Chiropractic Care and Your Sympathetic Nervous System


While chiropractic physicians are generally thought of as experts in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems (particularly those related to back and neck pain), chiropractic treatments can also help the body’s nervous system function more effectively. From freeing pinched nerves and relieving generalized pain to regulating the immune system and stimulating healing, chiropractic care can achieve a wide range of long-lasting health benefits.

To understand how chiropractic care can have these broader benefits, it’s useful to know a little bit about how your nervous system works. Doctors use a few different frameworks for describing the structure and function of the nervous system. One of the most basic frameworks distinguishes between your autonomic nervous system (ANS) or “involuntary” nervous system and your somatic nervous system (SoNS) or “voluntary” nervous system. The remainder of this article is about the two main branches of the ANS, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The body’s autonomic nervous system is actually made up of three parts-the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system and the enteric nervous system. All of these parts work together to act as a control system that regulates the functions of the internal organs, such as the heart, stomach and intestines. From a structural point of view, the ANS operates as a complex network of neurons that originates inside the spinal cord and extends throughout the body via a series of interconnected hubs (called “ganglia” or “trunks”).

Chiropractic Care


The ANS is active at all times and is responsible for unconscious regulation of our glands and organs. In very general terms, the sympathetic nervous system regulates the “fight or flight” responses during times of stress or anxiety, including increased awareness, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and sweating. In contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system coordinates processes associated with the “rest and recover” or “rest and digest” responses, such as salivation, tears, sexual arousal and digestion.

The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems have a complementary, push-pull relationship that allows the body to respond very swiftly when necessary (through the sympathetic nervous system’s quick mobilization) and to slow down to perform other, less urgent activities in the background when appropriate (through the parasympathetic nervous system’s more gradual dampening). Together, these systems act a bit like an accelerator and a brake for our bodies and also help to maintain balance, or “homeostasis.”

During the fight or flight response, your body slows or shuts down many of the rest and repair processes so that more energy is available for the processes necessary for near-term survival. In nonemergency situations, the parasympathetic nervous system is supposed to go to work, conserving energy and directing it to rest and repair responses, including healing. This is where chiropractic care can be very helpful.

While stress hormones and the physiological changes they trigger can be helpful (maybe even life-saving) when we’re facing real physical threats, they can do significant damage to our health over the long term if they’re switched on all the time. Certain types of chiropractic adjustments have been shown to affect the autonomic nervous system by helping to down-regulate the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate parasympathetic activity. Quieting the fight or flight responses in turn promotes healing, bolsters the immune system and helps relieve the immediate sensation of pain.

There’s no doubt that chiropractors can help patients find relief from acute injuries and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. But we may also be able to help you address neurological problems. If you’re interested in learning more, we encourage you to call or visit the office today!

– Ribley Family Chiropractic Staff

Chiropractic Care Woodstock GA

Additional Resources

Sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to specific diversified adjustments to chiropractic vertebral subluxations of the cervical and thoracic spine.

Short-term effects of cervical manipulation on edge light pupil cycle time: A pilot study.

Hormones: Chemical Messengers and the Chiropractic Link.


The average American eats over 12 pounds of it each year. The average Swiss eats about 22 pounds. What are we talking about? Chocolate, of course!

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Voices of Major League Baseball:
Players Speak Up About the Value of Chiropractic Care

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Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy:
A Great Combination!


Chiropractic physicians at Ribley Family Chiropractic are experts in diagnosing and treating disorders that affect the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. They are specially trained to identify and correct structural misalignment and imbalances in the back, neck and joints that can cause a variety of health problems. The techniques that chiropractors use to accomplish this are typically referred to as adjustments, manipulation or mobilization.

Depending on the situation, it may also be necessary or useful for patients to receive therapeutic massage – either before or after a chiropractic adjustment – as part of a well-designed treatment plan. This is because the body’s bones are surrounded by soft tissues-muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage – that can contribute to pain and loss of function and that can also make chiropractic adjustments more difficult and less effective under some circumstances. Massage therapy can often be helpful in accelerating the body’s healing processes and in relaxing tight muscles.

