Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression.

Suffering from anxiety and depression can feel debilitating. No longer finding joy in things once loved and having a constant feeling of impending doom can really take a toll on the body and mind. Sadly, over 40 million adults (31%) in the U.S. experience an anxiety disorder at one point or another in life, while over 16 million people of all ages (6.7%) in the U.S. have a major depressive episode each year. The good news is that seeing a chiropractor can often help alleviate symptoms.


Each case of anxiety and depression has its own unique set of symptoms. Approximately 50% of people who suffer from depression also have anxiety. The most common symptoms of depression and anxiety that are present in a majority of cases include:

Depression Symptoms

  • Feelings of persistent sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of emptiness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and passions
  • Lack of motivation
  • Self-isolation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Hypersomnia (oversleeping)
  • Suicidal thoughts

Anxiety Symptoms

  • Worry or fear in the absence of a specific threat
  • Feeling worried more often than not
  • The object of worry is uncontrollable and shifts from one topic to the next
  • At least 3 of the following:
    • Restless or “on edge” feelings
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Feeling as if one's mind went blank
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Irritability
    • Fatigue (more than typical)
    • Muscle aches

Causes and Help for Anxiety and Depression

Spinal health influences almost every region of your body, and there is supporting evidence that regular spinal adjustments help keep the central nervous system in optimal condition, just as regular oil changes keep your car running. The spinal cord is like a superhighway for the central nervous system, connecting the brain to the rest of the body. When one or more of the vertebrae have shifted out of place, it can irritate the nerves and interfere with the nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain, causing a whole host of signs and symptoms. An interruption in nervous system function can manifest through both physical and mental pain.

The main goal of chiropractic treatment is to focus on removing structural shifts in the spine that may be limiting nervous system function—and many chiropractors suspect that adjustments of the upper cervical spine (neck) give some patients relief who are suffering with anxiety and depression. A small research study in 2013 supports chiropractic treatment of the upper cervical spine in patients with mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression. The patients in the study who received chiropractic care reported a lessening of symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as a decrease in muscle tension and pain and an increase in energy and mental clarity. Another study reported that of 2,818 patients undergoing chiropractic care, 78% reported an improvement in their mental/emotional health. They also reported positive changes in stress with increased life enjoyment for months following chiropractic care.

Spinal adjustment can have a positive impact on mood by triggering hormones throughout your body that are involved in positive nervous system functioning. Studies show that after getting a chiropractic adjustment, your body triggers an increase in the following hormones:

  • neurotensin, which neutralizes stress-induced pain
  • oxytocin, which boosts neuro-communication and feelings of social bonding
  • cortisol, which blocks pain deriving from inflammation

Why Seek Chiropractic Care If You Suffer From Depression and Anxiety?

Successful treatment of depression and anxiety is something medication alone is typically unable to achieve. Half of the people who take SSRI antidepressants (commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and depression) are not relieved of their symptoms, and those who do find some relief this way must continually rely on the medications, which come with their own set of undesirable side effects.

Chiropractors help put the body in a state of optimal functionality by removing nervous system interference, and this type of interference may contribute to anxiety and depression. Also, relief from chronic pain gives many individuals a whole new—and positive—outlook. Chiropractors take a mind-body approach to wellness; they look at all aspects of health and may integrate various therapies for the improvement of overall health, including adjustments, therapies, exercise, diet and supplements. Along with your other healthcare providers, chiropractors can be an important part of your healthcare team to help you manage your anxiety and depression.

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I've been coming to see Dr. Bob since 1984 for my back pain. After each visit, the vast improvement lasts about one whole month. Even after all these years, Dr. Bob continues to provide outstanding care for me, my children, and my grandchildren. I've referred several people to HealthWise Chiropractic, so they too can see the results I have. My favorite part of my visits is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff and doctors and, of course, the results I get that improve my daily living."
    Danny S.
  • "About ten years ago I was at the gym, I bent over and couldn't get up, the pain was horrible. I contacted Healthwise and Dr. Mike gave me an emergency appointment that evening. He did a complete physical and x-ray before he started any treatment. After my first treatment I was able to stand up and walk with minimal pain. With a few visits I was back to normal. I continued treatments as needed for the next several years.
    I see Dr. Bob regularly to stay fit and pain-free. He tests my strength and weakness to determine the best treatment. Our open discussion led him to help my acid reflux. I now exercise and walk as is essential for a septuagenarian.
    I told Dr. Bob that I was starting to get knee pain that I thought was arthritis; I didn't think chiropractic care could help. He told me about new equipment to help. I look forward to improvement.
    I was a skeptic of chiropractic care, now I would recommend HealthWise to anyone with chronic/simple pain. It worked for me. It can work for you!"
    Sherry B.
  • "I was very miserable with constant pain in my leg while knowing it had something to do with my back. My friend surprised me with an appointment with Dr. Bob. After being treated by Dr. Bob I knew right away it was exactly what I needed. I learned a lot through my conversations with the doctor. I am really thankful to Dr. Bob and his staff."
    Ed L.
  • "I had a very limited understanding of chiropractic care until I tried it for the first time 12 years ago. I came in with severe pain in my neck, which prohibited me from moving my head. I was greeted by a kind staff, had an exam and x-rays done on my first appointment followed by an adjustment. I felt so much better after my first adjustment and by following the treatment plan my headaches and migraines improved. My overall health has improved because of chiropractic care. Dr. Bob helps make sure that I am taking the right supplements to optimize my health and fitness performance. They have helped me with allergies, knee and shoulder pain, and earaches. I had no idea when I began my chiropractic journey just how much help the doctors and staff at HealthWise would be at improving my quality of life."
    Britt H.
  • "I have been a patient at HealthWise Chiropractic for over 20 years. In the past and currently I am seeing Dr. Bob, however, I have seen all docs at Healthwise. My general issues are usually seasonally related to sinus and allergies. Recently I have been receiving treatment for my hip and lower back. Dr. Bob zeros in on trigger points and quickly relieves my pain. He is a wealth of knowledge and offers help and suggestion on my health issues. The staff is friendly and helpful. I leave feeling better and I believe helps to keep my body aligned and energized. I have also come in after falls, injuries and surgeries. I truly believe my adjustments at the time added to a quicker recovery."
    Liz B.
  • "I have been a patient of Dr. Bob for two and half months. . I see him for an adjustment every two weeks. I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in January 2021 while working in Florida for my continued lower back pain and chronic bilateral hip bursitis. Because my pain was mostly relieved with continued adjustments, I decided to continue with treatment when returning to Wisconsin. I have been very happy with my continued pain relief/adjustments at HealthWise. I highly recommend anyone with chronic back and neck pain to try chiropractic adjustments here at HealthWise. It will make your life better."
    Marianne V.
  • "Really enjoyed the different things that they can do for you and your pain management. Would highly recommend."
    Rhiannon P.
  • "I enjoy coming, getting readjusted and any additional therapies. It has made my life healthier and less stressful. If I have questions, they are answered at that visit. The staff is very professional, personable and friendly. I always look forward to my next visit with them. I am glad to be part of Healthwise Chiropractic family:)"
    Marcella L.
  • "Dr. Mike is fantastic! He is very personable….will take time to really to your needs… I enjoy my visits…the maintenance has helped tremendously…..and he is there when the emergency pops up! Excellent Chiropractor!"
    Ann W.

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