Chiropractic Alters Biochemical Pain Markers
By Chris Brown
Chiropractic's ability to reduce pain in patients is well documented. However, a 2017 systematic review and a 2010 pain study have both revealed measurable reasons behind that pain relief. Chiropractic invokes a series of biochemical changes in the body that promote reduced pain and inflammation.
Chiropractic's Pain Relief Biomarkers
In a 2017 meta-analysis of eight research trials, researchers consolidated data to show that chiropractic's spinal manipulation resulted in an increase and decrease of various chemicals in the body. These chemical changes were seen as one of the primary factors that reduced pain and inflammation in patients.
- Increases substance-p - Substance-p is not, surprisingly, the concoction that gave Captain America his superpowers. Instead, it is a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator which affects pain perception in the brain by altering the cell's signals. It is a highly effective as a natural pain modulator and was shown at increased levels post-chiropractic.
- Increases oxytocin - This feel-good hormone is naturally released during childbirth and has been refined for use as a pain reliever in pharmaceuticals. Chiropractic has been shown to increase circulating levels of oxytocin immediately following a spinal manipulation session.
- Increases interleukin - Interleukins are proteins that facilitate cellular communication, particularly where inflammatory responses are concerned. The increased levels of interleukin speak to chiropractic's ability to optimize brain-body communication for improved healing and reduced inflammation. For many with a range of bodily problems, inflammation is the source cause of their pain. When inflammation is normalized, the pain recedes.
- May reduce cortisol - While levels of cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone, were lowered in study participants following spinal manipulation, it is possibly due to the calming environment of the chiropractic clinic. However, chiropractic has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in multiple trials. Reduced stress, in turn, lowers body-wide inflammation and pain.
For those seeking pain relief, chiropractic is an excellent, drug-free first stop. Its ability to produce measurable chemical changes, in addition to the numerous patient successes, makes it the most cost-effective medical solution for sufferers.
Don't go another pain-filled day before stopping by The Joint Chiropractic. The Joint offers walk-in sessions for affordable, insurance-free rates. Consultations can typically be received with little to no wait time and doctors are always waiting to treat you during The Joint's convenient office hours. And, with more than 600 clinics nationwide, there is always a clinic nearby to suit you.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Minneapolis, Minn.