How Chiropractic Care Can Help with Addictions

Chiropractic Care for Headaches

Addiction and substance abuse are pervasive problems throughout the United States: an estimated 20% of the population has some kind of addiction. The disease is often linked to crime, traffic deaths, drowning, and suicide, impacting not only addicts themselves but also their loved ones. Treatment for addiction is difficult and often lifelong, but very possible – and at Waypoint Chiropractic, we are dedicated to helping those who struggle with substance abuse heal fully. Along with a personal recovery plan, regular chiropractic care can help individuals manage their addictions, along with their physical and mental health.

Common Treatment for Addiction

While addiction includes certain behaviors and choices, it is also considered a disease that many individuals need help to manage. The most successful treatment plans are often a mix of counseling, rehabilitation programs, and ongoing recovery work, like a twelve-step program or something similar. It is very common for people with substance abuse disorders to have underlying mental health conditions as well, and this can sometimes be treated with medication to help with mood stabilization. However, using medication to treat addiction can be counterintuitive.

The approach of a Bozeman chiropractor is not to replace these important methods of treatment, but to help with the root causes of the issue by helping the brain and body heal and function optimally.

Addiction and the Body

All aspects of the body and mind are related to the central nervous system, which includes the spinal cord and brain. The central nervous system helps the nerves throughout the body to transfer messages properly, allowing the body to move properly and all other systems to function well, including things like hormones and brain chemistry. When something like a spinal misalignment interrupts this communication, it can have negative impacts in many ways.

These impacts can be far-reaching and include things like negative emotions, including stress and anxiety, which can be highly correlated to addiction. Many chiropractors have studied something called “brain reward cascade chemicals,” which take a specific route in your body to help with normal systems that help a person feel good. When this route is interrupted, it can lead to “reward deficiency syndrome” and cause people to seek alternative forms of pleasure, like substances.

Chiropractic Care and Addiction

Dr. Jay Holder, who contributed to the idea of brain reward cascade chemicals, also conducted significant research on chiropractic and addiction. This research showed that addicts who paired their recovery program with regular chiropractic care had much higher success rates than those who did not.

When an individual undergoes adjustments by a chiropractor like Dr. Cary Gentry, their nervous system is free of interruptions and is better able to function. This includes the ability to properly transmit brain chemicals and manage mental health, which can contribute heavily to success in recovery.

At Waypoint Chiropractic, there is no judgment for any of our practice members. We are proud to help individuals with many needs, including addiction recovery. When you make your first appointment, Dr. Cary Gentry will work with you to create a plan specifically for you with the care and compassion you deserve.


“Beating Addiction: From Bondage to Freedom.” Alternative Medicine, May 1999: 38-40.

Holder, J.M., Duncan, R.C., Gissen, M., Miller, M., Blum, K. “Increasing Retention Rates Among the Chemically Dependent in Residential Treatment: Auriculotherapy and Subluxation-Based Chiropractic Care.” Molecular Psychiatry, Feb 2001; 6(1). 

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