Seeing a chiropractor isn’t just about getting your back cracked. (Though it feels sooooo good.) When you find the right chiropractor, you’ll also see benefits of chiropractic care that range from reducing your pain to improving your mood to saving you money.
34 powerful benefits of chiropractic care for pain patients
1. Chiropractic care provides powerful pain relief
Some studies have found that chiropractic care can reduce pain even more effectively than medications. A study in 2012 found that spinal manipulation was more effective than medication for acute neck pain. An earlier study in 2013 found that not only did patients with neck pain show faster improvement with chiropractic treatments but also that they paid less for their treatment overall. We’ve recently rounded up even more research backing the use of chiropractic to help relieve pain in our post “6 New Chiropractic Pain Management Research Findings.”
Dr. Axe also provides more research showing the benefits of chiropractic care for:
2. Chiropractors treat the causes of pain, not the symptoms
Chiropractic care can’t cure everything. In many cases, though, it can reverse the cause of some of your pain. If your neck is out of whack, taking a painkiller will treat the symptoms – but seeing a chiropractor might just correct the cause of the pain. They look specifically to the nervous system of the body. This system controls everything, from reflexive responses like breathing to every movement we make. Since nerves run up the spine and radiate out through the body, chiropractors believe that spine health is everything.
You can learn more about the basics of chiropractic care from this informational video from Palmer College of Chiropractic.
3. Drug-free pain management
Pain patients tend to be very familiar with pain medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, but chiropractic adjustments can provide totally drug-free pain relief. It’s a great option for anyone interested in reducing medication use. Chiropractic doctors utilize this drug-free approach since they treat the whole body as an holistic system, focusing less on symptoms and more on maintaining a healthy body. It’s the foundation for their approach to patient care. Although there are various techniques that chiropractors use to treat patients, none of them are as invasive as surgery, and patients report few, if any, side effects as are common with medications. For many patients, this one of the most important benefits of chiropractic care.
4. Chiropractic complements other pain treatments
Managing discomfort as a chronic pain patient often means utilizing a variety of different therapies, such as nerve blocks, oral medications, or transcutaneous electrical nervous stimulation (TENS). Because chiropractic care is drug-free, it can be used in conjunction with almost any other therapy (although it’s always important to make sure your entire healthcare team is aware of all other treatments).
5. Chiropractors provide one more pain-management tool
When you live with pain on a regular basis, it’s important to have an arsenal of tools to manage that pain. Chiropractic care alone might not manage your pain condition, but it does offer one more way to reduce your pain.
6. You can find customizable treatments
Chiropractors have many different techniques and tools at their disposal. If you have mobility issues or a painful body part, let your chiropractor know. He or she will probably be able to find a way to work around the problem. This can be done by tables that are modified for specific body shapes or sizes, or tools that can soften chiropractic adjustments.
7. Chiropractic care is low risk
The most common side effect of chiropractic adjustment is some soreness or achiness at the site of the adjustment. The Mayo Clinic also notes that some patients may experience fatigue or headache after receiving chiropractic care. In some cases, worsened pain, herniated discs, or stroke are possible, but these are extremely rare.
8. Chiropractic care for back and neck pain works
Much of the research behind the benefits of chiropractic care revolve around how it can help with back or neck pain. And while it can help with many other conditions, this is certainly one of its biggest advantages since millions suffer from these two conditions. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health notes that in 2002, approximately four million people in the U.S. used chiropractic care. They note that: “Among those who had used chiropractic for back pain, 66 percent perceived ‘great benefit’ from their treatments.”
Fox News reports on the reason behind these chiropractic care benefits:
“Chiropractors are best known for safely and effectively treating acute back and neck pain, as well as headaches. Whereas a medical doctor might prescribe pain medicine, muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory drugs, and an orthopedic doctor might suggest surgery, a chiropractor will treat your back problems by hand, through manipulation of the spine.”
9. You can find help for chronic conditions, like fibromyalgia
Many pain patients struggle with hard-to-treat and invisible chronic conditions, like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Chiropractic adjustments can help ease the symptoms that are associated with these symptoms. A fibromyalgia patient in Santa Ana discusses his experience using chiropractic care for fibromyalgia.
