From Dr. Waldron: How’s your range of motion? Chiropractic can help
Many of us notice that our range of motion and mobility decreases with age. Sometimes, it’s accompanied by pain and discomfort; other times we just begin to gradually notice that our bodies don’t move as easily as they used to.
Losing motion in your neck or back can negatively affect your quality of life. Simple activities like picking up a child or checking your blindspot while driving can become a challenge when your movement is restricted.
The good news is that regular chiropractic care has been shown to be one of the most effective methods of decreasing inflammation in the spine and improving range of motion and flexibility. Want proof? Look at the research:
A recent study from the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic & Manual Therapies looked at 60 patients with loss of normal range of motion between vertebra in their cervical spine. Thirty of the participants were experiencing nonspecific neck pain while the other half were healthy and had no complaints other than loss of flexibility. The participants all received up to 12 chiropractic adjustments over a four week period, after which they were re-evaluated to determine improvement in their cervical range of motion.
The researchers concluded that chiropractic treatment provided measurable improvement in all the participants’ cervical ranges of motion. They also noted there was a significant dose-response relationship, meaning that the participants had better results the more often they were adjusted.
Another double-blind randomized trial published in 2001 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics also found that chiropractic adjustments were incredibly effective in increasing range of motion of the neck. The 105 patients with restricted neck flexibility who participated in the study were divided into three groups. One group was given no treatment, the second was provided with chiropractic adjustments and the third group were given sham (placebo) treatments. The patients who were adjusted showed a significant improvement in their range of motion after just one treatment, which was not the case for the other two groups, leading the researchers to conclusively state that “spinal manipulation of the cervical spine increases active range of motion.”
Want to check your own flexibility and range of motion? You should be able to move your neck through the following motions:
– Flexion: Move your head forward to touch your chin to the chest (40-60 degrees)
– Extension: Tilt your head back to look at the ceiling (60-80 degrees)
– Rotation: Turn your head to the left and right. Your chin should be in line with the shoulders (60-80 degrees)
– Lateral Bending: Bend your head to bring your left ear or right ear to your left or right shoulder, respectively (45 degrees)
If your neck seems stiff or inflexible when attempting these tests, don’t try to force the movement. Moving your neck beyond its normal range of motion is how injury occurs. Instead, call our office today for an appointment.
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