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Chiropractic medicine is a healthcare specialty that focuses on the health of the human spine, which affects the functioning of the nerves, bones and muscles. The goal of chiropractic care is to realign skeletal misalignments, also known as subluxations, which comprise overall health and wellbeing.
Chiropractic care is often used as a treatment for pain or discomfort in the back, neck or joints, as well as headaches and various disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Spinal manipulation can also improve blood circulation and relieve pain and stiffness throughout the body.
The human spine contains neurotransmitters – chemical substances that act as messengers by transmitting information between the body and brain. Misalignment can prevent neurotransmitters from firing properly, thus interfering with the entire process.
Proper alignment of the spine can relieve a great deal of pressure within the body by promoting proper transmission of information. Proper alignment contributes to sense of peace and calm that may help with symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. As a result, cravings are minimized and the chance of engaging fully in treatment is enhanced.
Chiropractic isn’t a stand-alone treatment or a “cure” for addiction or substance use disorders. However, it has proven to be effective when used in conjunction with traditional forms of drug and alcohol treatment.
Chiropractic medicine can also be of great benefit by relieving pain and discomfort that often occurs during the detox process.
Your chiropractor will begin by looking for any skeletal problems or misalignments. Even if you are unaware of their existence, misalignments will detract from your overall health and wellbeing.
Once the practitioner has identified the problem, treatment consists of use of gentle force to manipulate and adjust the spine. Treatment isn’t painful, but you may feel a little stiff and sore the next day.
Chiropractic treatment may also include stretching, massage, application of ice and heat, relaxation techniques and electrical muscle stimulation. Your chiropractor may offer counseling on nutrition, exercise, lifestyle modifications and healthy habits.
Many addiction treatment centers have a chiropractor on staff or on call. Be sure the chiropractor is properly licensed and has experience working with substance abuse and addiction. Avoid any practitioner who makes unrealistic promises or claims of miracle cures.