Should I see a Chiropractor When I’m Sick?

By Dr. Molly Casey

Being Sick and Chiropractic

A common question that chiropractors often hear is this: Should I get adjusted when I’m sick? My answer is always. Health, and the body’s ability to heal quickly and efficiently, are made up of many moments of beneficial choices. So it’s not so much should you, but rather, is it beneficial to get adjusted while sick? I’m a strong believer in the affirmative.

The idea of getting sick is at our doorstep. It’s getting to be the time of year in which cold and flu season is ramping up. It’s common that folks miss appointments for their chiropractic adjustment. They say, “I was sick and didn’t want to get you all sick,” or “ I was sick and didn’t think I should come in.” Other times patients will flat out ask, “If I’m sick, should I come in and get adjusted?” I see the rationale behind the statements and know the question is valid, but wearing a surgical mask (pretty cheap at the local drugstore) is the answer to prevent the spread of germs.

Let’s jump into why you should get adjusted before the cold and flu season gets into full swing.

Why Do We Get Sick

The most important point here is understanding that we get sick when our immune system is unable to fully fight off infection or attack. Germs are everywhere. We live with germs. If we couldn’t live with germs we wouldn’t be alive. However, we get sick when our body is unable to fight off, fend off, or deal with the germs that we are coming into contact with.

So first, it’s important to shift our understanding and embrace the truth of what makes us sick versus what makes us healthy. If we get sick because of a less than optimally functioning immune system, then to prevent sickness it seems that building up the immune system should be the primary focus.

The management of the sickness would logically be second in line with this approach. It’s easier to keep something healthy and functioning than it is to repair something that’s broken, in my opinion. And it feels a lot better.

Why Get Adjusted When Sick

The chiropractic adjustment promotes health in a variety of ways and even increases the body’s ability to heal from sickness with greater speed. And who doesn’t want that? So yes, come get adjusted when you are sick.

The adjustment is an immune system booster. Research has shown that when a specific chiropractic adjustment is performed, immune system activity increases. The immune system is controlled by the nervous system. When the spine is not moving through its full and optimal range of motion, the nervous system is negatively affected and can’t function at the highest possible level. The chiropractic adjustment restores spinal range of motion and allows for optimal nervous system function; logically, because the immune system is under control of the nervous system, it also would have the opportunity to function better.

The chiropractic adjustment increases lymphatic flow. Your lymph system is a network of tissues and organs that help the body get rid of waste. So increasing the functioning of the lymph system via adjustments while healthy keeps you healthy. And doing so while sick will help your body work more efficiently to get rid of the toxins and get back to being healthy, quicker.

Chiropractic adjustments help improve the performance and function of the entire body through its effects on the nervous system. This sounds a little funny but let’s say you have a cold and you’re coughing to get rid of phlegm and unwanted debris. If your lungs and abdominal muscles are not receiving all the nervous system input, they won’t function to their highest possible degree. If you receive a chiropractic adjustment and improve the nervous system input to the lungs and abdominal muscles and can cough more powerfully and expel more phlegm and debris, your body will be cleaner and be able to move through the healing process quicker. In addition, it’s likely you’ll suffer less because more toxins are outside of you rather than inside.

Chiropractic is about keeping the spine as healthy as possible so your nervous system can function to its highest possible degree. Your immune system is tied directly into the functioning of the nervous system. Thus the health of your spine affects your immune function. Get adjusted to stay healthy. When you have a bout in which your immune system is faltering and you get sick, make sure you see your chiropractor for an adjustment. You’ll improve your chances of getting well sooner, and you’ll likely suffer less and feel better.

And there’s no masking that truth.

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