How Chiropractic Care May Help Wheelchair Users and Mobility Challenged Individuals

Less Pain | Greater Comfort | More Flexibility | Better Mobility

More than 22 million Americans have chiropractic care and adjustments annually. The benefits of chiropractic interventions for wheelchair users, as well as those with mobility issues, can be multifold. These treatments have shown effectiveness in improving range of motion, while reducing dependence on various pharmaceuticals.

Chiropractic care for wheelchair users

Many consider chiropractic care to be among the best alternative to pain medications, which can produce side effects and dependence potential. However, you’ll need to consult a qualified and experienced chiropractor to benefit from this holistic treatment approach.

Below are some ways chiropractic care helps wheelchair users:

Improve Flexibility and Mobility

While various conditions are responsible for restricting people to the wheelchair, users often share the same problem of misaligned bones and muscle tension,  especially in the legs, knees, and feet. Unfortunately, some cases cannot be relieved by pain medication or resting.

However, chiropractic interventions can help improve the flexibility and mobility of affected muscles and bones through chiropractic managed...

  • Light to moderate stretching;
  • Specialized massage;
  • Introduction of gentle muscle force; 
  • Corrective physical therapy; and
  • Other specialized chiropractic services.

These chiropractic care techniques can gradually improve pain, flexibility and aid various mobility-limiting conditions.  After an established number of chiropractic sessions, a wheelchair user's body may begin to feel better and lighter, as these interventions release contractions. These sessions also help to prevent the onset of other injuries.

Relieve Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain is one of the issues that many wheelchair users endure daily. While the pain might be related to injuries that confined them to wheelchairs, it might also be due to sitting in the wheelchair for a long time. Wheelchair users experience pain originating from different locations. Common types of pain that a chiropractor can alleviate include:

Neuropathic pain – Also called neurogenic pain, it occurs due to abnormal nerve communication between the nerves supplying the brain and spinal cord. Nerve signals from the spinal cord and other body parts inform the brain how your body feels. This pain occurs when the brain misunderstands nerve signals from various body parts.

Musculoskeletal pain – Occurs due to muscles, joints, and bone problems. This is common for people confined to wheelchairs or of advancing age. It is caused by strain, injury, arthritic changes, and wear and tear of joints from wheelchair use. Musculoskeletal pain often worsens with movement and gets better during rest.

Visceral pain – This is associated with the abdominal region, specifically the stomach and digestive area. Visceral pain is caused by medical conditions, such as constipation, appendicitis, kidney stone, or ulcer. Unfortunately, visceral pain is often felt in a different area (referred pain.)

Regardless of the cause of pain and its manifestation, a chiropractor can help to alleviate this pain among wheelchair users. Chiropractors treat chronic pain using various methods, including corrective physical therapy.

Healthy Blood Circulation

Besides restricting mobility, sitting in a wheelchair may impede regular blood circulation in the body. Lack of exercise and movements, especially in the lower parts of the body, leads to irregular blood flow. Without interventions, reduced blood flow to extremities can lead to complicated medical issues.

Chiropractic interventions can significantly improve blood circulation. Improved circulation nourishes and detoxifies various body tissues and organs. Successful reintroduction of smooth blood circulation allows all body parts to function normally.

Other benefits of chiropractic care to wheelchair users and mobility-challenged individuals include:

Speedy recovery of sports-related injuries – Those using wheelchairs because of sports-related injuries have the potential to recover faster with chiropractic care. Without physical therapies and chiropractic interventions, healing of tissue and muscular injuries can prolong, especially for seniors.

Reduces inflammation – Another benefit of chiropractic treatment is reduced inflammation of the joints and muscles. Lowered inflammation contributes to faster tissue repair and restoration.

Lowers blood pressure – Chiropractic care can help to reduce overall blood pressure, especially for seniors confined to wheelchairs.

Prevents digestion issues – Digestive problems are among the common issues experienced by wheelchair users. Acid reflux, heartburn, and other minor digestive problems often can be addressed by chiropractic treatment.

Boosts energy – Chiropractic care is also known to boost energy. This significantly helps in battling fatigue, a common issue for wheelchair users.

Boosts immunity – Wheelchair users also improve their immunity by visiting a chiropractor. Improved immunity is important in fending off common illnesses. Wheelchair users can easily pick up illnesses with debilitating effects on quality of life and independence.

Endnote

Like other alternative therapies, such as chair yoga, acupuncture, and massage, chiropractic care can be highly beneficial to wheelchair users. It improves mobility, alleviates chronic back pain, and provides other benefits that improve the overall quality of life for wheelchair users. These treatments also pose a lower risk of harm than conventional treatment options, such as prescription drugs, surgery, and injections.

Before starting chiropractic care, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the potential benefits for you.

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Information Source: Content for this article was provided by Accident Care Chiropractic,  which has 15 locations across the Northwest U.S., including chiropractic clinics in Portland, Salem and Vancouver.


Related Resources - Chiropractic Care

Wheelchair Sports Activities  
Resources for Wheelchair Users  
Types of Manual Wheelchairs  
Electric Wheelchair Options  
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