10. Chiropractic provides options for cancer patients
The Cancer Treatment Centers of America note that one of the benefits of chiropractic care is for cancer-related symptoms and pain:
“Cancer and treatments for cancer can cause stress on the musculoskeletal system. Some cancer patients experience peripheral neuropathy, aches and pains in the neck and/or back, muscle tension, headaches, or difficulty walking. Chiropractic care can help to reduce stress and increase mobility, flexibility, strength and function, as well as help improve overall well-being.”
11. Chiropractors can prevent joint dysfunction
The Joint notes that one of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care is how it can help improve joint health by reducing dysfunction. They explain:
“Joint dysfunctions in the spine may eventually lead to symptoms in other parts or joints of the body as well. These symptoms are your body’s only way of letting you know something is wrong. Unfortunately, the absence of pain is not an indication of health. By the time pain and symptoms appear the problem may have been present for months, even years. The great news is that you can help prevent these types of symptoms and conditions with routine chiropractic care.
12. Chiropractors can treat many other conditions
Chiropractic care isn’t just for back and neck pain anymore. Chiropractic care is patient care and its benefits extend to all sorts of conditions, such as:
- Fertility issues
- Headaches or migraines
- Ear infection
- Menstrual disorders
- Gastrointestinal syndromes
The chiropractors at Georgia Neck and Back also talk about how the benefits of chiropractic care can help with conditions such as colic, multiple sclerosis, and asthma. Chiropractors generally work alongside a general practitioner to design a treatment plan that works for each patient and his or her symptoms.
13. Chiropractors can help you after work or auto accident injuries
According to Williams Integracare Clinic, one of the biggest benefits of chiropractic care is how it can help patients after a work injury or car accident. In both of these situations, chiropractors know how to help you with insurance claims. If you’re suffering from an injury from the work accident, or something like whiplash from the auto accident, a chiropractor can also help you find relief.
14. Pregnant women use chiropractic for pain relief
Chiropractic care can have many benefits for pregnant women. Our infographic explains the major benefits of chiropractic care for pregnancy. You can also visit the American Pregnancy Association for more information on finding the right chiropractor if you’re pregnant.
15. Find new complementary therapies
Many chiropractors also practice massage therapy or have TENS units in their offices, so they can incorporate these other therapies into your care. Remember, one of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care is how they treat you as the whole person–not just your symptoms. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach is part of that.
16. Chiropractors can connect you with local recommendations
Even if your chiropractor doesn’t offer a therapy you’re interested in – such as acupuncture, massage, or physical therapy – he or she probably knows someone nearby who would be a great fit for you. Chiropractors are often deeply connected with a larger healthcare community, with an emphasis on patient care, and can help you create a complete pain management team.
17. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive treatment option
Chiropractic care is based on the targeted application of pressure or movement. One of the best benefits of chiropractic care is that treatments are usually fairly fast, and you can leave almost immediately after. Right on time to enjoy the rest of your evening!
18. Chiropractors provide nutrition and exercise suggestions
If you’re a pain patient with a specific part of your body that hurts regularly, let your chiropractor know. He or she might be able to suggest a few easy, quick exercises to help control your pain at home. As WebMD also notes, many chiropractors also provide nutritional counseling that can be incorporated into your treatment plan.
19. You can improve your posture
Pain patients with sore backs may find themselves hunched over or leaning to the side. Chiropractic adjustments can help correct the painful issues, leading to much better posture. 100% Chiropractic explains that:
“Over time, regular chiropractic adjustments can help align tilting and curves in your spine and help you improve your posture. This can be particularly beneficial when it comes to the curve in your neck. Many people develop neck issues younger than ever, due to their constant position sitting in front of a computer screen or hunched over a phone. With regular chiropractic care you can improve this posture and stand taller and stronger.”
20. Chiropractors share ergonomic ideas
The culture of the U.S. has turned into a culture of sitting. Long gone are the days of physical activity from sun up to sun down. Mostly, our sun is the artificial glow of the laptop or iPod, and we sit more often than not. This culture of sitting is incredibly detrimental to our spinal health. We have developed a more forward head posture that puts pressure on our neck, up to ten pounds per inch that we are forward of proper posture. Correcting this forward slump alone is one of the benefits of chiropractic care that can result in a reduction of headaches and sinus issues as well as a drastic reduction in neck pain.
Chiropractors might be able to suggest small, personalized changes you can make at home and at work to support spinal health. Dr. Chance Moore at Arizona Pain Specialists explains how you can make a few quick adjustments to improve your office area to help you reduce pain.
