Spring is in the air. Flowers are budding. Leaves are growing. And the days are getting longer. That’s terrific, right? Unfortunately for many of us, when we hear “Spring is in the air,” our minds focus on months of runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing. We’re more likely to grab a handful of tissues than stop and smell the flowers. Hay fever erupts this time of year. Millions of us suffer from this condition, which causes the body to become hypersensitive to pollen and other environmental substances.
Researchers have warned that environmental changes such as air pollution and rising temperatures will continue to propel allergy levels to “epidemic proportions with reduced quality of life for patients, lower productivity, and increasing medical costs.” And the medical costs are nothing to sneeze at. Between medications, doctor visits and sick days from work, allergies cost Americans more than $3 billion each year. Worldwide, people spend $8 billion a year on allergy drugs alone.For allergy sufferers who don’t want to rely on medications for relief, however, chiropractic care offers a drug-free approach to treating allergy symptoms. Below is a look at why and how chiropractic can help with allergies.
How Chiropractic Can Help:
The close relationship between the nervous system and immune system is good news for chiropractic patients. By improving the communication between the brain and spinal cord, chiropractic care can help regulate and coordinate the body’s reaction to allergens.
A doctor of chiropractic can:
Strengthen the immune system. Misalignments in the spine—particularly the neck—can disrupt the brain’s lines of communication with the rest of the body. Irritation in the upper cervical joint, for example, may compromise immunity and amplify allergic symptoms. By manipulating the joints and soft tissue, a chiropractor can restore the body’s alignment and re-open essential pathways between the brain and spine.
Regulate stress hormones. Many allergy sufferers also have weakened adrenal glands, which means their bodies have a harder time moderating allergic reactions. Since the adrenal glands are fed directly by spinal nerves, a properly aligned spine can help regulate the amount of cortisol the body produces. This can help mitigate the severity of allergy symptoms.
Support the respiratory system. Like the immune system, the respiratory system depends on an unimpeded flow of information to and from the brain. Chiropractic care keeps the pathways open, fortifying the respiratory system to better withstand allergic attacks.
Recommend dietary and lifestyle changes. Certain foods and other factors in the environment can either ease or exacerbate allergy symptoms. A doctor of chiropractic can recommend changes that boost the patient’s health and comfort.
By improving communication between the immune, nervous and respiratory systems, chiropractic care can help patients weather allergy season—without relying on medications!