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Chiropractic Care - A Natural Remedy for Sleep Apnea

Published Date: 
February 24, 2023
A man is in bed sleeping.

Chiropractic care for sleep apnea is an all-natural treatment to help you improve your sleep and relieve sleep apnea symptoms.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. There are many treatments available for sleep apnea, but one option that some people may not be aware of is seeing a chiropractor for sleep apnea.

Understanding Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. There are three main types:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Central sleep apnea 
  • Mixed or complex sleep apnea

Each type of sleep apnea has different causes and symptoms, but they all involve pauses or shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and occur 30 or more times in an hour.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the disorder, affecting about 90% of cases. It occurs as a result of a physical blockage, usually the collapsing of tissues in the throat. Central sleep apnea results from a miscommunication between the brain and breathing muscles, while mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central types.

Causes & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

It occurs when the upper airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep, disrupting normal breathing patterns and preventing oxygen from reaching vital organs. Sleep apnea can be caused by several different factors, including: 

A man with sleep apnea is using a machine to sleep through the night.

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which uses positive air pressure to keep the throat open while patients are sleeping. While this treatment can be effective in many cases, it can also be uncomfortable or difficult for some patients to use, and other treatments may be needed in more severe cases.

Chiropractic Care Is an All Natural Remedy for Sleep Apnea

Ongoing research is needed to fully understand chiropractic care's effectiveness for sleep apnea. However, many people have found that it can help reduce their symptoms, help them get better sleep, and improve their overall quality of life.

Chiropractic Treatments for Sleep Apnea

Chiropractic treatment works by restoring proper alignment, increasing mobility and flexibility, and strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Some common chiropractic treatments for treating sleep apnea include:

Spinal Manipulation

Chiropractic spinal manipulation can effectively treat sleep apnea because chiropractic care targets the musculoskeletal structures of the body and helps to relieve tension and tightness.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation helps to release tension and tightness in the muscles and connective tissues of the body, which can help to improve the alignment and functioning of muscles and joints. This may help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with sleep apnea, such as snoring, difficulty breathing during sleep, daytime drowsiness, and headaches.

Soft Tissue Mobilization

Chiropractic soft tissue mobilization is a type of manual therapy that can help relieve sleep apnea symptoms and improve overall sleep quality. This treatment improves muscle mobility and flexibility, helping prevent airway obstruction during sleep. By relaxing the neck and throat muscles, soft tissue mobilization can reduce snoring, increase blood flow to the muscles, and improve breathing patterns while sleeping. 

Additionally, this treatment can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which are often associated with sleep apnea. If you are experiencing sleep-related issues, speak with your chiropractor about whether soft tissue mobilization is right for you.

Therapeutic Exercises

Chiropractic therapeutic exercises are commonly prescribed to help manage sleep apnea symptoms, such as snoring and daytime drowsiness.

Several types of exercises may be used, depending on the severity and type of sleep apnea a person has and their individual needs and preferences. Some of these exercises involve stretching and strengthening the neck muscles, which can help decrease muscle tension contributing to snoring or sleep apnea. Other exercises focus on improving breathing patterns, often disrupted in people with sleep apnea.

A woman is getting chiropractic adjustment to help with her sleep apnea.

Lifestyle Changes

There are several lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea and improve your quality of sleep, including:

  • Quitting smoking or using tobacco products
  • Limiting your alcohol intake
  • Getting regular exercise 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise 
  • Using pillows to help keep your airway open during sleep


Overall, evidence suggests that chiropractic adjustment can help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea, although more research is needed to better understand precisely how these therapies work and what types of patients are most likely to benefit from them. 

If you are experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, speak with your healthcare provider to discuss the most appropriate treatment options. If you are looking for alternative ways to help manage this condition, it may be worth considering chiropractic care for better quality sleep.

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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