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Can An Adjustment Improve Your Mood?

Woman at chiropractor
Back pain tends to be annoying, painful, and difficult to deal with on your own. The various over-the-counter options seem intent to help soothe the pain, but they seldom seem to quite get to the root of the problem. That leads us to seek out a professional who can. For many, that involves making an appointment with a chiropractor. A chiropractic adjustment often seems to be just the thing needed to help banish unwanted back pain and that is enough to improve anyone’s outlook on life for a little while. But what would you say if an adjustment could improve your mood without you being in pain? That seems a little out there, but some chiropractors swear that they can do this and other generalized health improvements simply by providing you with the right kind of adjustment. This seems appealing as it means bypassing the pills and appointments of a conventional doctor, but is there anything to it? Let’s take a closer look.

The Spinal Key
At its beginnings, chiropractic began with the idea that the spinal column is the key to human health. Obviously a mistaken twist can bring things out of alignment and cause pain, but chiropractic thought saw that as part of a larger picture. The pain caused in that case was just one of the many kinds of dysfunction that a misaligned spine could cause. These ideas centered on the idea that such misalignment actually disrupted the flow of vital energy throughout the body and blocks resulted in various misfires throughout the body. A famous early case centered on the apparent restoration of a man’s hearing by an adjustment. The problem is that this strain of chiropractic thought is, in essence, a form of energy medicine. It relies on a force that can be neither observed nor tested. This has lead it to clash with conventional medicine over the years and actually lead chiropractors to evolve their thought over the years.

A Modern Dysfunction
Chiropractic care’s many changes over the years have lead to a decided split between those that favor chiropractic as energy medicine and those who view it as a form of physical therapy. Most people go to see chiropractors with the latter beliefs these days and spinal adjustments are covered for that very reason. We can clearly tell that there is at least some benefit to the physical therapy aspects. Most people don’t see the hidden conflict in the field where schools and professionals regularly disagree on the nature of their field. There are still plenty in practice who legitimately believe that a spinal adjustment can do things like helping fight depression, ADHD, or even menstrual cramps. None of this is supported by sufficient evidence and is generally a sign that a chiropractor isn’t the most qualified professional available if they begin to suggest this. In general, you’ll want to stick to the side of chiropractic that doesn’t favor energy medicine if you want true results.

Cautious Optimism
It is important to note here that, yes, chiropractic adjustments when performed strictly as physical therapy do appear to have some benefits for things such as lower back pain. This does need to be tempered with the fact that it is still on the outside of conventional medicine. Despite its potential benefits, there is potential for danger when it comes to receiving an adjustment. Manipulating the spine in that way is a risky option even at the best of times. Training can minimize the potential for issues, but the chance is never zero. While major issues seldom come up, there are plenty of complications that can result from chiropractic manipulation. These can include more pain or a new pain surfacing. Some people have even reported headaches. The key is to avoid any chiropractor who looks to manipulate your upper back as that area brings with it the most chances for truly profound negative results such as partial paralysis or other forms of permanent damage. Chiropractors do not keep sufficient records to know the act risks, but it is always best to approach things from an informed position before making a decision.

Chiropractors can potentially do good when it comes to helping ease lower back pain. Their potential usefulness outside of that is hampered by beliefs in energy medicine holding back and discrediting their profession, inaccurate reporting of results both positive and negative, and the simple fact that some forms of spinal manipulation are genuinely dangerous. You might experience a boost in mood from the easing of lower back pain, but don’t expect such an adjustment to improve issues beyond physical pain.

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