Chiropractic Care Massage Therapy

In the simplest terms, chiropractors work with bones and massage therapists work with soft tissues. But as treatment modalities, they are compatible and complementary. This combination of treatments often produces a more comfortable patient experience as well as superior results. Massage is often recommended as a preparation for a chiropractic adjustment because it relieves the muscle tension that may be pulling joints out of alignment and makes it easier to move them back into place.

Massage is also relaxing, and a relaxed body is easier for the chiropractor to work with. In addition, as the chiropractor corrects the structural problems that are causing pain or limiting your mobility, massage can complement the healing process by stretching and relaxing muscles that have been aggravated by these structural problems, making it easier for you to stretch and exercise, and thus more quickly achieve a state of normal well-being.

Many chiropractors work hand-in-hand with massage therapists because their treatment modalities are so complementary. Patients who are working with massage therapists to address soft tissue problems but find that their symptoms persist are frequently referred to chiropractic physicians for further diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, chiropractic patients usually find that their treatment proceeds faster and with less discomfort when the soft tissue has been relaxed with massage. Recovery-especially from musculoskeletal conditions that cause pain and limit mobility-is normally faster and more complete when the underlying causes are addressed holistically, with the chiropractor working to resolve the structural problems and the massage therapist working to resolve the soft tissue problems. Chiropractors and massage therapists who work together collaborate to find the proper combination of chiropractic adjustments and massage to achieve your health and wellness goals as quickly as possible.


Chiropractic and massage therapy are holistic treatment modalities that share a common goal of treating the whole body, helping you to achieve a state of optimal health and well-being without resorting to drugs or surgery. Both focus on trying to resolve the underlying cause of your pain or discomfort rather than simply treating isolated symptoms. Used together, they can be a powerful combination!

If you or someone you care about is suffering from musculoskeletal problems, we encourage you to call or visit our office today. We’re always happy to discuss our overall approach as well as the treatment options we provide.

Call today for an appointment with one of our 4 Massage Therapists at (770) 592-2505! They book up fast, so call now!

Some insurance policies cover Therapeutic Chiropractic Massage, so send us your insurance and we will be happy to review for you and get you scheduled.

- Ribley Family Chiropractic Staff

Car Insurance Claims and Personal Injury Claims

DOs and DON’Ts

At Ribley Chiropractic, we have a team of Doctors, Attorneys and Office Staff Members that will take care of all Car Accident Insurance Claims and Personal Injury Claims. We will take care of your insurance claim needs while you are treated for possible neck and back injuries.

If you’re involved in a car accident, or personal injury claim, it’s important you maintain clear communication with your insurance company, or the insurance company for the other party. The following article includes some “DOs and DON’Ts” to remember throughout the insurance claims process.

For the best experience, please call our office today at (770) 592-2505.


Let’s get started:


DO call Ribley Family Chiropractic to schedule your appointment with one of our Doctor and our Attorneys to assist you in the claims.

DO call the police, no matter how minor the car accident or personal injury. This will provide you with a legal record of the incident.

DO call your agent as soon as an accident or injury takes place.

DO have our attorneys at Ribley Family Chiropractic review and understand your coverage before talking to your insurer or your agent. Read the “Coverage” and “Exclusion” sections of you policy in particular. For you insurance coverage, or if the claim is being filed against the other driver, please call Ribley Family Chiropractic at (770) 592-2505.

Ribley Family Chiropractic Insurance Coverage - Woodstock GA 30189DO take and keep detailed notes of all conversations with insurance company representatives, and get names, phone numbers, and job titles of people you speak with, including their supervisor’s name. If you are able to record the call, please state to the agent that you are recording the call and ask their permission.

