Bitterly cold weather has swept through much of the country recently, breaking record lows in multiple cities. With temperatures reaching single and even negative digits in many places, the danger is hard to overlook. Snow and ice make driving a hazard, and even going outdoors into the frigid air and wind can be dangerous in some areas. While these extremes are treacherous and intensely felt, they are often short-lived. Most areas will rebound to normal, tolerable temperatures and weather conditions within a couple of days. However, there will likely still be effects of the cold, winter air for most, primarily in the form of some common health ailments.
Colds, the flu, and even depression tend to spike in months when temperatures dip and the weather becomes a bit gloomier. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple steps that can be taken such as less time spent outdoors, more frequent hand washing, and even chiropractic adjustments which can help offset the effects of winter weather. Here are just a few of the more common winter health problems and how chiropractic adjustments may be able to help:
Colds/Flu – While these illnesses can occur throughout the year, they tend to affect more people during the winter. According to one study, there is a reduction in the number of white blood cells in the nasal passages during this time, limiting the body’s ability to fend off such airborne infections. Another factor to consider is the strength of any given patient’s immune system, as some will be more susceptible to sickness than others.
- How Can Chiropractic Help? - Chiropractic adjustments relieve subluxations along the spine which can be responsible for a number of ailments. When these misalignments occur, organs, the nervous system, and even immune function can all be compromised to some degree. Furthermore, research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can also enhance the production of white blood cells. Even HIV patients had a nearly 50% increase in critical components of their immune system after regular, ongoing adjustments according to one study.
Depression – According to the CDC, one in ten American adults suffer from some degree of depression. There are many factors that may lead to feelings of despair or anxiousness, but for some, these conditions increase during the winter months. This is believed to be the added impact of shorter days and less daylight on individuals who are already prone to these moods.
How Can Chiropractic Help? - As previously noted, spinal misalignments can negatively impact proper functioning of nearly any area within the body, including communications with the brain. A study published in The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation showed that over 70% of patients, chosen based on a history of depression and diagnosed upper cervical misalignment, had significant improvement in their condition following chiropractic treatment.
Painful Joints – While damage to joints from conditions such as arthritis has not been shown to worsen during winter months, most sufferers report an increase in symptoms such as pain and stiffness. Physicians have trouble explaining the exact reason weather so severely impacts joint comfort, but there is no doubt that it leaves patients with less mobility and increased levels of discomfort.
How Can Chiropractic Help? - Through gentle chiropractic adjustments, inflammation in the joints can be eased, allowing some patients to move more comfortably and freely. Furthermore, additional services encompassed in chiropractic care such as exercise and nutritional advice can help patients learn how to best manage their condition for optimal comfort. Even therapies such as acupuncture and massage therapy may be offered by some offices to provide maximum benefit.
The blustery cold of the winter months poses a number of hazards, while also increasing the likelihood or severity of a number of health conditions. There are some common sense precautions that should be taken year round to avoid or diminish these ailments, but there are some proactive steps that you can take as well. Countless health benefits stand to be gained from proper spine alignment, including improved immunity, decreased feelings of depression, and increased range of motion.
If you are interested in developing a treatment plan with a skilled chiropractor in the Greater Charlotte area, contact SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers. With locations in Gastonia, Belmont, and Denver, NC, we have both a facility and qualified physician in a location that’s convenient to you. Simply click here to request a consultation.