of your pain for lasting relief. Many chiropractors like Tucker offer a topical analgesic to help patients with their immediate joint and muscle pain while they work over time to address the underlying source.
2. You sit at a computer all day
Many Americans spend about eight hours a day sitting down, but how many actually do that with good posture? If you’re like most of us, you don’t naturally maintain good posture. Posture is the way we hold ourselves while performing normal life activities. Good posture is important because it helps us sit, stand, walk and move in ways that don’t strain muscles and ligaments.
Tucker believes that fixing a patient’s posture often starts with educating them about what good posture is for their body. “Our patients need to understand what’s a good posture to be in, and then if they can improve their posture, it helps to relax the muscles,” he explains. “And that takes away some of their pains.”
Without good posture, muscles and joints wear abnormally, which could result in arthritis or joint pain. A chiropractor can help you regain proper posture through exercises and adjustments to the way you sit, stand and lay down. Maintaining that proper posture can help you avoid injuries and lasting health issues.
3. You want to age well
As you get older, your joints start to show signs of wear and tear. Sometimes that wear and tear causes inflammation and pain, which can disrupt your life. Without warning, performing the workouts and other activities you enjoy can become more and more difficult. A chiropractor can help you identify inflammation as well as recommend topicals, like Biofreeze Professional, and at-home exercises to combat pain. Plus, manual chiropractic techniques are noninvasive and can help you move better, longer.“I let [patients] know that our lifetime goal is to keep you moving. Don’t ever lose the range of motion that you have,” says Tucker. “Let me show you how, what you need to do. And then if you do lose it, or if you’ve already lost significant motion for whatever reason, let’s restore as much of it as we can, and teach you how to maintain that.
4. You can’t sleep
Much like sitting, poor sleeping posture can disrupt your spinal health. Lack of spine, neck and head support can increase pain and restlessness and keep you from your proper sleep cycle. Plus, even if you’re sleeping in the proper position, any misalignments in your spine can cause pain that keeps you up at night.
Without the proper amount of sleep, you greatly increase the risk of impaired memory, relationship stress, car accidents (drowsy driving causes thousands of crashes per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and quality of life. And if you continue to get too little sleep? You put yourself at risk for bigger issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack or stroke.
While the body of research directly tying chiropractic adjustments to better sleep is still rather small, a recent study shows there is lasting pain relief associated with adjustments—for up to six weeks! Treating the root cause of any pain you have removes one more barrier to a good night’s sleep. Chiropractors can also help you find the best mattress and pillow to aid in your quest for good sleep. That way, you can spend less time tossing and turning and more time rejuvenating.
5. You’re looking for a holistic wellness plan
Chiropractic isn’t just focused on one area of the body. One small adjustment can help restore your nervous system and align your whole body so you feel better every day. In thinking holistically, chiropractors typically strive to help you reach your overall wellness goals.
“If you do have a spinal issue, chiropractors really should be the first person to go to. But I think it’s so much more than that,” expresses Tucker. “Because I want to embrace diet, nutrition and exercise. So I would tell people that I think they should seek out chiropractors who will also talk to you about diet and exercise. That’s really the approach I believe in.”
Chiropractic care is more than meets the eye. From treating back pain to helping you age well and optimizing your overall well-being, a chiropractor offers all sorts of services to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. You can find chiropractors in your area using the Professional Finder. Simply select which body parts are causing you pain and which types of healthcare professionals you’d like to see, and you’ll get a list of providers near your zip code.