In the United States, over 50 million people struggle with different types of allergies each year. With this many people suffering, it’s no wonder allergies are the country’s sixth-leading cause of chronic illness.
Are allergies interfering with your quality of life? If so, an adjustment from a chiropractor might be exactly what you need.
Read on to learn more about chiropractic care, as well as how working with a chiropractor can relieve your allergy symptoms.
What Does a Chiropractor Do?
A chiropractor is a medical professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders.
Chiropractors are best known for dealing with issues related to the back and neck (chronic pain, headaches, etc.). However, they can also treat a wide range of ailments that affect the entire body — including allergies.
Most chiropractic practitioners focus on providing holistic care to their patients and getting to know them on a personal level. Rather than treating a single symptom, they aim to bring balance to the whole body and prevent additional issues from occurring in the future.
Allergies, the Immune System, and the Spine
At first, the idea of having your back cracked by a chiropractor to relieve your stuffy nose or sinus headaches might seem a bit strange.
What could your spine possibly have to do with your allergy symptoms? Short answer: A lot.
To help us explain the connection, though, we need to take a step back and discuss allergies a bit more broadly.
What Are Allergies?
Allergic reactions and allergy symptoms — coughing, runny nose, stuffy nose, headaches, sneezing, itchy skin, etc. — occur when the immune system picks up on a foreign substance — such as pollen, pet dander, dust, or mold — and perceives it as a threat.
When a threat is detected, the immune system sends a signal for the body to produce antibodies to help it fight back.
By producing antibodies, the body is reacting in a protective way to try and remove the foreign substance. However, when it comes to allergies, the result is that you end up feeling stuffy, sneezy, and in some cases, downright miserable.
What’s the Spine Got to Do with It?
Now, let’s address the connection between the spine, the immune system, and your allergy symptoms.
When the spine becomes misaligned, this leads to blockages that can prevent information from flowing properly through the nervous system and entering the brain. This, in turn, leads to a weakened immune system.
A spinal adjustment from a chiropractor can combat these misalignments. It will restore balance to the nervous system and calms the immune system so that it does not interpret harmless substances as harmful invaders.
Better Back, Better Breathing
It’s worth noting, too, that chiropractic adjustments can provide relief to current allergy symptoms.
Spinal misalignments may cause muscles in the chest, upper back, ribs, and neck to become tight or restricted. Because all of these muscles support proper breathing function, their tightness can impede lung capacity, restrict chest expansion, and make it harder for you to breathe well.
These breathing difficulties, combined with stuffiness and congestion from allergies, create a recipe for discomfort. Fortunately, if you are dealing with a lot of congestion and having trouble breathing, working with a chiropractor can improve your breathing mechanics and provide some much-needed relief.
Beyond the Spine
Spinal adjustments are a major component of a chiropractor’s services. It’s important to note, though, that an adjustment is not the only thing a chiropractor can offer if you’re struggling with allergy symptoms.
The following are some other treatments they may provide:
You might know that you struggle with allergies because you get itchy eyes or a lot of sinus congestion every year when spring arrives. Do you know what causes your allergy symptoms, though?
If you don’t know what kinds of plants, animals, or foods you’re allergic to, you might be making your allergy symptoms worse without even realizing it.
This is why lots of chiropractors offer allergy testing. They can help you get to the bottom of what substances trigger allergic reactions for you, then provide guidance to help you avoid these triggers moving forward.
Chiropractors believe in holistic health and aim to treat the whole patient. This may include making suggestions for how you can improve your diet to reduce inflammation, support your immune system, and improve your allergy symptoms.
Nutritional counseling is an additional service available in many chiropractic offices. It can help you to improve your quality of life from the inside out by making better, more informed dietary choices.
Your chiropractor may also recommend certain supplements to improve your allergy symptoms and strengthen your immune system.
This might include certain herbal supplements, as well as certain vitamins and minerals that you could be deficient in. For example, deficiencies in vitamin D or the mineral zinc have both been linked to more severe allergy and asthma symptoms.
Finally, chiropractors may recommend breathing exercises and techniques that can help to clear congestion, relieve headaches, and improve other allergy symptoms.
Breathing exercises have also been shown to reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. In addition to combating existing symptoms, they may also reduce the severity of future symptoms.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
It’s a common misconception that once you see a chiropractor for a specific issue, such as allergies, you’ll have to continue seeing them for the rest of your life. That’s not the case, though.
It does typically take multiple adjustments before you notice significant improvements in your allergy symptoms (or any other symptom, for that matter). However, many people also notice some relief after just a couple of adjustments — maybe even your very first appointment.
Within a few months, you will likely feel a lot better than you did before. When you reach this point, you can reduce the number of adjustments you get from your chiropractor and just go back every once in a while for a quick tune-up.
Schedule an Appointment with a Chiropractor Today
Now that you know more about the link between allergies and chiropractic care, are you ready to find some relief from your most aggravating allergy symptoms? Do you want to breathe more easily and say goodbye to constant sniffling and sneezing?
A consultation and series of adjustments with us could provide a great deal of relief and help you take on allergy season with confidence.