Is There A Medical Link Between Addiction and Chiropractic Care?
There are a wealth of holistic options for recovering addicts, but addiction and chiropractic care are two concepts that you don’t often see paired together. The connection might not be obvious at first. When people think of chiropractic treatment, back issues are usually the first thing that comes to mind. It’s true that chiropractors focus on alignment of the spine, but this is done to address issues throughout the body by restoring the proper function of the nervous system.
So how does this translate into benefits for those in recovery? The following are the main links between chiropractic and addiction recovery.
The Neural Connection
One of the chief purposes of getting the vertebrae in the spine and joints aligned properly is to keep the “wiring” running from the brain and central nervous system to the rest of the body in its best possible functioning state. To simplify it as much as possible, these various alignment issues that build up over time can actually cause the body’s internal systems to lose their ability to communicate with each other. It’s similar to partially blocking or interrupting a radio or electronic signal.
Drug addiction is all about a disruption of the neurons and the neurotransmitters they produce. Drug abuse is the process of overloading neurons to cause them to function in an unnatural way, producing too many “feel good” hormones and keeping them in circulation for longer than is normal. The reason recovery is often so painful and difficult is because the neural system has been physically altered, and has to gradually restore itself to a more normal state.
Addiction and chiropractic care are thus linked by the chiropractic focus on clearing the way for neurotransmitters, ensuring that physical complications from misalignment of vertebrae aren’t making the body’s natural recovery process tougher. In short, it’s possible for chiropractic care to lessen the trying symptoms of recovery and speed up the process of normalizing the body’s internal systems again.
Pain Treatment Without Pills
Many recovering addicts have physical pain issues they still need to address while in recovery. In fact, inadequate treatment of chronic pain is often what sets people down the path to drug abuse in the first place.
This can create a real problem for the person in recovery. The only real effective prescription for chronic pain management in most circumstances is pain pills based on opiates, which of course are highly addictive in their own right.
Chiropractic care uses no addictive medications and has proven to be highly effective in addressing a number of chronic conditions. It’s not able to eliminate every type of chronic pain, but those in recovery who are experiencing pain tied to the back or joints may very well benefit from it without having to rely on dangerous medications.
Chiropractic treatment isn’t limited to working out kinks in the back and stiff joints. Many people also undergo treatment for psychological symptoms, like anxiety and depression. There is a link between unnatural pressure on the spine and psychological symptoms, particularly when it comes to anxiety issues. While there’s no guarantee that chiropractic can alleviate these symptoms, it has worked for a variety of patients.
As with physical pain treatment, this is of great potential benefit to addicts who are self-medicating to deal with their psychological symptoms. The link between chiropractic and addiction treatment appears to be individualized and will not work in every case, but if it does work it eliminates the need for medications and the potentially long process of trying combinations of meds to see which work the best. When you’re fighting to prevent relapse, and treatment time that can be saved is a major advantage.
Addiction and Chiropractic Care: An Unconventional Connection
Though the connection between the two might not be immediately apparent, chiropractic has turned out to be a key component of the overall recovery program for many patients. It is important to note that not all primary care doctors endorse chiropractic and it may potentially conflict with existing conditions or other forms of treatment, so it is best to speak to your regular physician before going in for a treatment. Enough patients have reported improvements that it’s safe to say chiropractic and addiction recovery can work very well together.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.