When you think of inflammation, what comes to mind? Swelling, heat, pain, or redness? What about fatigue, muscle ache, joint stiffness, lack of appetite, poor physical performance, brain fog? Often, we associate inflammation with external physical symptoms and forget that inflammation is systemic, affecting the internal environment, as well.
Chiropractic is often associated with the external, too, even though it is truly healing the body from the inside out. Chiropractic is most commonly sought for physical pain or movement dysfunction rather than internal issues, such as inflammation. What most people don’t realize is that chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, up-regulate cellular repair, and even increase activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain by 20% (that’s the decision making, cognitive function and higher learning portion).
Researchers have discovered that routine adjustments can lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), inflammatory markers found in the blood. IL-6 is the main mediator of the acute phase inflammatory response occurring in the body. It is produced in order to start the cascade of inflammation throughout the system. Basically, IL-6 helps start the fire, and adjustments will help put that fire out or, even better, keep the fire from starting. Removing subluxations, or misalignments, from the spine and reducing tension in the nervous system allows the brain to communicate with the tissues properly, thus reducing irritation and inflammation. It really doesn’t matter what the source of the inflammation is, adjustments will help mitigate it. If you suffer from brain fog, muscle or menstrual cramps, fatigue or decrease in performance, your underlying issue is inflammation and, therefore, you could benefit from a visit to the chiropractor. Many patients express that they can breathe better, see clearer, focus and even poop better after being adjusted. What they don’t realize is that their body is also doing a better job of combatting internal inflammation thanks to that adjustment.
The reality of our world is that we are always going to have some level of inflammation in our bodies, and that’s okay. The body is designed to put out those ‘small fires’ that our daily lives may cause. The problem, however, occurs when we repeatedly make poor choices (ie. nutrition, stress) that keep adding fuel to these fires, we are creating a chronic, widespread level of inflammation that our bodies cannot handle.
Chiropractic care is one simple addition to your routine that can help reduce and prevent inflammation. This is in addition to its many other benefits, including pain & headache relief, improved range of motion and increased physical & mental performance. If you haven’t already, make sure you find a chiropractor with whom your comfortable and understand. Every practice and doctor is different. If you’re not sure where to go, ask your friend or colleague for a referral.
Dr. Taylor is a chiropractor at Core Health Chiropractic in Uptown & has a passion for inspiring others to live their best lives. She takes a dynamic approach to healing, using a combination of manual techniques while helping patients understand the physical and emotional causes of their ailments.