DO consider whether you might have insurance coverage under some other insurance policy as well. In particular, look at homeowner policies, “umbrella” policies, and materials that came with your credit cards.

DO take pictures and/or video, if possible, of damage to your vehicle, the accident scene, and your injuries.

DO be honest and forthcoming with your insurer. It will be less embarrassing if your insurer knows all the facts immediately. Failing to be candid with your insurer might invalidate your policy or cause a denial of coverage.

DO have one of our attorneys explain to you the difference between replacement coverage and depreciated or actual cash value. For example, if your policy provides replacement coverage, don’t settle a personal property loss for “actual cash value.” You may be required to replace the lost items before getting your full reimbursement if you have replacement cost coverage.

DO remember that your claim covers all expenses. So, please keep all receipts of meals, lodging, and purchases made in connection with time spent pursuing your claim or recovering from your injuries from the time of the covered event until final settlement with your insurance company.



DON’T give any recorded or written statements to your insurer until you are sure you understand your coverage. Remember you aren’t required to allow the insurance company to record your telephone conversation. If you have doubts, Ribley Family Chiropractic has its own attorneys to work with you.

DON’T automatically accept the estimate or appraisal of your losses given to you by the insurer. Insurance companies will often try to get you to accept their estimator’s or contractor’s repair or replacement estimates, which might be a bit low. It is best to receive your own estimates, however, do not share with contractors that this is part of an insurance claim or they may inflate the price.

DON’T sign any releases or waivers of any kind until you obtain legal advice. A bad financial situation after a major loss may make it seem necessary for you accept a premature, inadequate settlement from your insurer. But you may remember destroyed items after you have signed a release as to payment for your personal property inventory or other claims. For these reasons, it is advisable to consult an attorney before signing a release or waiver. Be sure to read the fine print on any payment from the insurance company.

DON’T accept any check that says “final payment” unless you are ready to do so.

DON’T ignore time limits set by your policy. Most policies require a signed proof of loss within a certain time limit. Be sure you comply with this requirement unless you obtain a written waiver from your insurance company. Many policies allow you only one year from the date of loss in which to bring a legal action if your claim has not been adjusted fairly. If your claim hasn’t been settled to your satisfaction 11 months after your loss, consult an attorney immediately. A failure to do so could result in the loss of your right to sue.


DON’T forget that you have a contract with your insurer. Your insurer has a legal obligation to provide the coverage it promised to you. Be insistent about enforcing that obligation.

Find Out if You Have a Valid Claim for Damages

Car accidents are the leading cause of personal injury claims in the U.S. While most minor accidents (or “fender benders”) can be resolved through your insurer, accidents resulting in serious injuries or even death are best handled by an experienced injury lawyer. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact Ribley Family Chiropractic to have your claim reviewed absolutely free.

– Your Friendly Staff at Ribley Family Chiropractic

Ribley Family Chiropractic - Suffering from an Injury - How to Relieve Pain

If you have recently been involved in an accident that causes you to be suffering from pain or discomfort, then Ribley Family Chiropractic may be for you. Recently awarded the Top Chiropractic Office in Towne Lake, you will find everything that you are looking for in service.

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Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes : An Introduction for Parents – Chiropractic Caretemp-post-image

There’s a curious dynamic at work in youth sports these days. Maybe you’ve noticed?

On the one hand, chiropractors and public health officials are worried about a broad decline in team sport participation among children because of injuries in young athletes. According to a recent survey, the number of kids between the ages of 6 and 17 who play organized baseball, basketball, football, and soccer fell about 4% between 2008 and 2012.

And on the other hand, healthcare professionals, including those in Chiropractic Care, are also worried about many of the estimated 60 million children in the U.S. who do play organized team sports. They see ...

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Football is very, very hard on players’ bodies. By some estimates, American football players suffer about 500,000 injuries a year-twice as many as in any other sport. NFL injury data indicate that there were over 1,300 on-field injuries during the 2013/2014 season.

