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Why should chiropractic be part of my long-term healthy lifestyle?

I may get a little detailed in answering this question, so if you don’t want to read any further to find out how research is explaining how chiropractic care benefits the body as a whole, I want you to know this: the chiropractic adjustment benefits the central nervous system (the control system for your entire body) and works as a powerful anti-inflammatory, relieving the stress that leads to every disease. Chiropractic makes your health better, even when you’re not in pain.

First, a meta-analysis published in October of 2012 reviewed research dealing with the reduction of pain after spinal manipulation[1]. The authors looked at 997 studies and found only 20 that met their inclusion criteria, but they concluded that “SMT [spinal manipulation] appears to modulate pain through both central and peripheral pathways” and went on to say that “SMT demonstrated favorable effect over other interventions on pressure pain thresholds. Additionally, subgroup analysis showed a significant effect of SMT on remote sites of pressure stimulus application further supporting a potential influence on higher levels within the Central Nervous System.” What this means, is that an adjustment benefits the central nervous system, basically, the brain and spinal cord, which coordinate all the nerves of the body and impact the functioning of the entire body, and also that an adjustment to one area benefits not just that area, but areas farther away.  Of course, this study focused on pain, but many others explain a little more about the biochemical benefits of chiropractic.

Research is showing that the chiropractic adjustment is a low-risk anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is a natural part of healing, but when it is not properly modulated by the body, it can cause a host of wide-ranging problems, including asthma, acne, vasculitis, IBD, autoimmune disease, and arthritis. “Chronic” inflammation, as it is called, has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  One cause of inflammation in the body is improper joint motion.  Small molecules called neuropeptides are released whenever there is swelling and contribute to inflammation[2].  The restoration of proper joint motion reduces the number of these inflammatory molecules and new research is showing that it does even more.  A study performed at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College showed the chiropractic adjustment reduced the production of two inflammatory molecules involved in chronic inflammation, pain, and poor health, tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 1beta[3].  Reducing the inflammatory chemicals your body is producing can not only decrease pain but reduce the risk and incidence of disease in the whole body.



[1] Coronado RA, Gay CW, Bialosky JE, Carnaby GD, Bishop MD, George SZ.  Changes in pain sensitivity following spinal manipulation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2012 Oct;22(5):752-67.

[2] Vergnolle N, Cenac N, Altier C, Cellars L, Chapman K, Zamponi GW, Materazzi S, Nassini R, Liedtke W, Cattaruzza F, Grady EF, Geppetti P, Bunnett NW. A role for transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 in tonicity-induced neurogenic inflammation. Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Mar;159(5):1161-73.

[3] Teodorczyk-Injeyan JA, Injeyan HS, Ruegg R. Spinal manipulative therapy reduces inflammatory cytokines but not substance P production in normal subjects. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2006 Jan;29(1):14-21.




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Dr. Summer sees clients from her home in South Austin. Call or email for more information.


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