Inflammation is the body’s response to infection, injury or irritation. It induces redness, swelling and pain, sometimes rendering the affected area nonfunctional. Acute inflammation – such as what happens after you sprain your ankle or get a mosquito bite – is your body’s attempt at preserving itself. This type of inflammation helps remove harmful irritants and pathogens so the healing process can begin. Healthy, beneficial swelling dissipates with time and treatment.
Chronic inflammation is different. This is when the body generates a stronger-than-necessary inflammatory response due to an imbalanced immune system or a condition that causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue. Certain foods, lack of sleep and high stress all increase the risk of chronic inflammation.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis or another condition associated with chronic inflammation, chiropractic care could be very beneficial. Consider the role a chiropractor plays in reducing inflammation.
Chiropractic Adjustments Help Reduce Inflammatory Agents
The primary purpose of chiropractic care is to realign the vertebrae in your spine to reduce pressure on the nerves and promote a healthy nervous system. When the spine and other joints are properly aligned, and your nerves function as they should, your body’s biomechanics return to normal. This stops the production of neuropeptides, which can help reduce inflammation.
Chiropractic adjustments may also help reduce the production of cytokines, proteins that regulate the cells of the immune system. When cytokines build up, they can cause a severe inflammatory response. Preliminary studies suggest that chiropractics may help not only the affected areas but other parts of the body as well.
Chiropractors Can Offer Lifestyle Advice
Along with offering beneficial spinal adjustments, chiropractors can further assist in the fight against chronic inflammation by suggesting lifestyle changes. Receive personalized advice on the following topics the next time you visit a chiropractor:
- Anti-inflammation diet: A nutrient-dense, low-calorie diet comprised largely of fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish can help reduce inflammation. Your chiropractor may also suggest taking vitamin D, magnesium and fish oil supplements to help promote joint health.
- Exercise: Physical exercise promotes healthy bodily functions and reduces inflammation. Make time for 30 minutes of aerobics and 15 minutes of weight training four to five days a week.
- Weight loss: If you’re overweight, your body is naturally more inflammatory. Losing weight with diet and exercise can help decrease this.
- Stress management: Your chiropractor may suggest techniques for managing your stress, such as meditating, doing yoga or trying other techniques. Getting enough sleep can also help you tackle stressful situations more effectively.
If you deal with a chronic inflammatory disease, chiropractic care can go a long way toward easing your symptoms. A balanced approach that includes chiropractics, proper nutrition, exercise and effective stress management can lead to an all-around healthier you.
For more information about reducing inflammation, or to schedule a chiropractic visit, please contact Effective Integrative Healthcare today. We are conveniently located in Crofton, Millersville and Lanham, MD to better serve you.