Your body contains roughly 60 different chemicals and each one is responsible for very different functions and regulatory actions. For instance, calcium helps your muscles contract and potassium regulates your heartbeat. Sodium controls the balance of water in your system and fluorine protects your teeth against decay. There are also four chemicals associated with management of pain, and a study published in Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy has found that chiropractic promotes almost all of them.
For purposes of this study, researchers chose thirty participants who weren’t actively in any sort of pain to see what effect chiropractic treatments had on their levels of neurotensin, oxytocin, orexin A, and cortisol—the four chemicals that impact how much pain a person feels. The subjects were separated into three different groups: ten engaged in cervical spinal manipulation (chiropractic involving the neck area), ten received thoracic spinal manipulation (manipulation to the discs and vertebrae in the middle and upper back), and the final ten subjects were the control group, so they received no spinal manipulation therapy whatsoever. Researchers drew each individual’s blood prior to, immediately after, and two hours post-treatment to determine the starting levels of neurotensin, oxytocin, orexin A, and cortisol, as well as to note any changes that may occur.
Immediately upon conclusion of the spinal manipulation sessions, researchers found “significantly higher” levels of both neurotensin and oxytocin in the participants who received either form of spinal manipulation. Cortisol levels increased only for the subjects who engaged in cervical spinal manipulation, and orexin A levels were unaffected by the chiropractic treatments entirely.
These findings suggest that engaging in regular chiropractic care can help your pain on a cellular level by changing the chemical makeup of your body. Not to mention, regular spinal manipulations also work to correct the spinal issue that is causing the pain in the first place. This makes chiropractic an effective two-prong approach to pain management.
If you’re in pain, chiropractic care can help.
Left untreated, back pain can become sciatica or leg pain, shoulder pain, or even fibromyalgia. The key to avoiding these problems is to get to the root of your back pain, so that your spine can be pain-free. A new study shows that chiropractic can help with this.
In a study published in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers investigated 192 patients who had back-related leg pain for at least four weeks. Half of the patients were given chiropractic adjustments with home exercise and advice; the other half were just given the home exercise and advice component. The study ran for 12 weeks, and the chiropractic patients received up to 20 chiropractic adjustments over that time. The study participants were assessed at the beginning of the study, at 12 weeks, and at 52 weeks after the completion.
The authors found that:
- Chiropractic adjustments with home exercises “had a clinically important advantage” over home exercises alone at 12 weeks, but not at the 52 week follow-up.
- At the 12-week follow-up, the chiropractic patients had less back pain, less disability, better overall improvement, and better patient satisfaction.
- At the 1-year follow-up, the patients who received chiropractic care maintained their overall improvement and satisfaction with care.
- There were no serious adverse effects due to chiropractic adjustments during the study.
The authors concluded that chiropractic and home exercises combined, “is a safe and effective conservative treatment approach, resulting in better short-term outcomes,” than exercise alone.
If you suffer from back pain, it’s important to know that you have options. Chiropractic can give you relief and help you avoid chronic pain.