There are many different types of anxiety. Some results from straightforward cause and effect, like facing a test, work deadline, or a known stressor. Other anxiety is more subtle and harder to pin down. It’s estimated that 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety but fewer than 40% receive treatment. Did you know that chiropractic care can be a valuable tool in combatting anxiety and its many physical manifestations? Dr. Chani Henderson and her team at Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic in Vancouver WA want to be part of your care journey.
Anxiety serves a purpose. The American Psychiatric Association describes how “Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention…Fear is an emotional response to an immediate threat and is more associated with a fight or flight reaction—either staying to fight or leaving to escape danger. Anxiety disorders can cause people into try to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, schoolwork and personal relationships can be affected.”
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) explains that “Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.” And this disorder wears many masks. Unchecked anxiety can become panic attacks, fear of social interactions, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or major depressive states.
And anxiety isn’t just a mental condition. ADAA researchers show that “Many people with an anxiety disorder also have a co-occurring disorder or physical illness, which can make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult. It’s essential to be treated for both disorders.”
A person struggling with anxiety shouldn’t be written off as a worrywart. There are very real physical reactions going on within the body which can cause debilitating pain. Healthline describes a few of the “major effects anxiety has on your body” as headaches, breathing problems, upset stomach, muscle aches, and an increase in blood pressure. “Everyone has anxiety from time to time, but chronic anxiety can interfere with your quality of life. While perhaps most recognized for behavioral changes, anxiety can also have serious consequences on your physical health.”
Mental health professionals explain that “for many, chiropractic care may be a natural, affordable care option for improving quality of life for patients with depression and/or anxiety.” This is because “chiropractic care aims to find the right balance between your mind and body. A chiropractor will do this by looking at all health areas, including adjustments, therapies, exercise, diet and supplements. When it comes to chiropractic care, no stone goes unturned. Even small changes…may have a positive impact on anxiety symptoms.”
Since our bodies are intertwined organisms, working with one area may help another. For example, “Studies show that after getting a chiropractic adjustment, your body triggers an increase in hormones such as neurotensin, oxytocin, and cortisol.” These hormones help neutralize pain, improve mood, lower blood pressure, and block pain from inflammation all without the use of medication. Chiropractic treatment also promotes sleep and removes some of the tension which causes stiffness and headaches.
Dr. Henderson and her team are always happy to discuss ongoing issues. Together you’ll talk through your medical history, current worries, and hopes for future care. She’ll treat it like any other of her areas of expertise: sports injuries, auto accident recovery, or generalized pain and mobility issues.
Like any condition, she’ll look for root causes and how it impacts your daily life. “I want to know how it started, what it feels like, what you’ve done about it so far, and what may have worked before…even if it was just temporarily,” says Henderson. Then, if chiropractic services will help, together you’ll work out a path forward.
Anxiety should never be ignored. Reach out to your doctor if it feels like day-to-day activities are impacted or physical symptoms arise. And if they prescribe medicine to help, make sure to let them know all other medications you’re on to avoid potentially dangerous side effects. Ask too about adding in complimentary care options like chiropractic treatment.
When you’re ready to schedule an appointment with Dr. Henderson, book a consultation online or by calling 360-254-0400. Together you can tackle some of the many physical symptoms brought on by extreme anxiety. Reducing that pain may reduce your stress levels and bring a measure of control. Treatment and help are possible and can help make what feels overwhelming more manageable for you and your loved ones.