Combating Allergies and Sinus Issues with Chiropractic
If you live in Tennessee, it’s no surprise that Tennessee ranks as one of the worst states for allergy sufferers. Whether your poison is cedar elm, golden rod, ragweed, or just plain old pollen, your itchy, drippy nose and watery eyes are all the proof you need that Summer/Fall is here. If so, you are not alone–more than 35 million people in the US suffer from seasonal allergies. As a result, the market for allergy medications is booming.
I have had many patients over the years that have sought treatment for back pain (or neck pain, shoulder pain, etc.) only to find the added bonus that their Chiropractic treatments also helped to reduce the severity of their seasonal allergies. Many reported to me that they were able to greatly reduce the amount of allergy medication they required to manage their symptoms. What they learned firsthand is that once their bodies were running smoothly, they were able to deal with intrusions (like cedar, pollen, elm, ragweed) without suffering a severe reaction.
Since another allergy season is about to pop, now is the time to schedule an appointment and begin your Chiropractic Allergy Combat Plan!
Chiropractic for Allergies: Allergies are a disorder of the immune system. The immune system overreacts to a typically non-harmful substance (cat dander, pollen, peanuts, dairy products, dust, molds, etc.), and initiates a response to neutralize, flush out the allergen and rid the body of what it perceives as harmful. The results of this immune response are swelling, itching, runny nose and eyes, sneezing, diarrhea, to name a few. Allergies typically attach the sinuses, which are 8 hollow spaces in the bones of the forehead, cheeks and temples. These spaces are coated with mucous membranes, which drain mucous in the air passages to help trap foreign particles such as dust and microbes. When sinuses become inflamed they cannot drain properly causing back up, pressure and possible infection.
Risk factors include chronic allergies, abnormal structure in the sinus area, and rapid changes in altitude/pressure (flying, diving, etc). Sinus headaches cause dull, deep or severe pain in the area of the forehead and cheeks and are typically worse in the morning and better by afternoon. Being that the primary risk to the sinuses is allergies, the root of the cause of sinus problems most often lies in improper function of the immune system. This would explain why many people can breath the same air, and only a few end up with sinus trouble. The immune system over reacts to a benign element (cat dander, pollen, etc) while at the same time is not able to rid the body of the likely sinus infections which might cause the patient to seek the “aid” of antibiotics.
Chiropractors aim to assist the body in functioning properly by removing interference to the nervous system by specifically correcting a condition called subluxation or misalignments. After ruling out abnormal structures (nasal polyps or bone spurs), chiropractic becomes a viable alternative for helping people with allergic responses and sinus problems. The mucous membranes of the sinuses themselves are controlled by the brain and nervous system. It is well known that chiropractic is effective for headaches, and numerous studies also point to the relationship between the immune system and nervous system and how chiropractic can enhance the functions of both. A properly functioning immune system is less likely to produce allergy symptoms.