Spinal Adjustments to Treat Depression

Like it or not, depression is big money for the pharmaceutical industry. Two of the top five best-selling drugs for 2012, Abilify and Cymbalta, are designed to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions. It seems rather obvious that the pharmaceutical industry has a vested monetary interest in keeping patients dependent on their products.

Unfortunately, these mood-stabilizing drugs come at a steep price beyond just dollars and cents. They all have potentially dangerous side effects that may be worse than the actual condition they are treating. Furthermore, because treating depression is not an exact science, no two patients will react the same way to the same medication. A medication that helps one patient may be intolerable for another. Finding just the right drug (or combination of drugs) to treat depression can be an emotional rollercoaster.

Is There Another Way?

Patients may be asking if there is another way to treat their depression. Dr. Nathen Horst believes that proper chiropractic spinal adjustments can provide a natural, safe way to treat mood disorders, without the harmful side effects of drugs.

Research has shown that even mild trauma to the head, upper back, or neck can reduce the amount of the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin that the brain produces. Patients with depression generally have lower levels of serotonin. A spinal adjustment will release tension and stiffness in muscles, which releases the pressure on the nervous system, thereby allowing the nerves to release more serotonin.

What Does the Research Say?

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Vertebral Sublaxation Research looked at 15 patients with clinical depression. All patients were given a questionnaire to rate their depression symptoms both before and two weeks after an upper cervical (neck) spinal adjustment. Eleven of the 15 patients showed a marked improvement in their depression symptoms following the chiropractic adjustment.

A 2008 study in the same journal presented a case of a 46-year-old man suffering from major depression, along with neck and back pain. He completed a mood assessment questionnaire and then underwent 34 chiropractic spinal treatments over the course of 11 months. At the end of the treatment sessions, both his depression and his neck and back pain had substantially improved. The authors noted that spinal adjustments are a key component to regulating serotonin levels in the brain, as well as mental, social, and physical well-being.

A third study in the same journal presented another case of a 36-year-old man suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, and leg pain. He underwent 56 spinal adjustments for 11 months. At the end of the treatment sessions, the patient reported significant improvement in his pain, mood, and overall well-being.

Those who suffer from depression often also suffer from physical symptoms, such as chronic pain, fatigue, or muscle weakness. Proper chiropractic care, including regular spinal adjustments, can treat physical, mental, and emotional problems in a safe, natural manner, without unwanted side effects from medications. Chiropractic care is much more than just a physical therapy. Rather, it encompasses an entire lifestyle of health and wellness.

Contact Horst Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment.

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