Maintaining a healthy spine is crucial for a strong back and neck. In fact, not properly caring for the spine could lead to chronic back pain, neck pain, and even headaches. These are common reasons to see a chiropractor. Doctors of chiropractic, or DCs, are trained healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders. They often treat patients through spine manipulation therapy, massage, heat and ice therapy, and exercise. If you experience persistent back or neck aches, it may be a good time to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. 1. Back Pain Back pain can result from injuries sustained in a car accident or can result from something as simple as lifting something heavy. Strained muscles and ligaments, ruptured disks, irritated joints, poor posture, and excess body weight all can lead to chronic back pain. Just as there are several causes of back pain, there are also different treatment options. Generally speaking, back pain can be alleviated with a combination of medical care, exercise, chiropractic care, medication, and in extreme cases, surgery. Research published in April 2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that spinal manipulation can offer a modestly effective alternative to medications in treating back pain. 2. Headaches Whether a dull, throbbing pain or a blinding pain combined with nausea, a headache is something no one wants to endure. Headaches may be triggered by specific foods, neck pain, external stimulation (think bright lights, loud noises, or certain odors), or health problems like insomnia or hormonal fluctuations. However, chiropractic care could help alleviate headaches. In fact, a 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found chiropractic treatment could reduce neck pain that leads to tension headaches and other headache pain that stems from neck pain. A 2011 study in the same journal also found chiropractic care could reduce migraine and cervicogenic headaches. 3. Behavioral Disorders While behavioral and brain disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have known treatments and medications, not all treatments and medications work the same for each person. In the case of ADHD, the pattern of inattention or hyperactivity that disrupts day-to-day functions varies from patient to patient, and, thus, makes it difficult to prescribe an effective, ongoing treatment. However, research shows chiropractic care may help. In one study, a 5-year-old boy diagnosed with ADHD for a one-year period received chiropractic care including spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue therapy and stretching. During that time, the child saw improvement in his ADHD symptoms, which suggests chiropractic care could be a promising option in ADHD management. 4. Pregnancy It’s no secret women carry extra weight during a pregnancy; however, this extra weight of the baby (or babies) often contributes to health problems such as frequent back pain, a misaligned pelvis, and even undue stress on the uterus and supporting ligaments. These ailments could lead to more serious problems, such as a breech birth. To help promote a healthy pregnancy, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association recommends women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to promote proper pelvis alignment and reduce stress on the uterus. Regular chiropractic care during pregnancy could lead to optimal baby positioning, which could result in an easier delivery that is safe for both mother and baby. Talk to your Ob/Gyn before beginning any chiropractic care. 5. Sports Performance Not surprisingly, athletes put a lot of stress on their bodies regardless of the sport they play. From the hard hits sustained in football or the increased stress on joints during gymnastics to the repetitive motions of a baseball pitcher, sports leave their mark on the body from head to toe, inside and out. As a result, chiropractic care such as spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue therapy, and stretching are commonplace in the treatment of athletes at both the amateur and professional level. In fact, many high school and college athletic programs include chiropractic care in their routine course training as do most, if not all, professional sports teams. Chiropractic care can provide relief for a variety of joint and muscle symptoms. Always talk to your primary care physician about any additional specialists you see, including a chiropractor. Together, you all can work toward your goal of a strong and healthy body and mind.