Stress, Anxiety and Chiropractic

Stress and Anxiety

“Research indicates that minor shifts in the structure of the spine may impact brain function, suggesting that these structural shifts may be a factor in a number of health challenges including anxiety, stress and immunity. Structural shifts may lead to nerve obstruction and could possibly result in a host of health problems related to mental health,” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published a study on chiropractic, anxiety and stress.

Research has shown not only that the brain relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to “feel good” and heal are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways.

“It makes perfect sense once you understand the neurological connections between the spine, the brain, and the nervous and immune system” stated McCoy. “The seat of human emotion is the limbic system and we know that this system extends all the way down the spinal cord. By removing obstructions there, things like anxiety, effects from stress, immunity and well-being are affected.”

For decades mental health specialists have strived to find an answer for patients suffering from a multitude of anxiety and stress related disorders. We now know many naturally occurring brain and spinal cord chemicals play a role in emotions, anxiety, stress, immunity and pain reduction, leading to an increased sense of wellbeing. 

Research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on patients suffering with anxiety, stress, pain and immune challenges reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping these patients:

Bruce Steinberg, DC, CACCP, Kate Clodgo-Gordon, DC, David G Russell, BSc (Psych), BSc (Chiro), Cert TT

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ April 17, 2020 ~ Pages 50-58


Objective: To chronicle the reduction in severity of anxiety, measured with the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), in 5 patients receiving chiropractic care.

Clinical Features: Five patients from one chiropractic office with a chief concern of anxiety. Pre and post care HAM-A assessments, heart rate variability (HRV) and thermography studies were performed. The patients, aged 24 to 53 years, also presented with a variety of musculoskeletal complaints. 

Interventions and Outcomes: Chiropractic care was provided using the Torque Release Technique (TRT) protocol for the assessment and correction of vertebral subluxation. Visit schedules ranged from 6 to 12 weeks. The patients reported improvements in their presenting complaints and additional non-musculoskeletal symptoms. Each patient demonstrated clinically significant improvement in their HAM-A scores improving from moderate/severe anxiety to mild or mild/moderate, and reduction in dysautonomia as measured by HRV and thermography studies.

Conclusion: This case series describes a reduction in severity of anxiety symptoms measured by the HAM-A, as well as improved autonomic nervous system function measured through HRV and thermography, in 5 adult patients receiving chiropractic care.

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Drs. C. Gus & Jacqueline Tsiapalis, Family Chiropractors

Great Life Chiropractic: 1365 S Military Trail, Deerfield Beach, FL 33431, Tel: 954-571-8100