A company called SimpleTherapy analyzed this data and found that some parts of players’ bodies are actually much more likely to be hurt than others. Knees are most vulnerable (involved in 22.3% of injuries), followed by ankles (15.3%), lower legs (11.5%) and shoulders (8.6%). That said, it’s pretty clear that a player’s entire musculoskeletal system is put at risk every time they suit up.

Given this reality, it’s not surprising that every one of the NFL’s 32 teams has a chiropractic physician on staff to prevent and treat injuries as well as to help players improve performance. Dr. Spencer Baron is the Team Chiropractor for the Miami Dolphins and has served as president of the Professional Football Chiropractic Society. He offers this perspective on the relationship between professional football and chiropractic care:

“The robust need for chiropractic care in the NFL has been deeply driven by the players’ desire for peak physical conditioning and not simply for injuries. From the earliest years of full contact football, their bodies are subject to structural stress that doctors of chiropractic are specially trained to care for. Many DCs who provide their services to professional athletes travel with their respective teams throughout the season, treating players up until game time, during the game and sometimes immediately following.”

But what about NFL players themselves? How do they view chiropractic care? Some of the game’s most-recognized players have spoken publicly over the years about their own experience.

Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs)

“I’ve been seeing a chiropractor and he’s really been helping me out a lot. Chiropractic’s been a big part of my game. Chiropractic care works for me.”

NFL & Chiropractic Care


Emmitt Smith (Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals)

“Do I need to find an NFL Chiropractor? It was time for me to invest in me… I found a specialist that’s really good in balancing out my body to make sure my hips are rotated right, and my body is functioning properly…”

“I remember somebody telling me that what I put myself in during the games is like having a car wreck every Sunday. It’s against the norm. You can find yourself in awkward positions. That stuff takes its toll. But if you take advantage of the chiropractic care, balance your body back out, put it back where it’s supposed to be, you function better, and you recover faster… You can have a Ferrari body, but your wheels need balancing. I felt if I took care of my body, I could still function when I got older.”

Jerry Rice (San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks)

Most injuries require chiropractic care. It works better for me than anything else.”

“I believe in chiropractic, and I know that it works. You probably know about my long and successful career in football. I’m flattered by the testimonials to my durability. Football is a very rough and vigorous sport. Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game.”

“If I had everything in alignment, I knew I could play my best football. Dancing with the Stars was every bit as exhausting and challenging. Though not nearly as brutal as football, it required many hours of practice and I had aches and pains that I’d never had before. Again, chiropractic made the difference, and kept me dancing and in the competition.”

Tom Brady (New England Patriots)

“Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”

Lance Moore (New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers)

“Not only did my chiropractor get me back on the field,” he said, “but he helped me to stay on the field. My body just feels much better overall because of the care I’ve gotten.”

Reggie Bush (New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions)

“I look at chiropractic care as important to keeping me healthy and at the top of my game.”

“As a professional athlete, I am highly competitive-only accept the best. When it comes to healthcare, chiropractic is an essential service. It keeps my on-field performance at its highest level and contributes to the success of the entire team.”

Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers)

“In this game you have to take care of your body. Over the course of a game your body just feels wrecked. Every Monday it hurts to get out of bed. I told my chiropractor, I want to feel good in the morning. A lot of my credit goes to him for keeping me healthy.”

But the players aren’t the only ones in the NFL with physically demanding jobs. While it’s not widely recognized by the public, cheerleading is difficult and dangerous work. Recent studies have indicated that two-thirds of the serious sports injuries reported by women in the United States occur in connection with cheerleading. The number of cheerleading-related emergency room visits increased from around 5,000 in 1980 to over 26,000 by 2007. The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that there were almost 37,000 emergency room visits for cheerleading injuries among girls aged 6 to 22 in 2011. So-once again-we see some of the NFL’s finest athletes turning to team chiropractors.

