5 Reasons to Add Chiropractic to Your 2020 Self-Care Regimen

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Self-Care is the trending buzzphrase for the 2020s, shifting our focus away from cosmetic interventions, multi-tasking and extreme workouts, and zeroing in on stress management, inner healing and raising our collective vibe. An important element of self-care is staying connected to your body and tapping into its intrinsic healing mechanisms.

Chiropractic care is a holistic approach to health and wellness that acknowledges the interdependence of all your body’s systems. Unlike traditional medical care that breaks your body down into isolated organs, structures and systems, chiropractic care respects the interconnectedness of your entire organism and seeks to promote harmony among its various components.

Contrary to popular belief, chiropractors do much more than treat back pain. A reputable, experienced and well-trained chiropractor can help relieve aches and pains throughout your body, and facilitate optimal alignment for more fluid and efficient movement. Think of regular chiropractic care as a tune-up for your body, much like regularly scheduled maintenance for your car.

Here are 5 reasons to make chiropractic care part of your self-care toolkit for the 2020s:

1. Look and Feel Younger

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As you age, your joints and muscles gradually become stiffer, limiting your range of motion and reducing your ability to maintain a healthy gait. Imbalances arise that throw your joints out of alignment, increasing your risk of falls and injury. The good news is that today’s aging adults are rejecting sickness and disability as inevitable consequences of getting older. Rather than popping pills and relying on canes and walkers to get around, older adults are taking proactive measures to slow and prevent physical and mental decline.

Chiropractic care helps realign your joints, bones and muscles, restoring balance and promoting fluid movement that makes you look and feel younger. But that is just the beginning. Regular chiropractic treatments can promote healthy neurological function and help you stay physically active, so you can maintain strength, flexibility and balance. In its recent White Paper, the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) lists healthy aging as a priority area of focus for chiropractic practitioners.

2. Beef Up Your Immune System

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Your ability to fight off invading pathogens like bacteria and viruses relies on intricate communication between your body and your central nervous system. Your central nervous system is linked to both your bone marrow and your thymus, where immune cells are produced, and to the spleen and lymph nodes where they are stored. Because your CNS is housed in your spinal canal, proper alignment and optimal mobility in that region is fundamental to immune system function.

A 3-year study by Dr. Ronald Pero, PhD, Chief of Cancer Prevention at New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute and professor of medicine at New York University, gives impressive insight into the effectiveness of chiropractic for immune system function. The study found that the cells responsible for engulfing and destroying viruses, bacteria, parasites and cancer cells are anywhere from 2 times to 4 times more active in people who get regular chiropractic treatment.

3. Improve Athletic Performance

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Whether you are an elite athlete, a weekend warrior or a dedicated gym rat, efficient pain-free movement is fundamental to optimal performance. When your movement is hindered by misalignment, nerve compression and muscle imbalances, your performance declines and your risk of injury goes up. Inefficient motor patterns during training can establish poor habits that undermine performance and prevent you from achieving your fitness goals.

Many elite athletes depend on chiropractic care to keep them at their peak. In fact, every NFL team employs full time chiropractors to keep players in top condition and reduce their risk of injury. Tom Brady, Christiano Rinaldo, Roger Federer, Michael Phelps and a host of other pro athletes include chiropractic care as a routine part of their performance protocol. You don’t have to be a pro athlete to move like one. Chiropractic care can keep you in prime shape for the game of life at any age.

4. Enhance Brain Function

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The relationship between your spine and brain is indisputable. Your brain is an intrinsic part of your central nervous system, much of which is encased within your spinal canal. Your nervous system is an information highway that continually sends messages back and forth between your body and brain. When the nerves descending from your brain are compressed or irritated due to spinal misalignment, it directly affects your cognitive function, which in turn impacts your entire organism.

A 2014 study by Gay et al. found that spinal mobilization therapy had an immediate effect on the functional connectivity between regions of the brain that process and modulate pain, with a significant reduction in the intensity of exercise-induced pain. In addition, it was found that spinal manipulation impacts regions of the brain responsible for emotions, learning, motivation, memory and decision making.

5. Sleep Better and Have More Energy

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Sleep disturbances and insomnia plague millions, and sleep deprivation has far-reaching repercussions for immunity, cognition and a plethora of health concerns. It has even been linked to obesity. Many things contribute to sleep deprivation, including stress, sleep apnea, muscle tension and aches and pains. Poor sleep affects your mood, reduces your performance and makes you look haggard — we all need our beauty sleep! Chronic sleep deprivation saps your energy, keeping you from enjoying life to its fullest.

Spinal misalignment places pressure on nerves, keeping them in a heightened state of stimulation that makes it difficult for muscles to relax. When the CNS is perpetually stimulated, it becomes impossible for your brain and body to succumb to quality slumber that refreshes and restores cellular processes throughout your body. Chiropractic care improves both your quality and quantity of sleep by relieving pressure on your nervous system and promoting the release of sleep hormones, so you can enjoy all the benefits of a good night’s sleep.

Self-Care for the 2020s

Self-care is all about enjoying the very best quality of life by taking care of you. Bringing out your best self improves your relationships, makes you better equipped to help and serve others, and can even increase your income. No matter where you are in your life’s journey, chiropractic is a self-care tool that offers multiple benefits, to help keep you youthful, happy and healthy, year after year. If you need a chiropractor in NYC, the NYDNRehab team would be happy to meet you in our clinic.

About the Author

Dr. Lev Kalika is clinical director of NYDNRehab, located in Manhattan. Lev Kalika is the author of multiple medical publications and research, and an international expert in the field of rehabilitative sonography, ultrasound guided dry needling and sports medicine Dr. Kalika works with athletes, runners, dancers and mainstream clients to relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, enhance performance and minimize the risk of injuries. His clinic features some of the most technologically advanced equipment in the world, rarely found in a private clinic.

Resources:

Gay, Charles W., et al. “Immediate changes after manual therapy in resting-state functional connectivity as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging in participants with induced low back pain.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 37.9 (2014): 614-627.

Pero, R. “Boosting Immunity Through Chiropractic.” East-West Magazine (1988).

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

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Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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