No matter how hard some people may try, their mental outlook isn’t always sunshine and roses. Although some are genetically and socially more prone to depression and anxiety, even the most optimistic person can experience the weight of downward emotional swings. For approximately 16.1 million Americans, depression is a common reality. In the fight against depression and anxiety, we must turn to multiple resources to not only identify the root causes of depressive episodes, but also isolate therapies capable of true relief.
Depression and anxiety affect far more than our minds. What may start as a thought can translate into physical symptoms. Manifestations of mental episodes have the potential to negatively influence a myriad of bodily systems. Some may feel the weight of fatigue while others experience digestive complications, muscle pain due to sustained tension, and even debilitating back pain.
Essentially, the human body interacts with its complex systems via neural pathways. When these communication avenues become hindered due to physical misalignment or an increase of stress hormones caused by mental stress, pain and depression symptoms simultaneously increase.
Research into the viability and influence of our mind-body connection is at the forefront of modern treatments for both mental and physical ailments. Recent studies have drawn a distinct line connecting depression and anxiety with musculoskeletal health. Information has been outlined by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association detailing significant improvements in patient depression and anxiety severity following regular chiropractic sessions. By enhancing vertebral blood circulation and cerebrospinal fluid drainage, mental and physical symptoms associated with depression appear to improve.
Living with chronic pain, such as those who suffer from low back pain, alters both physical capability and mental stability. The effects of prolonged pain, as outlined by the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, suggest the influence of pain is multifactorial. Chronic pain negatively influences biological, social, psychological, and behavioral systems. When our bodies and minds rest in a state of continual stress, it's no surprise depression, anxiety, and other mental instabilities flourish.
By reducing the severity and prevalence of pain through proven therapies, such as chiropractic care, it’s possible to simultaneously reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. While preliminary studies show promise, it’s imperative to use a chiropractor as one important building block within your wall of health and vitality.
Major Depression Among Adults, nimh.nih.gov
Depression: Recognizing the Physical Signs, webmd.com
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