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Can Chiropractic Care Reduce Stress?

worried woman sitting at a computerIf you experience stress on a regular basis, you may notice both mental and physical consequences. Besides psychological symptoms like anxiety, stress can cause physical symptoms like muscle tension and headaches. Relieving stress often involves a multimodal approach and taking care of your mind as well as your body.

As a chiropractor in the Chesapeake region of Virginia for more than 20 years, I have had many patients who lead stressful lives. Chiropractic care has helped many of my patients reduce their stress levels, leading to improvements in their mental as well as physical health. In this article, I will discuss how chiropractic care can help manage your stress levels.

How Stress Impacts Your Spinal Health

When a person feels stressed, they often show it in physical ways. These can include:

  • Clenching muscles throughout the body, which can lead to muscle soreness and pain
  • Changes in posture, including hunching over
  • Changing their breathing patterns, including breathing more quickly

Further, stress can have a direct impact on the spine. Animal studies have shown that both the volume and the surface area of nerves in the spine can be harmed by chronic stress levels. Experts believe that this can make the spine less stable and may impair spinal function.

Over time, stress-induced poor posture and chronic muscle tension can also cause alignment problems in the spine. This can occur because chronic muscle contraction can lead to overworked and weakened muscles. Your body then often relies on alternate muscle groups so you can continue to function. However, this can cause muscle overuse injuries and lead to biomechanical problems in your spine. In turn, you may experience back pain – all due to the stress-induced changes in your body.

How Can Chiropractic Care Improve Your Stress Levels?

Chiropractic care can improve your stress levels in several ways:

  • Improves underlying spinal imbalances: The physical manifestations of stress can cause muscle clenching and postural problems. In turn, this can cause pain, which can lead to more stress, causing a vicious cycle. By correcting your spinal biomechanics, chiropractic care can help to break this cycle. This can ease both the physical effects of stress as well as stress itself.
  • Eases muscle tension: A chiropractic adjustment has a direct effect on muscle relaxation. Following a chiropractic session, electrical muscle activity decreases by an average of 25%.
  • Releases feel-good hormones: Studies show that immediately following a chiropractic manipulation session, your body releases feel-good hormones like neurotensin and oxytocin. Neurotensin has pain-relieving effects and is involved in the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which promotes a sense of well-being. Oxytocin promotes bonding and is known as a “happy hormone.”
  • Improves central nervous system messaging: Chiropractic care can cause a cascade of beneficial biophysiological changes in the central nervous system. These include activating nerves in the central nervous system that manage the inflow of sensory information. Optimizing how your brain processes sensory information can have a direct impact on your body’s response to stress.
  • Improves sleep: Some studies show that insomnia may improve after chiropractic care. Not only can stress lead to sleep problems but getting a good night’s sleep following a chiropractic session may help to relieve feelings of stress.

Managing Your Stress With Precision Spinal Care

As a certified NUCCA chiropractor and spine management physician, I work closely with you to improve your overall health, including your stress levels.
To accomplish this, during your first visit, I will do a thorough examination. Afterward, I will go over my evaluation with you in detail. Together, we will set reasonable expectations and milestones. We will also put together a treatment plan that meets your care needs, taking the root cause of your stress into account. I will reevaluate you to make sure you are meeting your goals.

My experience and expertise in spinal biomechanics allow me to competently and safely address your back and neck issues. I am a trauma and hospital-qualified spine management physician. I have credentials in MRI spine interpretation, spinal biomechanical engineering, and orthopedic testing through the Academy of Chiropractic. I am also a fellow in Spinal Biomechanics and Trauma which is recognized through the SUNY Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine.
If we determine that chiropractic is not the best solution for your needs, I will recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you. I may also recommend other specialists that can be used in conjunction with chiropractic care to help you meet your needs.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you are trying to treat your pain. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs and discuss all the options with you and your family.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment online.

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