Inflammation is a major topic in health circles because of how large a role it plays in several serious diseases. It is associated with some of the world’s most feared diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It plays a significant part in Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis as well. The problem of chronic inflammation is a common one but most treatments focus on addressing the symptoms instead of the cause. A chiropractor will be able to help deal with the source of the problem instead of masking its symptoms.
Causes of Inflammation
Inflammation is how the body protects itself from illness and infection by viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Typical signs of inflammation are swelling and redness. In some cases, it can be severe enough to render the affected body part unusable. It’s the method that the immune system uses to fight off irritants that have the potential to kill us. In this sense, inflammation is useful. Without it, the immune system would be unable to combat infection and the body would be unable to heal wounds
Inflammation comes from white blood cells (leukocytes) and cytokines (a kind of protein) that the body produces. The cytokines regulate the immune response but will contribute to the severity of the inflammation response as they accumulate. The body also produces neuropeptides that are among the causes of inflammation. Most of us are familiar with inflammation. It is what causes the redness and swelling after an insect bite. Under normal circumstances, inflammation will resolve itself over time and with the right treatment steps. If it doesn’t, you may be dealing with chronic inflammation.
The main objective of chiropractic care is the reduction of pressure on the spinal nerves by the realignment of your vertebrae. This realignment will help to ensure the health of your nervous system. Your body’s function will return to normal once your joints are properly aligned.
What is chronic inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is a long-term response by your immune system. It could be considered an overreaction by your body where your immune system starts to attack healthy tissue. Patients can suffer from it for years. Chronic inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. In the case of chronic inflammation, the immune system is triggered without there being a specific cause. There are numerous possible symptoms of chronic inflammation. They can include swollen and painful joints, irritable bowels and high blood pressure.
The root of chronic inflammation can lie in many different areas of your lifestyle. Diet, level of physical activity and even sleeping habits can all play roles. Asthma and frequent infections may also be indicators of chronic inflammation.
Standard Treatments for Inflammation
Most people are faced with inflammation, they will turn to drugs. The most common medications used to treat the condition are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In the short term, NSAIDs can provide relief from pain and inflammation but they won’t treat the underlying problems that cause them. NSAIDs also have the potential to cause other serious health problems if you take too much of them or take them too often. This group of medications has been associated with symptoms ranging from stomach damage to kidney damage in some people. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the stomach problem risk is multiplied for people who take NSAIDs regularly.
How Chiropractic Helps with Chronic Inflammation
While the connection between chiropractic and inflammation might not seem obvious at first, it has been shown to provide relief for chronic inflammation symptoms. One University of Quebec study found that markers of inflammation interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were returned to normal levels by spinal manipulation.
How Chiropractors Treat Inflammation
The first step your chiropractor will take will involve looking carefully at your medical history then they will examine you for symptoms of inflammation. The physical exam will help your chiropractor to decide which treatment is the right one for you. To treat 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. Low-intensity ultrasound can reduce inflammation in joints. according to a study from the University of Tokushima. Along with fighting inflammation, it is also able to 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. It is believed that TENS treats soft tissue injuries and can 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 is not limited to spinal adjustments. Chiropractors have more than 150 techniques at their disposal that they can use to adjust your joints and muscles.
A Balanced Chiropractic Treatment Plan for Inflammation
Your chiropractor may compose a treatment plan to treat your chronic inflammation as well as its source. The treatment plan will often include spinal manipulation but may also include lifestyle changes that will help to 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 that consists of highly nutritious anti-inflammatory foods may help to 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 also 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 inflammation.
Being overweight can make you more predisposed to suffering from inflammation. Your chiropractor may 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 be beneficial for stress reduction.
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 provide guidance on developing healthy sleep habits such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule.
Drinking more water can help to balance your pH in addition to keeping 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.
When the inflammation stems from autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, a chiropractor may refer their patient to a specialist such as a rheumatologist. While chiropractors can recognize these ailments, they cannot diagnose them. When the causes of inflammation are diagnosed, a chiropractor will be able to help the patient manage symptoms like pain and disability.
Call Dean Chiropractic Today
If you are dealing with chronic inflammation, chiropractic care may help you to find relief from your symptoms. A chiropractor will take a balanced approach that will use nutrition and exercise along with chiropractic treatment to improve your overall health. Give us a call today, so we can help you