21. Chiropractic care is preventative care
When the spinal cord is misaligned, it can lead to muscle stiffness or pain, pinched nerves, or other issues. Going to a chiropractor regularly can prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. Wellness Way Chiropractic discusses more reasons why chiropractic care can help with ongoing health and well-being in their blog post on the greatest benefits of chiropractic care.
22. Chiropractic care can boost your immune system
It’s true! Research has shown that people who undergo long-term chiropractic care have significantly stronger immune systems.
23. Improves mental health
There is a clear connection between the messages a brain receives and the health of the body, so it stands to reason that chiropractic treatments have benefits in the area of mental health. Although research on the effects of chiropractic treatments on mental health is scant, some argue that the health of the nervous system is intrinsically tied to the health of the brain.
It may be that chiropractic’s holistic, non-invasive approach to medical treatment is the key. Chiropractic care emphasizes a healthy, balanced life that includes proper diet and exercise as well as mental balance and clarity. Chiropractic also recognizes the important role of environment in healthcare. Chiropractors believe in the body’s ability to heal itself, and that belief may be transferred to the patient. There are even more benefits of chiropractic care for mental health.
24. Chiropractic care reduce depression risk
Arcadia Health and Wellness Chiropractic lays out many of the mental health benefits of chiropractic care, but they focus specifically how it can reduce your risk of depression. They explain that:
“When chronic pain is a part of your daily life, not only is it hard to focus but suddenly you are no longer feeling well enough to be social and take part in activities you once loved. Studies have proven that depression occurs at a rate of three to four times higher in those with chronic pain when compared to their healthier peers. The cycle of chronic pain and depression can continue on and on unless it is broken. Regular chiropractic adjustments have proven to decrease pain, depression and anxiety and allow for a healthier (mentally and physically) existence.”
Read even more in our articles that discuss the relationship between depression and chronic pain.
25. You can find a better mood, overall
Chiropractic care reduces pain and stress, which can obviously improve mood. Additionally, by working towards understanding and treating the root causes of pain instead of simply treating the sensation of pain, chiropractors may uncover valuable keys to the treatment of anxiety, another condition that is often associated with chronic pain.
For example, patients who suffer from anxiety disorders may also suffer from migraines and jaw and neck pain. This may be a direct result of the tension caused by patients who are hunched over in a “protective” stance. Chiropractic care combined with an understanding of the anxiety disorder can help a patient recognize the signs of tension and stress, and realigning the spine can help the body support itself in a healthier way. By adjusting the spine, the front of the chest opens up, and the patient may feel a new sense of confidence and less anxiety.
Chiropractic adjustments might also improve hormone balance, including the hormones involved in mood. Hosmer Chiropractic Health also discusses the mood benefits of chiropractic care in more detail.
26. Sink into relaxation
Sometimes the day-to-day can wreak havoc on you, but chiropractors’ offices are usually very quiet, serene places. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to lie down and let your chiropractor work the sore spots out of your back. Seriously, it feels amazing and those pops are soooo satisfying.
27. Chiropractic care can reduce blood pressure
MaximalHealth points out this chiropractic care benefit, noting:
“The scope of chiropractic is as broad as the scope of influence of the human nervous system. This landmark study was a randomized, controlled trial of hypertensive patients. Those in the intervention group received a form of upper cervical chiropractic care (NUCCA). The authors wrote, ‘We conclude that restoration of Atlas alignment is associated with marked and sustained reductions in BP similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy.'”
28. Find more (and better) sleep
Better moods and less pain often mean you’ll sleep more soundly and for longer. As Dr. Bill Davis explains:
“With 40 million Americans experiencing a chronic sleeping disorder and 62% of American adults experiencing problems sleeping a few nights a week, Americans desperately need to sleep better. Chiropractic has been shown to improve sleep, both in children and adults.”
On Inside Pain, we’ve focused a lot on how pain patients can improve their sleep. Sleep issues and chronic pain exacerbate each other. Getting a lock on sleep could help you reduce your pain.
29. Chiropractic care can increase energy levels
People who get chiropractic care often report more energy. Of course, the improved moods, sleep, and immune system probably help.
