Fatigue is becoming more and more common among patients. According to the American Family Physician, one-fifth of patients who see a family physician list fatigue as one of their complaints. Furthermore, as many as one-third of all adolescents who see a family physician will report feeling fatigued for at least four days out of the week. Another study reports that more than 6 percent of the general population currently suffers from some form of fatigue, and that 25 percent of people will experience fatigue at some time in their life. Furthermore, more than 15 percent of people will suffer from fatigue that cannot be medically identified.
All of this fatigue adds up to lost productivity, increased risk for accidents, and other health issues such as weight gain. Dr. Horst sees many patients at his practice who are looking to boost their energy and stamina levels. Fortunately, chiropractic spinal adjustments provide a safe, effective way to combat fatigue.
Definition of Fatigue
There is often confusion between the definitions of fatigue and sleepiness. According to American Family Physician, fatigue is often defined as “a lack of energy, mental exhaustion, poor muscle endurance, delayed recovery after physical exertion, and non-restorative sleep.” By comparison, sleepiness usually involves a tendency to fall asleep during the day and difficulty waking up or remaining awake. Furthermore, patients who complain of sleepiness will often feel restored after a nap and can be roused by activity, while those with fatigue will still not feel rested after a nap, and may feel even more fatigued following activity.
Types of Fatigue
There are three main classifications of fatigue: Secondary, physiologic, and chronic. Secondary fatigue is generally related to a medical condition and may last for one to six months. It can generally be resolved by treating the underlying illness and eliminating any medications thought to induce drowsiness. Physiologic fatigue is due to an imbalance in exercise, sleep, and diet that does not have an underlying medical cause. It is usually resolved by changes in lifetyle routines. Chronic fatigue lasts for six months or longer, and is not alleviated by rest.
Spinal Adjustments to Treat Fatigue
If the vertebrae of the spine are out of alignment, it puts excessive strain on the muscles in an attempt to compensate for the misalignment. Keeping the muscles and surrounding ligaments and tendons in tension can be the root cause for fatigue. A good analogy for this is to think of it like carrying around a 10-pound bowling ball all the time. After a while, the arm and shoulder muscles will get sore from the effort required to hold the ball.
Putting the spine back into proper alignment will release all that stress and strain on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This will, in turn, allow the nervous system to once again send proper signals to those muscles, which may help provide patients with more energy and stamina.
Dr. Horst recommends patients have regular spinal adjustments, in conjunction with a regular exercise routine, proper sleep and a balanced diet, in order to combat the effects of fatigue.