Stress and chiropractic

Chiropractic has its own philosophy. One of our tenets is that the nervous system is supreme. This means that we believe that out of all of the organ systems of the body, the nervous system is the best and the most powerful. That’s why we adjust the spine, as it houses components of the nervous system. Another philosophical precept is the mechanism of the subluxation, which may be one, or any combination of, the following:


  • Mechanical trauma
  • Psychological stress
  • Chemical toxins


We have ample evidence that mechanical trauma causes subluxation. Chronic overuse injuries or sudden and acute accidents can cause subluxation or, if particularly severe, luxation (complete separation of joints). The research literature on psychological stress or chemical toxins causing subluxation is sparse, but not nonexistent. As I read this article on stress relief, I was struck by how the top two symptoms of stress, headaches and back pain, can be and are treated by chiropractic care.


Some years ago, researchers explored this further. They used positron emission tomography (PET) to measure the changes in the brain after receiving chiropractic manipulation. While the number of participants in this study is low, the results are very exciting. Not only did patients report decreases in pain and stress, changes in the brain associated with stress and pain reduction were noted after chiropractic adjustments.


While neither of these two articles suggest that psychological stress causes subluxation, they indicate that chiropractic can be used to manage symptoms of stress and reduce stress in general. I find that quite inspiring.


Have you ever noticed a decrease in stress after an adjustment? Let me know in the comments, or at your next appointment.

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