Many people think of chiropractors as “bony” doctors. While chiropractors do diagnose and treat issues with the spine and neck, chiropractic care goes beyond that. It emphasizes total health by reducing pain, restoring nervous system communication, and offering natural solutions for all types of conditions. All of these foster a patient’s sense of wellbeing.
No matter your age, chiropractic care helps the body function at an optimal level by working on the nervous system, or the intricate network of nerves that send messages to your brain.
How chiropractic care works
There are more than 500,000 nerves alone between the skull and the top vertebra of the spine. Even though it’s the most input you can put into the nervous system at any given time, a chiropractic manipulation, or adjustment, should be gentle and effective. By realigning the spine, you re-establish communication between those nerves and the brain. Even though it seems like this would only have a local effect on the back or neck, it impacts the whole body.
Every single cell in the body has a nerve ending. Nerve endings send and receive important messages to and from the brain through a network of nerves. When an adjustment solves interference within the nervous system, these messages travel better. As cells communicate better, it creates a domino effect of better health.
Chiropractic care for those starting a family
During times of great change for the body, like pregnancy and childbirth, facilitating nervous system health powerfully helps many women with pain, preparing for labor, and maintaining good health.
Fertility is complex and many factors can influence it. Stress can mess with hormone levels needed to conceive. Chiropractic care helps with hormone balance. Manipulations improve communication with the brain, and the brain needs accurate information to work with the endocrine system.
Adjustments are safe for most women during pregnancy. They relieve nausea and help with a changing center of gravity and many other issues. The Webster Technique, created just for moms-to-be, is the gold standard for pregnancy chiropractic care. The Webster Technique addresses many of the issues and pains that come with pregnancy. It aligns the spine and pelvis and relaxes ligaments. It even has a high success rate of changing the positioning of the baby, especially when breech.
Chiropractic care also provides a lot of welcome relief for symphysis pubis dysfunction, or pubic bone pain. When the hormone relaxin increases, the pubic bone begins to change and separate to allow for childbirth. For many women, this can cause a sharp, intense pain that’s worse when getting up from a chair or seated position. A gentle adjustment can ease this pain, reduce inflammation, and help strengthen the pelvis at the same time.
Labor and delivery
The added pelvic strength and stability from chiropractic care helps with labor and natural delivery. Because certain adjustments can change a baby’s positioning, it also helps shorten labor times. At my practice, we also give education on childbirth and go over relaxation techniques for labor and delivery.
Postpartum and nursing
After pregnancy and delivery, the weight distribution in the body shifts yet again. While the abdomen held most of the weight during pregnancy, incoming milk supply brings more weight to the upper body. New mamas experience new pain patterns due to this change.
Along with adjustments geared toward the thoracic spine, a chiropractor should help with specific postural tips for wearing a newborn in a sling and for during breastfeeding. Bringing back and maintaining good biomechanics to the spine provide natural relief and also offer preventive care.
Chiropractic care in perimenopause & menopause / postmenopause
Just like it does with fertility, chiropractic care helps balance hormones as women approach and go through menopause. By bringing the spine back in alignment, nerves communicate more freely with the brain. The brain then communicates better with the endocrine system, the system of glands that produces hormones.
As we age, the T-cells in our immune system don’t work as well. Adjustments boost immune system function because they correct subluxations, where the spinal nerves have become compressed and unable to send efficient messages to the brain.
Other ways chiropractic care helps total wellness
Because we are focused on total wellness, many chiropractors are also able to educate patients on other complementary or lifestyle therapies. Depending on the chiropractor, that may include nutritional guidance, exercise and stretches for musculoskeletal health, and avoidance of toxic chemicals.