Sleeping can Take Your Breath Away…Literally – Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Chiropractic
Many individuals experience breathing difficulties during sleep. Such difficulties may include snoring, choking, or a form of sleep apnea. Of particular interest in today’s article is a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which causes abnormal pauses in breathing that are typically the result of obstruction of the upper airway. Some symptoms of OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness, unrefreshed sleep, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. In addition, several factors increase one’s risk of developing OSA such as obesity, male gender, age, family history, menopause, craniofacial abnormalities, smoking, alcohol use, and more.
Moderate and severe cases of OSA are typically treated with the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine provides continuous pressurized airflow to individuals with OSA in order to promote an open airway during sleep. Other common methods of intervention include lifestyle changes, surgery, and dental appliances.
The prevalence of OSA continues to rise along with the demand for alternative treatments. As the following case study suggests, chiropractic adjustments may be quite effective in providing positive outcomes for OSA patients.
Case Study: A 34-year- old male with OSA presented to the chiropractor with the following symptoms: daytime drowsiness, lack of energy, loud snoring, and difficulty breathing during sleep. The use of a CPAP machine as prescribed by his medical doctor provided some relief but nevertheless, he sought chiropractic consultation. The patient’s treatment plan began with 3 visits per week for the first 3 months which was later decreased to 1 visit per week. Some of the techniques that were utilized are known as Diversified Technique, Full Spine Technique, and Pettibon Technique.
The patient’s number of visits per week was reduced at the 3 month mark in light of the following improvements: increased energy, cessation of snoring and daytime drowsiness, increased cervical curve, reduction of forward head placement, decreased paraspinal hypertoniciy, and finally, termination of CPAP machine use.
OSA can greatly diminish one’s quality of life. In this particular case, the patient experienced improvements in symptoms as well as in other aspects of his life. More specifically, in addition to the positive outcomes listed above, the patient reported that his anxiety and acid reflux had subsided which; in turn led to discontinuation of associated medications. Further research is required to support current findings.
Jockers, D., & Waite, H. (2014). Resolution of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in a Patient Undergoing Corrective Chiropractic Care: A Case Study. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research.
Never Call in Sick to the Chiropractor
Have you caught a bug and you’re thinking about cancelling your chiropractic visit? Don’t call in sick to this appointment like you would for school or work. You chiropractor is one person you’ll definitely want to see while you’re sick because you can get the adjustment you need to heel faster and receive a more natural treatment. This is due to the link between the nervous system and the immune system that is working in overdrive right now. Take a look at why you should never call in sick to the chiropractor.
Go even if you’re contagious
Talk to your chiropractor if you have caught something that is causing you flu-like symptoms, to find out when the best time to come into the office would be. When you are still contagious because the symptoms just started, your chiropractor can likely schedule you for the very beginning of the day or at the end of the day when other patients won’t be around.
The office staff can help ensure you don’t spread the illness around by taking additional measures to protect other patients that arrive after you. You’ll want to go regardless of the stage of illness you are in.
How your body fights illness
Your immune system is working in overdrive when you are ill to help you fight off the illness you have. While the symptoms associated with it can be the worst of the struggle, it’s there to help you by serving the purpose of letting you know that your body is doing the work to fight it off itself. When you have a runny nose, it’s your body’s way of telling you that it’s trying to excrete the virus or organisms.
When your appetite is gone, it’s because your body is using your digestive cycle’s energy in your immune system instead. When you have watery eyes, it’s because your eyes are trying to cool themselves so that they are not damaged by the fever since they are heat sensitive. That mild fever is there to stimulate the immune system and create the environment your body needs to fight off foreign bodies.
How chiropractic care can help
You may be thinking that a chiropractor is the wrong person to see during an illness. In fact, the chiropractor is the best place to go when you’re ill because the chiropractor is helping you to have a healthy spiny which in turn helps you to have a fully functioning nervous system that has a direct link to your immune system.
The nervous system is linked to the immune system through the adrenal glands, as well as the chemicals and hormones that talk to the cells of the immune system from the nervous system. When you’re under the weather, your chiropractic adjustments can improve your nervous system’s function which will control the regulation of the immune system that is fighting your illness. Taking care of your brain stem and spinal cord will help to regulate the rest of your body’s functions.
Don’t call in sick to the chiropractor; this is the doctor you need to see when you feel important symptoms that your body is fighting off illness.
Top 5 Ways to Manage Your Stress
Stress management is always a difficult task for many. There are so many pressures in life to excel at your career, be there for your family, stay healthy, and to enjoy yourself despite all of the pressure. All of this is possible with the right tools under your belt to maintain all of these daily and weekly goals.
Even when work has you overwhelmed, your children need all of your free time, and you feel there is no room for healthy eating and exercise, there are some important ways to manage your stress that will make all areas of your life seem a lot more manageable and enjoyable.
Take a look at these top five stress management tools that will help you when the negative stress in your life is getting in the way of the good stresses that help you in your daily life, relationships, and your health.
Not only does exercise make you strong physically, but it works to fight off the mental effects of stress as well. Exercise is known for giving you endorphins and improving your mood, while also making you feel strong and confident.
You’ll have a hard time feeling the stress at this morning’s board meeting after the strength you’ve gained from that workout earlier in the AM. Whether it’s a weekly yoga class, a high-intensity workout video, a run around the neighborhood, or dancing when no one’s watching, your body will thank you for it by fighting the stress and equipping you to manage the negative stress that comes your way each week. Don’t forget to turn on some music to get your brain going too.
Nature and solitude
There is something to be said about the effects of nature on the mind. Getting outside each day for a moment of silence and appreciation your surroundings is really important. Even if it’s raining or snowing, it’s important that you get out and enjoy the feel of the wind, the smell of the grass, and the beauty of the trees.
Getting outside makes it much easier to put things into perspective and manage your stress. While a day at the park with your family may be the solution, some people take a moment for some solitude in nature to manage their stress. Take a walk to a nearby waterfall or read a book by a tree during your lunch hour without your cell phone bothering you and you may find your brain gets the rest it needs to problem solve later.
A sense of community
What you may need right now more than ever is a better sense of community by spending time around people that make you feel alive. Find time for family, new friends, or colleagues that you enjoy being around in order to lower your stress and your cortisol levels. Your health will improve when you share experiences with other people and have people to support you during difficult periods.
Take on a new hobby
In the busyness of life, you may forget to take time for your personal endeavors. Use your weekends to start up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Learning makes us feel alive and gives us something different to focus on than the normal obligations.
You are never too old to learn something new and get good at something that is just for you. Learning a new skill will give you confidence, a new focus in your spare time, and something exciting to show off to your family.
One of the best ways to manage your stress is to take care of yourself before there is a problem. Preventative care is so important to keep yourself healthy. Eating healthy now will help you prevent the chances of becoming overweight or getting diabetes. Exercising now will help you be strong as you get older and your body naturally gets weaker.
Going to the doctor for an annual physical will help you spot potential problems in your body early on so that they can be healed and corrected from the start. That is why so many choose chiropractic care as a preventative measure, knowing that their body will benefit from adjustments when stress in the week can sometimes make things go out of whack. Be sure to eat well, exercise, and seek preventative care with a chiropractor to make sure your body is functioning at full capacity.
Use these tips to manage life’s stressors because self-care is so important to your health and happiness.