Posted on: 18 July 2014
Chiropractic methods have been around since 1895. Since that time, this practice of natural medicine has been most well known for treating back and neck pain. Today, millions of Americans visit a chiropractor each year and, many times, it's for an ailment other than back or neck pain. You may be surprised at just how many symptoms can be treated by chiropractic therapy.
Beyond the back
Chiropractic treatments are based on a fairly simple premise: misalignments of the spine lead to nervous system dysfunction, which leads to symptoms throughout the body. These symptoms can be felt in the back, neck, head, joints, extremities, and internal organs.
No matter where the patient feels discomfort, chiropractors aim to relieve the symptoms by restoring the proper function of the nervous system. According to their principles, chiropractic adjustments release pressure in the spinal column and free the nerves. This allows the nerves to function properly and communicate efficiently with the rest of the body.
Most chiropractic research has focused on the typical treatment areas: the back and neck. However, patients, chiropractors, and researchers are beginning to expand their knowledge and examine the effects of chiropractic treatment on less obvious ailments.
Childhood ear infections
Ear infections are extremely common among children. The root cause of this problem is fluid buildup in the middle ear. Chiropractors insist that ear infections can be caused by misaligned vertebrae in the neck. These out-of-place vertebrae interrupt the nerves that control the eustachian tube, the main drainage path for ear mucus and fluid. If the eustachian tube isn't properly functioning, fluid can't escape and the result is an ear infection.
Research regarding the connection between chiropractic care and childhood ear infections is ongoing. In one study, scientists found that adjusting the neck allowed for the stretching and draining of the eustachian tube. In the study, they looked at 332 children under the age of 5 who reported ear infections. The children were treated with between four and six chiropractic adjustments and no other treatments involving traditional medicine. On average, the children took approximately one week to be free from the infection.
In addition to chiropractors, many pediatricians believe that chiropractic care can help relieve chronic ear infections. Dr. William Sears, a renowned expert in pediatrics, "firmly believe(s) that chiropractic adjustments to the skull and neck can improve middle ear drainage and decrease ear infections."
In many ways, seeing a chiropractor to treat digestive problems is a logical choice. The digestive system actually has a remarkable system of neurons called the enteric nervous system. Some scientists even refer to the digestive system as a "second brain."
In order to function properly, the nerves of the digestive system must be able to communicate with the nerves of the spinal column. The speed of digestion is entirely dependent on this connection. If a misalignment causes dysfunction in the nerves, the patient may experience heartburn, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, gas, and nausea. However, when a chiropractor realigns the spinal column, the nerves are allowed to perform properly and many of these symptoms will be quickly resolved.
Many research studies and case studies have examined the effects of chiropractic care in patients who report digestive issues. Chiropractic care has been shown to be helpful in the following scenarios:
- Relieving constipation in infants
- Treating heartburn in pregnant women
- Promoting general digestive wellbeing
- Relieving symptoms of Crohn's disease
Scientific experts and chiropractors agree that more research is needed in order to fully understand the healing effects of chiropractic methods. Along with ear infections and digestive problems, studies are also underway to look at the effects chiropractic adjustments in treating PMS, high blood pressure, and fibromyalgia. Talk to a chiropractor such as Ireland Clinic Of Chiropractic to see how they may be able to help you.Share