The headline above comes from a November 30, 2015, article on the U.S. News and World Report website in the Health section. The article begins by stating, “You might think chiropractors are only able to help with back aches, stiff necks, slipped discs and whiplash injuries. If so, you’re not alone – but you’re missing out.”
Although probably not surprising to many chiropractors, the article’s author, David Starr, points out that many people are unaware that chiropractic may be able to help them with conditions that may not seem immediately related to the spine. Migraines and tension headaches are the first on the article’s list. “Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by chiropractic doctors – is an effective way to treat tension headaches and headaches that begin in the neck.” Starr continued, “In a clinical trial conducted at Macquarie University, 72 percent of migraine sufferers experienced either substantial or noticeable improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment.”
The second condition listed is stress and anxiety. The article explains how chiropractic helps by noting, “Chiropractors work primarily with the spine – the root of the nervous system through which nerve impulses travel between the brain and the rest of the body – and can help the body manage and process this stress in a healthier way.”
The article also mentions that chiropractic can help with a weak immune system. To explain the connection, the article relates spinal subluxations to immune function. “Subluxation is the term for misalignments of the spine that cause compression and irritation of nerve pathways, affecting the body’s organs. Subluxations are an example of physical nerve stress that affects neuronal control. According to researchers, such stressful conditions lead to altered measures of immune function and an increased susceptibility to a variety of diseases.”
Starr recants the study that shows the connection between subluxation and immune function. He states, “Another study measured the effects of six months of regular chiropractic care on the immune system function of HIV patients. At the end of six months of care, the patients who had received regular adjustments showed a 48 percent increase in the number of CD4+ T cells, whereas patients who had not been adjusted showed an 8 percent decrease in CD4+ T cells.”
The remaining two conditions include fibromyalgia and flexibility. The explanations offered in the article deal with both nerve function and improved range of motion. Chiropractic can specifically remove interference to the nerve system from subluxations while returning the spinal joints to as near to normal range of motion as is possible with a patient.
Dr George Curry, president of the International Chiropractors Association, summed up the chiropractic approach by stating, “People suffering with a wide variety of health issues have responded to chiropractic care. The chiropractor actually isn’t treating these conditions. By removing interference to the nerve system from subluxation, the chiropractor allows the body to function more normally and, therefore, self-correct many health problems naturally.”