When treating patients with obstructive sleep apnea, you’ve likely recommended many of the most common treatments, including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or oral appliances. If your patient is still looking for more relief that allows them to get better quality sleep, you may want to consider chiropractic care to help treat their sleep apnea. New research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can help individuals find relief from sleep apnea symptoms, allowing them to feel rested throughout the day.
To understand the connection between chiropractic care and sleep apnea, ApneaMed is here to outline everything you need to know.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes an individual to experience breathing disruptions during the night when the soft tissues in their throat collapse and block their airway. This blockage leaves the patient snoring, choking, or gasping for air in an attempt to unblock their restricted airway. These cessations in breathing result in the individual feeling unrested and fatigued throughout the day, even after getting a full night’s sleep due to the poor sleep quality. When left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the chance of health problems such as stroke, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and more.
The Connection Between Chiropractic Care and Sleep Apnea
New research has started to uncover a connection between abnormalities in the spine, nervous system, brain, and respiration, meaning that having a properly aligned neck, head, and spine can promote the proper function of the body’s respiratory system.
Research shows that the individual will receive a higher quality of sleep by restoring the patient’s spinal stability and muscle and ligament alignment. In one of the studies, a 51-year-old man with spine trauma diagnosed with sleep apnea underwent chiropractic care. For 24-weeks, the chiropractor worked to correct the patient’s numerous postural deformities and vertebral subluxations. After just three visits the patient began noticing improvement in his sleep apnea.
How Chiropractic Care Can Treat Sleep Apnea
While CPAP therapy is an effective way of treating sleep apnea, it isn’t the only option available to patients. For those interested in trying chiropractic care, they expect to receive the following help from an experienced chiropractor:
Depending on what is found during the patient’s chiropractic exam, the chiropractor may recommend various techniques to restore posture or reduce nerve interference. Because the spine is the central component of your body’s functions, a misaligned spine can result in issues affecting the patient’s sleeping.
By providing the necessary spinal adjustments to resolve problems such as an obstructed windpipe, pinched nerve, or vertebral disc damage, the individual will experience relief and have an easier time breathing while they sleep.
Along with providing the necessary spinal adjustment, a chiropractor can recommend better sleeping positions to make it easier for a sleep apnea patient to sleep soundly. Certain sleep positions are more likely to make an individual’s throat tissue collapse, thus blocking their airway and causing breathing disruptions. By learning more efficient sleep positions, the patient will uncover ways to keep their spine more stable throughout the night and prevent their airway from becoming blocked.
A chiropractor will also determine if any additional factors may be increasing the likelihood of experiencing breathing disruptions throughout the night. They can help narrow down if any underlying factors may be leading to sleep apnea.
How to Get Started with a Chiropractor for Sleep Apnea
ApneaMed teams up with chiropractors to provide well-rounded treatment plans to ensure their patients have access to our self-administered at-home sleep apnea test, allowing the patient to get a sleep apnea diagnosis quickly and affordably.