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How to Recognize and Treat Depression with Chiropractic Care


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How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care May Help with Depression


Depression as a mental health condition has become endemic to the United States: A condition that is regularly found and commonplace in the native populace. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in 2019 stated about 11-12% of adults in the United States reported at least mild symptoms, such as sleep disorders, of depression before the COVID-19 pandemic. They also stated in their report that:

  1. Those the most at risk were adults ages 18-29, at 21%.

  2. Those less at risk were adults ages 30-44, close to 17% (not a massive difference).

  3. Adults from ages 44 or older experienced depression a little over 18% of the time,

  4. and women overall are more likely to experience depression than men, by up to 7% within the last two weeks.

The COVID pandemic that struck the year after likely made the risk of depression worse. Studies suggest that the risk of depression has increased three-fold since the pandemic (Ettman, 2020). Experiencing symptoms of depression is likely. You may have issues sleeping, which can either lead to depression or cause it (Pandi-Parumal, 2020); and anxiety, an excess of worry and nervousness over everything that can consume day-to-day life.

Upper cervical chiropractic care may provide relief from neurodevelopmental issues, anxiety and other mental, emotional and physical ailments. Realignment restores balance to the nervous system and brain stem. Schedule an appointment today to see if upper cervical chiropractic care is right for you.

What is Depression?


The DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition) will note symptoms of feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and low self-esteem. Depression affects the brain and the neural pathways of your body, causing imbalances in weight, sleep, mood, and more. (Park, 2019). These responses can be anywhere from mild to severe, and can come in many forms. In this post we are focusing on those that may impact your sleep or heighten anxiety.

  • A Depressive Episode appears as acute (non-chronic) symptoms of sadness and / or disinterest, often paired with a sudden lack of drive and increased anxiety. Pain and disruption of zeitgebers, otherwise known as ‘time cues’ that reset your circadian rhythm, might cause these episodes of depression. (Pandi-Parumal, 2020). 

  • Prenatal and Postnatal Depression occurs in women during or after pregnancy, where they may experience heightened symptoms because of physical discomfort, hormonal changes, and sleep disruption because of both, which, as mentioned earlier, can exacerbate symptoms of depression (Okun, 2018).

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder is depression that occurs during specific seasons in the year, or can occur during certain weather. Besides regular symptoms, those who’re experiencing SAD may notice increased lethargy and even hypersomnolence, a condition where one may feel excessively sleepy (Wescott, 2020).

Treating Depression


Treatments for depression are as many as the symptoms of depression, often focused on correcting imbalances in the body and those neural connections. Doctors and psychiatrists will consider medicine and psychotherapy to regulate emotions and hormonal imbalances to counteract symptoms of depression (Park, 2019). There are other means of combating depression that do not involve medicine, too. Homeopathic and naturalistic methods of improving mood and neural connections can also help. 


Exercise, for example, has shown to reduce inflammation in the body and stimulate neuroplastic processes that are involved in depression (Kandola, 2019). Similar to how spinal manipulations, osteopathic, and chiropractic treatments of the upper back can help regulate neural pathways involved in both pain and depression (Kiani, 2020).


How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care May Help with Depression


Upper cervical chiropractic care is especially effective in helping treat depression, by targeting multiple neural pathways and several causes for increased stress and helplessness at once. These manipulations can ease acute and chronic pain, help improve sleep, release neurotoxic buildup and stress, and ultimately improve your mood.


When to Seek Help


No one should have to suffer alone. Treating it should be of utmost importance, and there is help available. This article cannot diagnose depression. However, if you suspect that you or a loved one are experiencing signs or symptoms of depression, please contact your doctor or contact the national hotline at 1-800-622-HELP.


If you are currently having symptoms of depression and anxiety, whether it is from chronic pain, stress, or lack of sleep, consider scheduling a consultation today to see whether upper cervical chiropractic can help you on your path to wellness.

Book a Free Upper Cervical Chiropractic Evaluation


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