Most often people associate chiropractic care with lessening the aches and pains of daily life. These may be caused be frequent exercise, sitting at a desk all day, a past car accident or countless other injury producing events. But what if that main cause of your daily pain isn’t physical but mental? According the the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, major depression at any point in time impacts roughly 3 to 5 percent of all people and there is about a 17% lifetime risk of a person developing this condition. Additionally, roughly a half of all those diagnosed with depression also suffer from anxiety.
While medications are most often prescribed for anxiety and depression, many prefer to take the route of holistic healing. When it comes to my patients, I have worked with many suffering from mental health issues and the results speak for themselves. But how could chiropractic care most associated with physical pain help emotional healing?
Here are some interesting facts regarding how chiropractic care can help with mental health as well.
Study Results from the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research
A study designed to test the correlation between chiropractic care and its impact on mental health was published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research on June 20, 2013. This study cited prior research that showed of the 2818 patients undergoing chiropractic care, 76% reported an improvement in their mental/emotional health. Additionally, these 76% also reported positive changes in stress and increased life enjoyment in the months after receiving chiropractic care. Similar findings have also been reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry. So how can having a properly aligned spine impact your mental health?
How Chiropractic Care Improves Mental Health
Decreases Mind-Clouding Pain
One reason that chiropractic care can help mental health is be decreasing any physical pain that may be clouding the mind. As anyone with chronic pain can attest to, this discomfort can have a serious impact on mood and mental health. As the spine becomes aligned and pain decreases, anxiety and depression sprouting from pain are proven to lessen throughout treatment. This was further illustrated by a study of participants complaining of anxiety or depression who underwent 12 sessions of chiropractic care. As a result, muscle tension decreased and mental clarity increased as well.
Decreases Chronic Pain, a Common Cause of Depression
When chronic pain is a part of your daily life, not only is it hard to focus but suddenly you are no longer feeling well enough to be social and take part in activities you once loved. Studies have proven that depression occurs at a rate of three to four times higher in those with chronic pain when compared to their healthier peers. The cycle of chronic pain and depression can continue on and on unless it is broken. Regular chiropractic adjustments have proven to decrease pain, depression and anxiety and allow for a healthier (mentally and physically) existence.
Changes Misalignments Which Impact the Nervous System
Our moods are regulated by our body’s chemistry. This chemistry in your organs as well as your brain is all regulated by the nervous system. Misalignment of the spine (specifically the first, second or third vertebrae) can cause pressure in the area of the brain steam which can cause interference neurologically and chemically. Often people turn to medications that are used to alter their brain chemistry but those looking for a non-medication therapy often find that re-aligning these vertebrae can do wonders for their mental state.