30. Chiropractors can help with athletic performance
Lots of top athletes undergo chiropractic care on a regular basis, since the benefits can lead to improved performance. Half of all NFL teams even have a chiropractor on staff. All American Healthcare explains the biggest benefits of chiropractic care for athletes, including:
- Undoing the punishment the body takes in sports
- Treating a variety of sports injuries
- Enhancing performance and reducing change of injury
- Reducing pain symptoms
31. Chiropractors encourage the use of holistic care
As we’ve noted (but it bears repeating again), chiropractors typically focus on the body as a whole, rather than simply focusing on the spine or neck. Mention that you’ve been feeling pain elsewhere in the body or that you’ve been sick lately, and your chiropractor might have a few suggestions for you.
32. Chiropractic can save you money
Health care is an expensive proposition these days. By the time a patient visits their doctor, then a specialist, then a physical therapist, then fills a prescription, and finds a counselor, the bill can be in the thousands with no end in sight.
However, chiropractic care has been shown to save more than 50% in drug costs in some cases. The American Chiropractic Association, through their #Chiropractic1st campaign for National Chiropractic Health Month, stress the importance of using chiropractic care as a conservative mode of treatment that can reduce healthcare costs, both from treatments and medication. The relief in your wallet may just be one of the greatest benefits of chiropractic care for you.
Some chiropractors believe that patients can eliminate all of that by receiving regular chiropractic treatments, not only to fix whatever ails them right now but also as a prophylactic response—an ounce of prevention. The initial visit may be costly, as there may be X-rays or MRIs involved, but after that, many chiropractors sell packages of treatments that can be scheduled in advanced and used as health maintenance.
Some would also argue that because chiropractors stress healthy eating and plenty of physical activity, patients will receive better (and cheaper) health benefits than just simply going to a doctor that will view the patient as a sore back or an aching neck. Chiropractors treat the whole person, not just the symptoms.
Chiropractic treatments also focus on a patient-centered approach that emphasizes early detection. If an issue arises and is caught early, regardless of what the issue is, chances are good that less medical intervention will be necessary. Less medical intervention means more money stays in the patient’s pocket. It may seem as if a biweekly adjustment on a healthy spine is a luxury, but if this visit catches and heals something early, then the benefits are enormous.
33. You may need fewer hospital visits
Researchers have found that people who see chiropractors regularly are admitted to the hospital less often. This is likely due to the reasons mentioned above, regarding preventative care and early detection of issues.
34. Chiropractic care benefits work for everyone–from kids to seniors
Dr. Naumov, on Patch.com, explains some of the benefits of chiropractic care for seniors, including reduced risk of falls and increased range of motion. Likewise, LiveStrong explains how chiropractic care for kids can be appropriate and helpful with a number of health conditions.
The history of chiropractic care
An ounce of prevention and a pound of cure all in one, chiropractic care benefits go beyond just feeling better. Developed in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, chiropractic first proved its health benefits when Harvey Lillard came to Palmer with deafness in one ear. Dr. Palmer realized a vertebra was out of place. At the same time, Palmer had a patient with a heart problem and noted the following:
“I had a case of heart trouble which was not improving. I examined the spine and found a displaced vertebra pressing against the nerves, which innervate the heart. I adjusted the vertebra and gave immediate relief — nothing “accidental” or “crude” about this. Then I began to reason if two diseases, so dissimilar as deafness and heart trouble, came from impingement, a pressure on nerves, were not other disease due to a similar cause? Thus the science (knowledge) and art (adjusting) of Chiropractic were formed at that time.”
Palmer similarly adjusted Harvey Lillard and found that Lillard’s hearing was restored. Chiropractic success stories tend to focus on amazing transformations and cures as a result of correcting vertebral subluxation, or the impingement or compression of the nerves in the spine. However, this is just one way that chiropractors work with their patients, and the benefits of chiropractic care go beyond the initial visit.
Find a chiropractor near you today
As we’ve noted, chiropractic care benefits extend to your body, mind, wallet, and so much more. Before going to a chiropractor, check with your regular physician. There are certain conditions that make it less safe to get chiropractic adjustments, such as osteoporosis or blood thinner use. When you see a new chiropractor for the first time, make sure you tell him or her about all medical conditions, medications, supplements, and concerns.
Ready to find a chiropractor near you who values patient care and compassion? Check out our post on finding a chiropractor near you, or click the button below to get in touch with one of our PainDoctor.com certified chiropractors in your area.