Can chiropractic care help with inflammation? Before answering that question, let us first try to understand what inflammation is, its symptoms, and what causes it. Inflammation is how your body shields itself from sickness, infections, and injuries. When something might harm you, your immune system reacts by creating inflammation. This includes making more white blood cells, immune cells, and cytokines to battle invaders like bacteria or pathogens.
Chronic inflammation works differently. This happens when the body triggers a more intense-than-needed inflammatory reaction because of an unbalanced immune system or a condition that makes the immune system attack healthy tissue. Specific foods, insufficient sleep, and excessive stress can raise the likelihood of chronic inflammation.
What is Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation differs from how our body reacts to ordinary and minor injuries or irritants. It happens when our body responds to a possible danger or imbalance much stronger than needed. When the immune system acts incorrectly, it can set off chronic inflammation, causing ongoing pain or sickness in a never-ending cycle.
Many individuals may not realize they have chronic inflammation until they’re diagnosed with a related disorder or condition. If you suffer from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or any other ailments associated with chronic inflammation, chiropractic care might offer significant benefits. It’s worth considering the role chiropractors can play in reducing inflammation.
The Causes Of Chronic Inflammation
An imbalance in the immune system causes chronic inflammation. Moreover, specific diets and lifestyles can raise the chances of long-lasting inflammation. Insufficient sleep, excessive stress, and a carbohydrate diet are ways to boost the odds of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation may happen when the body can’t get rid of the source of initial inflammation or when the immune system confuses healthy tissue for harmful invaders, leading to an autoimmune reaction.
Symptoms & Effects of Chronic Inflammation
The body’s natural inflammation can lead to various reactions. However, some clear indicators of chronic inflammation that deviate from the usual symptoms are worth noting. These include:
- Swollen Joints & Joint Pain
- High Blood Pressure
- Abdominal Pain
- Chest Pain
- Irritable Bowels
- Weight Gain
As your immune system works tirelessly to fend off infections and harmful invaders, it can become overtaxed. In response, it increases inflammation to bolster its defenses. This heightened activity prompts the release of white blood cells, which combat unwelcome foreign agents. However, in cases where this reaction fuels chronic inflammation, it disrupts the immune system’s equilibrium, perpetuating a cycle of long-lasting sickness.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help With Inflammation?
The first step your chiropractor will take will involve looking carefully at your medical history, and then they will examine you for symptoms of inflammation. The physical exam will help your chiropractor decide which treatment is right for you. To treat chronic inflammation, a chiropractor may also recommend some or all of the following therapies:
While you may think of ultrasound as just imaging technology, it is also beneficial for treating inflammation in soft tissues and joints. According to a study from the University of Tokushima, low-intensity ultrasound can reduce joint inflammation. Along with fighting inflammation, it can also facilitate tissue repair in people suffering from various ailments.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
The TENS treatment involves stimulating nerves and muscles with a low electrical current. TENS is believed to treat soft tissue injuries and relieve chronic pain from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
The main therapeutic tool in the chiropractor’s bag of tricks, spinal manipulation, can reduce inflammation between vertebrae that may cause back pain. Note that chiropractic care isn’t limited to spinal adjustments. Chiropractors have more than 150 techniques that they can use to adjust your joints and muscles.
How Spine Alignment Plays a Role
The nervous system has a crucial role in controlling inflammation. It signals and coordinates cell processes effectively. Moreover, it assists in calming the body down when the response is unnecessary. Consequently, spine misalignment can disrupt this process and contribute to ongoing inflammation problems. A misaligned spine hinders essential nerve energy that aids self-regulation in the body. Seeking assistance from a specialist can improve nerve flow and enhance the body’s coordination of vital functions.
A Balanced Chiropractic Treatment Plan for Inflammation
Your chiropractor may compose a treatment plan to treat your chronic inflammation and its source. The treatment plan will often include spinal manipulation but may also include lifestyle changes to help resolve inflammation. These changes may target common causes of inflammation, like obesity and stress. To ease inflammation systems, a chiropractor may suggest any or all of the following:
The right diet can help to fight inflammation. A diet that lowers your caloric intake and consists of highly nutritious anti-inflammatory foods may help lessen flare-ups of chronic inflammation. Such a diet will consist of fruits, green leafy vegetables, and lean meats. It should also include fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In some cases, supplements might be a good idea. Vitamin D and magnesium will be particularly beneficial for the health of your joints.
Exercising regularly may help to prevent or reduce inflammation. It can also keep your joints from getting stiff while shortening your recovery time after injuries. Strong muscles are also important for joint support and can help your nervous system. Your chiropractor will determine the right activity to help treat your type of chronic inflammation.
Being overweight can make you more predisposed to suffering from inflammation. Your chiropractor might recommend that you lose weight to help lessen your body’s inflammatory response. They will be able to advise you on the ideal weight for your body and the healthiest ways to get to it.
Inflammation can be tied to your stress level, so your chiropractor may suggest stress management as a good tool for lowering inflammation. Along with exercise, relaxing activities like reading and gardening may reduce stress.
Getting the right amount of sleep can enable your body to do a better job of handling stress. As a result of adequate sleep, your immune system may be better at doing its job. Your chiropractor may guide you in developing healthy sleep habits, like regular sleep schedules.
Drinking more water can balance your pH and keep your body hydrated. Water acts as a lubricant in the joints. It makes up most of the synovial fluid that cushions the joints so that your bones don’t rub against each other. Less lubrication in the joints can result in inflammation and joint pain.
For more information regarding reducing inflammation or scheduling a chiropractic visit, please contact us here at Heart of Texas Chiropractic. Start living your life in balance today!