Chiropractic Care and your Vision — What’s the Connection?
Your eyes and vision are important. They’re so important that we often greatly underestimate what they can do.
It’s interesting that various parts of the body are interconnected, and if one area functions inadequately, it’s quite possible this would effect other areas of the body as well. What’s even more interesting is the unique relationship between your vision and chiropractic care, but then again it’s not really surprising considering that your body’s nervous system is the power hub which controls and coordinates every single function in your body, which also includes your vision.
Your optic nerve is part of your body’s nervous system, which is responsible for supplying a lot of information to the brain. If there’s any disruption of any kind to your body’s nerve communication, the input, communication and functioning will be abnormal.
Because everything in your body is connected, something seemingly normal such as a spinal misalignment, which is also known as subluxation, can cause huge disruptions to your body’s central nervous system. This is when your chiropractor will step in; it’s their job to locate such problems and fix them before they become more serious. And this is also the reason why your chiropractor may be able to pinpoint the cause of some of your vision problems better than your ophthalmologist.
Traditionally, chiropractic care isn’t typically seen as a remedy or a cure for blindness or other vision impairments. However, if you talk with your chiropractor, they’re likely to tell you that they’ve experienced a number of instances where their chiropractic patients’ vision improved after undergoing chiropractic adjustments.
Studies show there’s a relationship between chiropractic care and an improvement in eyesight and there have been a number of different known cases of this occurring. One particular case involved a young girl, who had impaired vision from the bilateral concentric narrowing of her visual fields. Such a condition was once considered to be more permanent, but after visiting her chiropractor for just one spinal adjustment, her vision was restored back to normal.
The young girl went for one whole year without suffering from any vision problems after her standard spinal adjustment procedure until one day she was suddenly hit on the head by a flying ball. Being hit in the head caused her vision problems to return once more. After having another spinal adjustment, her sight was once again restored.
The abovementioned case is even more proof that there’s a connection before chiropractic care and vision. When the head receives a hit or even just a slight knock, it can result in problems of the neck and spine, and in some cases it can even alter the spine’s curvature. When the cervical spine is damaged, it can lead to a number of different nervous system problems, which naturally includes vision problems.
Another case in point is a 62-year-old male. He had been suffering from monocular vision problems coupled with ongoing headaches and a neck strain. Initially, it was believed that he was just experiencing vision problems that come with age, however after a fundoscopic examination, doctors failed to find any abnormalities in his optic nerve or retina. After having visited a chiropractor for a period of a week to receive spinal manipulative therapy, his headaches, neck strain and vision problems disappeared.
Other vision problems that chiropractic care can help improve or restore are oculomotor functioning, visual acuity, pupillary size, and intraocular pressure.
So, how does chiropractic care help?
The spine and the optic nerve’s blood supply are directly connected to the vertebral artery’s closeness to the cervical spine. In simpler terms, the eye’s blood supply is closely connected to your cervical spine’s health and positioning.
A specific study that related vision improvement with upper cervical chiropractic adjustments explains, in detail, some promising findings.
Kessinger, R., Boneva, D. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, Volume 2, No. 1 (1998).
– Case study investigating the relationship between Upper Cervical Specific chiropractic care and changes in visual acuity (1).
This longitudinal study is concerned with upper cervical specific care in order to investigate “the relationship between frequency of adjustments (hence presence of vertebral subluxation) and changes in visual acuity among a population of subjects previously naÃ¯ve to any form of chiropractic (3).
– The study’s duration of investigation “was designed to assess the concept of restoration of function as opposed to changes due to a short term stimulus-response evoked by a given force application to the spine” (3).
– Study Criteria: “required that participants (1) had no prior Upper Cervical Specific Care, (2) maintain their current lifestyle, (3) commit to following the chiropractic plan of care designed for the study. Consecutively, from the first 100 new patients entering care during the period of August through October, 1996, sixty seven met the requirements” (3)
– Characteristics of Case Population: “The population under study represented sixty seven subjects who had not previously experienced chiropractic care. They ranged in age from 9 to 79 years, averaging 46.4 ± 17.0.The subject group consisted of 37 females (48.7 ± 18.9 years) and 30 males (43.5 ±15.7 years). They were evaluated for each eye, before and six weeks after receiving chiropractic care, relative to their ability to accurately identify letters in a standard Snellen Chart.” (1).
– Significant literature supports the association between head/cervical neck trauma and visual disorders in both the absence and presence of degenerative joint changes (1).
– Professionals have noted the intimate relationship between the autonomic nervous system and the eye, and evidence indicates that there is a link between somatovisceral eye responses and vertebral subluxation (2).
– Vision returned in a different study of a patient whose optometric and ophthalmological examinations revealed only a visual response to be bilateral light perception, after eleven C1 adjustments over a three month period, at a follow up examination the patient reported being able to ready normally, and all subsequent ophthalmic findings supported a return to vision (2).
– In this study, vision acuity was measured as a function of the correct identification of letters in each distance category (3), and both eyes were compared before chiropractor treatment, and then again 6 weeks following care (4).
– The studies suggests that Upper Cervical Specific (C-1, C-2) chiropractic care caused a differential improvement in the visual acuity of both eyes, as measured as the percentage change in vision acuity before and 6 weeks after chiropractor care (5)
– Through upper cervical chiropractic adjustment procedures employed within the current study, vision acuity improvements appear to be linked to the correction of vertebral subluxation and chiropractic methods of upper cervical specific care.
Chiropractic care is not a direct treatment for vision impairments and problems, but when the spine is aligned properly in a number of patients, they have experienced better vision. Today, some chiropractors focus on just the spine’s health, however, many more are moving towards the idea of spinal alignment being connected to a person’s overall health.
The next, and final part of this 10 part series will summarize all the great information we’ve covered and give you specific action steps to start improving your vision naturally, TODAY.