"I had been suffering with poor mobility, pain and PTSD ever since being blown up in Northern Ireland in 1975... I'd tried everything... then I heard about chiropractic care... it made sense so I thought I'd give it a go... I’m moving properly for the first time in three decades. Although it’s still early days, I'm sleeping again and my thoughts seem clearer. It has saved me from many more decades of suffering."
Bob McKenna, Ex-Royal Artillery Commando.
Studies are showing that the increased allostatic load associated with PTSD is liked to physical morbidity in the form of chronic musculoskeletal pain and hypertension.
Many experts now believe that chiropractic care can help to relieve chronic pain caused by injury and diseases, helping to alleviate psychological symptoms that may stem from them. Patients with PTSD are shown to be two times more likely to have a poor quality of life when experiencing chronic pain.
Studies have shown that non-invasive chiropractic treatments, such as spinal alignment and non-surgical spinal decompression, have positive benefits on patients, alleviating physical symptoms caused by carrying heavy equipment, firing heavy artillery, or from a source of mental stress.
Chiropractors can use modern neurofeedback therapy to train the brain to be in a calm state and regulate stress response, using neurofeedback treatments. In addition, the specific areas of the brain affected by PTSD can be targeted. One of the initial signs is that this helps the patient sleep better, and other symptoms begin to improve. After sufficient training, the patients can maintain a calm state by themselves. When a person has reached this stable state, neurofeedback treatments can be decreased until no further trainings are needed.
It’s important for chiropractors to identify PTSD in military personnel and those who have experienced traumatic injury. In 2012, 80% of veterans with back pain experienced psychological stress. This caused a cycle of back pain and emotional trauma for soldiers. This broader perspective has important implications for developing treatments that address the underlying dysregulation of cortical arousal and neurohormonal abnormalities following exposure to traumatic stress.
PTSD symptoms have been linked to whiplash in auto vehicle related accidents. In a recent study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, researchers looked at data from 173 people who had suffered whiplash in auto vehicle related accidents, as well as 207 others who had received relatively minor injuries in their accidents. These participants were assessed one year after their accidents to determine their quality of life and what the researchers found was surprising.
Approximately half of the patients felt that they had not fully recovered since the accident and that the pain was affecting their performance and level of happiness. Furthermore, individuals with PTSD fared the worst, both in regard to the pain they felt and their overall quality of life.
Chiropractic care can help alleviate these symptoms by relieving the chronic pain through spinal alignment, using non-invasive treatment to balance physical and emotional pain. Though it’s important to know that a chiropractor should be an addition to a patient’s overall PTSD health plan. PTSD should also be treated under the eye of a mental health care professional.