July 30, 2009

Why So Glum?

robertBy Robert J. Scranton, D.C.
Fibromyalgia Centers of America

A case study authored by Alain M.J. Desaulniers credits regular chiropractic care with helping a 46-year old man overcome his major depression and increase his quality of life.

More than 15 million American adults are diagnosed with mood disorders every year, which include major depression, Dysthymia and Bipolar Disorder. The disease is usually treated with antidepressants, according to the study, but the quality of life of people who are clinically depressed is subdued by the medications’ many unwanted side effects. The case report published this year in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research states the important role chiropractic care can play in the management of depressions.

In this particular study, a 46-year old man suffered from major depression and was taking an antidepressant with unwanted side effects, such as decrease in his sex drive, dizziness, muscle weakness and insomnia. A chiropractic evaluation revealed that he had suffered physical trauma in the past, which led to vertebral subluxations. A subluxation is a condition in which the body is unable to function properly because of interferences with the nervous system, and the condition may be corrected with chiropractic adjustments.

The patient had a total of 34 adjustments done on various parts of his spine over a period of 11 months. After the first visit, his dizziness subsided, and he experienced a decrease in lower back and neck pain. After three visits, he felt less anxious and fatigued and reported an increase in muscle strength. Over time, his depression significantly improved, and he was eating healthier.

Previous studies have shown a correlation between injury or trauma to the spine and the onset of social disorders, in addition to biochemical changes in the brain. One of the areas that chiropractic care focuses on in the spinal cord is enriched with neuropeptides receptors, which are responsible for the so-called brain reward cascade that triggers a feeling of wellbeing.

“An impairment of these receptors due to subluxation in the corresponding area of the spine can be one of the underlying causes for depression and for mood or social alterations,” said Dr. Scranton. “However, more studies of this kind are needed. But one thing is clear: An adjusted spine is vital to our health, to our overall state of well being and thus to our quality of life.”

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