Stress and Chiropractic Care

The human body and all of its functions are incredibly complex. We have the ability to adapt to physical, mental, and chemical stress at a fundamental level. Our lifestyles create or diminish stress depending on diet, physical activity, attitude, posture, past history of trauma, and the environment we live in. The autonomic nervous system is the primary portion of the nervous system that helps our body recognize the interactions we have with our environment in the form of short term stress and long term or chronic stress.

Businessmen dealing with a stressful situation at work.We have a particular response pattern to sudden or severe stress called the "Fight or Flight" mechanism. The sympathetic nervous system is the primary portion of the autonomic nervous system that helps us deal with or adapt to changes in our environment. The responsibility of the sympathetic nervous system in times of stress is to allow our bodies to continue to self-regulate. The best way to evaluate stress is by intensity, frequency, and duration.

In a healthy individual, the nervous system will adapt to stress based on intensity or severity, the frequency of exposure, and the duration of the stress. In severe cases, the sympathetic nervous system will create the "Fight or Flight" response. During "Fight or Flight," the body will go into a defensive mode and out of a growth mode. This is a very beneficial state during short term stress but a very bad state to be in throughout life.

During a stressful event, our bodies will release stress hormones, primarily adrenaline and cortisol for increased energy and short bursts of physical activity. The blood vessels will constrict around our organs and blood will be delivered to the muscles to help us get away from stress quickly and efficiently. Our heart rate will increase and our breathing will become shallow.

We will become more acutely aware of our environment, but have less ability to consciously make decisions. The body and mind at this time are not in a "normal" state because the order of the moment is to survive the event, not to thrive, grow, or repair tissue.

The problem we run into is when we have chronic long-term, low-intensity stress and the nervous system adopts a prolonged sympathetic dominant state. Meaning, the body will react to the long-term stress with a “Fight or Flight” response.

Lady facing a stressful decision.When the body has accumulated stress and the nervous system learns a pattern of prolonged stress responses, the only outcome can and will be a state of imbalance and eventual disease. The majority of the diseases that affect most people are caused by the stress response, not a lack of medicine or pills.

Does chronic "Fight or Flight" sound like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, depression, ADHD, etc…? When you are "running from a tiger" does your body care about immune function?

So why do we have more people than ever taking medicine for high blood pressure, hypertension, mental disorders, diabetes, cancer, ulcers and the list goes on? We have become a nation that attempts to treat disease instead of detecting and correcting the cause.

Benefits of Managing Stress

  • A stronger immune system for fighting disease
  • Lower risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses
  • Reduced burnout at work and in your personal life
  • Increased productivity and awareness due to increased blood flow and oxygen to the critical areas of your brain

If you have uncontrolled stress and/or your nervous system has interference or imbalance causing it to react or respond in sick or diseased patterns, you may not know it until symptoms show up.

The key is to act now, have a thorough health evaluation so you can understand how to develop long term healthy lifestyle patterns and enjoy a life of health and well-being. Healthy diet, exercise, and chiropractic adjustments allow for your nervous system to function at it’s best. When your nervous system is at its optimum, your “Fight or Flight” responses will be normal, and your risk of chronic disease plummets.

Stress and Chiropractic Care

Stress can be a source of many physical and mental problems. As chiropractors, stress is one of the most common causes of subluxations (misalignments) in the spine that we treat on a daily basis.

Stress is often carried as tension in the back and neck areas. This constant strain will actually cause your spine to become misaligned, which can lead to many other problems. When your spine has subluxations it negatively affects the way your central nervous system responds to your body, and weakens your immune system.

It is important to meet with your chiropractor when you are trying to manage your stress. By the time you feel your stress needs to be better managed, subluxations may have already occurred in your spine. Arrange an appointment with Tuckahoe Family Chiropractic to properly assess your spine. We will gently adjust any subluxations or misalignments to your spine, and help reduce your stress.

Many people experience stress in their lives on a daily basis, and need to find constructive ways to reduce and manage their stress before their health is negatively affected. Call Tuckahoe Family Chiropractic at 804-740-3434 for a consultation. Let us help you find ways to reduce your stress. If any of your friends and family can benefit from this article, please recommend this article to them.

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The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.