Chelsea Causey and Amanda Mitchell (Washington Redskins’ Cheerleaders)

“I’ve experienced multiple injuries during my career as a cheerleader-everything from pulled hamstrings to sprains and even lower back pain-setbacks that chiropractic care has always helped me recover from.”

“Without chiropractic care I would not have made it past my first year. After receiving treatment, I began to notice the pain starting to subside as well as improvement in flexibility during performances.”

– Ribley Family Chiropractic Office Staff

Chiropractic Care in the NFL

Additional Resources
Bumps, Bruises and Breaks.

Chiropractors in the NFL.

Cheerleading Accounts For More Than Half of ‘Catastrophic’ Injuries to Girl Athletes.

Cheerleading and Chiropractic – A Natural Choice!


“Gait” isn’t a word that you’re likely to hear very often these days. And if you do hear it (assuming you’re not a healthcare professional of some sort), chances are that you’re watching a horse race or some other kind of equestrian event. But the word can actually be used much more broadly:

“The pattern of movement of the limbs of animals, including humans, during locomotion over a solid substrate.”

“A manner of walking or moving on foot.”

These definitions come courtesy of Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster, and they’re a great starting point for discussing some important ideas. As chiropractic physicians, it’s common for us to talk about posture-the way your body is p...

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Top 5 Workouts for Increasing Range of Motion in Your Back


Back pain can have a truly negative effect on your professional life as well as your lifestyle. It can be difficult to get out of bed and make the morning commute. Then-depending on what you do for a living-pain and limited mobility can take a huge toll on your productivity while you’re at work. And when you return home, you may also find that you’re not able to do the active things you enjoy with your family and friends. It’s no wonder that chronic back pain can lead to depression.

If you or someone you care about is suffering from back pain, the good news is that there are things that can be done about it. First of all, it’s essential that you get proper medical attention so that your condition can be diagnosed and an appropriate treatment plan can be put in place. Chiropractic Care physicians are experts at diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems as well as problems with the nervous system. Depending on your specific situation, he or she may recommend a variety of in-office treatment options to help relieve pain and restore function. Your doctor may also prescribe a series of at-home exercises or stretches designed to increase the range of motion in your back.

Range of motion is the movement of a joint from full flexion (flexed) to full extension. Certain back problems, ranging from spinal misalignment and muscle imbalances to sprains, strains and pinched nerves (just to name a few), can significantly limit how much you can move. Here are workouts that can help improve your back’s mobility. Remember-use these only after consulting with your chiropractor!

1) Aquatic exercise. Perfect as a low-impact exercise that’s gentle on your joints and muscles, swimming and other water exercises are a great way to ease your back into working out. It is especially beneficial when the water is warm-say, between 83 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have access to a heated pool, check out the gyms in your town. Many of the big-name gyms feature not only heated swimming pools, but also hot tubs and steam rooms, which can help relax your joints and muscles, giving them a much-needed break.

2) Walking. As simple as it sounds, walking is a great way to get simple, accessible exercise. It also strengthens your heart, lungs and overall endurance. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear and take it easy-there’s no need to start out walking miles a day unless you’re up to it. Again, ask your chiropractor for his or her advice.

3) Strength and resistance training. According to Harvard Medical School, not only is resistance training good for increasing range of motion, but it also strengthens your heart, lungs, and overall endurance.

4) Tai chi. An ancient form of Chinese exercise, tai chi is practiced through a series of slow moving poses that can be very effective at extending your range of motion. In addition to increasing flexibility, it is also purported to strengthen muscles, and develop balance and coordination.

5) Yoga. Like tai chi, yoga is another very old form of exercise. Developed in India over a great many years, yoga eases stiffness in muscles and encourages greater range of motion. Just be careful not to overdo it-it could be detrimental to your condition.

– Your Ribley Chiropractic Family Staff

5 Workouts for Back Pain

Growth Plate Injuries: What Parents Should Know

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