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Can Chiropractic Adjustments Improve Well Being? 

 February 16, 2010

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Subluxations are linked to a wide variety of physical health issues.  Put simply, if you have a subluxation you have an area in your spine in which the spinal bones (vertebrae) are not moving correctly due to misalignment or previous injury.  The problem then becomes irritation or pressure the subluxtion puts on the nerves or spinal cord.  The chiropractic adjustment is the method a chiropractor uses to correct subluxations.  At Stover Chiropractic, Dr. Stover uses a variety of adjusting techniques.  The most specialized of them is orthospinology.  It is a type of upper cervical adjustment that is very specific and gentle.

The literature is full of studies and case studies that demonstrate patients not only recover symptomatically, but gain an all over sense of well being, as compared to the beginning of treatment.  One such case study evaluated a 26 year old woman with multiple subluxations.  She registered low scores on two quality of life measurements.

After nine months of chiropractic care (moving from active to maintenance care) the subluxations were significantly reduced.  While at the same time her well being increased.  An evaluation called “The Quality of Well-Being Scale” showed a jump from 1.1 to 8.2 after chiropractic care.  In fact, her mental health composite score on the assessment improved from 25.3 to 62.8.  “The patient appeared to experience improvement in quality of life while showing signs suggestive of improved spinal function.  “The relationship between indicators of vertebral subluxation and quality of life deserves further investigation using a research design that allows for exploration of possible causal relationships” was the summary statement by the researchers (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005;28:136-42) [JVSR].

Another interesting study, that was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research 2007;1-7, followed 10 volunteers who held stressful jobs that taxed their emotional health.  They then underwent weekly chiropractic care for correction of vertebral subluxations.  When the quality-of-life questionnaires from the beginning of the study were compared to the end, the result were significant.  Physically there was improved range of motion, spinal balance, tendon reflexes, and posture.  But most exciting was the dramatic increase in all aspects of well being.

These are not unusual findings.  The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research is just one of several journals to showcase research of this type.  It logically follows that if chiropractic care seems to improve well being, it will help, to some degree, conditions like, depression and anxiety.  In fact this has been demonstrated.  JVSR has research published 2008 and 2004 respectively.

It is important to note that these benefits do not happen overnight.  The authors of one study conclude chiropractic care provided “significant benefits” in well-being, not instantly, but over time.  “Study data suggested that health/wellness may accrue with time under care.”  For some this is disappointing because we naturally want quick fixes.  However, keep in mind most psychotropic medications are prescribed to be taken daily with no end in site either.  So if one is looking for a non pharmacological option, chiropractic may be an option to consider with your doctor.

This information was first distributed as an Optimal Health University newsletter at Stover Chiropractic, P.C.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.


Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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