What Role Should Chiropractic Play in the Routine Health of Women?
By Genevieve Cunningham
Chiropractic care is for everybody and every body. Large, small, sickly, healthy, young, old, man, woman -- there are benefits aplenty for anyone and everyone. Statistically speaking, more than 35 million people visit the chiropractor every year, 60 percent of them female. If you’re a woman who is not taking advantage of this healthcare option, maybe it’s time to get with the program and take the condition of your overall health into your own hands by using every available option.
What Are the Top Women’s Health Concerns?
In many ways, women worry about the same health issues as men. After all, many health concerns are quite universal. But there are certainly health issues that hit a little closer to home for women. Some of the most important include:
- Weight loss and maintenance - According to studies, 57 percent of women worry about their weight. In comparison, only 39 percent of men give thought to their waistline. In the grand scheme, the weight worry is dominated by women.
- General health - This broad topic covers everything from heart disease to diabetes to stroke to cancer. Women tend to worry more than their male counterparts. This bleeds into the health sector, where women are more likely to be diagnosed with and treated for anxiety.
- Pain - As we age, pain tends to creep up and affect our daily lives. Joint pain, back discomfort -- dealing with the pain means being able to live a full and active life, a top concern for aging women.
- Maternal health - Women aren’t the only gender dealing with parenthood, but they certainly have an incredibly important role. They must physically carry the child, go through childbirth, and then manage recovery of their own bodies while dealing with an infant (or maybe a job as well). The task is a big one, and women have taken note and put their own health in this stage of life on their list of concerns.
These certainly aren’t the only health issues that women experience, but they rank among the most stressful. Women are particularly concerned with quality of life, which may be why they seek out health information more frequently than men. Women’s health needs are distinctly unique -- and understanding and evolving with these needs is half the battle to a healthy life. The other half? Getting care such as chiropractic care, which may help with each of these concerns in its own way.
Women’s Differing Health Needs
Not only do women’s health concerns differ from men’s, but they also differ among women. This is why it’s so important to get to know your own body and specific needs. The focus of your health is even likely to change based on your age:
- Young women - Young adult women are more likely to be concerned with weight maintenance and maternal health. This is the age of establishing careers and families, which is why two of the biggest concerns of this age group are fitness and healthy pregnancies.
- Middle-aged women - As we get a little older, women tend to get a little more serious about health. With youth no longer on our side, we have to pay attention to risks of serious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and aging reproductive health. We may also focus on reducing pain and increasing activity while looking to keep up with children or grandchildren in this stage of life.
- Older women - The risk of things such as osteoporosis rises significantly with age. As we continue to age, we may find ourselves focused on movement, bone health, and pain management. We may also focus on cognitive health because staying mentally sharp becomes a higher priority with each passing year.
These concerns aren't one-size fits all. Women may fall into different categories at any time in their lives. They may wait to start families, forget about weight concerns altogether, or be vigilant about their health from the very beginning. Luckily, chiropractic care is something that can improve health at any age.
How Can Women Improve Health?
Women can improve their health using many different methods. Some of the most common and most beneficial include:
- Regular exercise - No matter the gender, exercise helps with weight management, lowering the risk of major disease, and living an active life.
- Healthy eating - You are what you eat. Eating a diet of healthy proteins, complex carbs, and plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you maintain the best health long-term.
- Self-care - Taking time for self-care is important for lowering stress and anxiety. If you’re not participating in self-care activities, it’s time to start.
- Prevention - Prevention is the absolute best medicine. For women, this includes things such as getting good sleep, seeing a mental healthcare professional, maintaining relationships, lowering daily stress, and keeping routines such as regular chiropractic care in your life. The benefits of prevention simply can’t be beat.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Women
There was a time when chiropractic care was dominated by men. Men were more likely to get care and more likely to be seen by a male chiropractor. But in today’s world, women are more likely to seek care, and even though there are still more male chiropractors, the divide is growing smaller by the day. Women are finally seeing the benefits of chiropractic from every angle. What does this mean for women’s health? It means that women are more likely to get a treatment plan that brings some of these benefits:
- Pain reduction - Spinal manipulation, the technique most likely to be used at the chiropractor's office, has been shown to help reduce various kinds of discomfort in the body. Back pain, joint pain, neck stiffness, and other kinds of pain may be reduced or diminished. This allows women -- or people of any gender -- to live an active and fuller life.
- Pregnancy support - Pregnant women need support of all kinds. Pregnancy is hard, full stop. A chiropractic adjustment -- or perhaps more accurately, regular chiropractic care -- may help with general pregnancy aches and pains, low energy and sleep problems, and proper pelvic alignment for childbirth. The American Pregnancy Association also states that chiropractic care may reduce labor and delivery time, improve post pregnancy healing, lower the risk of cesarean section, and help the mother to maintain a healthier pregnancy overall.
- Mental health support - Most mental health issues need care from a qualified professional, whether that’s a general practitioner or a psychologist. But it’s also possible that maintaining better spinal health – a main goal of chiropractic care – can improve some symptoms of mental health problems. A well-regulated nervous system and maintaining your ability to move, of which the spine plays a huge part, is crucial to long-term mental wellness. It’s also possible that the preventative, self-care aspect of chiropractic care may reduce anxiety and general health worries of women.
What role should chiropractic care play in the routine health of women? It should -- and is completely capable -- of playing almost any role that is needed. It can help young, fit women stay strong and active. It can help pregnant women stay healthy for themselves and their growing families. It can help pain-ridden women feel relief. It’s treatment, prevention, and self-care all wrapped up in one. What role should it play? It should play the part of helping women everywhere feel their best and live their best lives yet.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.