Can Chiropractic Cure my Hangover?

Saint Patrick's Day, New Year's Day, your birthday.... a Tuesday.

All are reasons for good folks to engage in jovial overindulgence in beer, wine, spirits, and the like. We all either have stories, or have heard stories of the morning following some unrestrained drinking. The level of misery from a hangover can run the gamut from mild inconvenience, to pestilent scourge, and to satisfy your curiosity, we've laid out exactly why hangovers suck here:

  • Dehydration:  
    • Alcohol stimulates processes within the body which allow the kidneys to release more fluid as urine, causing overall fluid loss and dehydration. This can cause someone to become fatigued, thirsty, and contribute to other symptoms such as headache.  
  • Disrupted sleep:  
    • Sleep with alcohol in the body is not as deep and restorative. Fragmented nights' sleep, and inability to sleep for long enough leaves the body feeling unrested. An interesting aside, having children is the best way to fully understand the misery caused by chronic lack of sleep. Also, your kids don't care that you're hung over.  
  • Intestinal distress:  
    • Alcohol is a tissue irritant, which can affect the stomach lining. This can lead to increased acid production by the stomach lining, stomach discomfort, and nausea: the reason why your friend's hangover story is sooo fun to tell.  
  • Alcohol metabolism by-products.    
    • Here's where we get a little nerdy. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver, which breaks alcohol's chemical compound into something called Acetaldehyde. This toxic by-product contributes to inflammation of multiple body systems, and in addition to inflammation, leaves you feeling like death.  
  • Inflammation:  
    • Inflammation levels in the body are increased by alcohol consumption. This contributes to an overall feeling of being ill, and in this clinician's unscientific observation, is linked to the promise one makes to themselves in the depths of a hangover: “I'm never drinking again...”  

It's unlikely that being adjusted will “cure” a hangover, but it may have some positive effects for those experiencing any of the symptoms caused by one.

  • Hangovers can cause odd sleeping positions:  
    • As John Cusack announces in Runaway Jury: “I woke up on my stove...” Overindulgence in alcohol can make for some unorthodox sleeping positions. These strained sleeping positions can make for significant mechanical discomfort, contributing to headache, back pain, and joint pain. We adjust people for this by itself all the time, and with great results!
  • Hangovers can cause Inflamed Muscles
    • As noted earlier, alcohol creates inflamed tissue. Getting adjusted generally relaxes tissue around the spine, and can help the inflammatory compounds be circulated out of these tissues, which reduces pain, and can help the symptoms resolve a bit sooner.  
  • Hangovers can cause Intestinal Distress
    • Getting adjusted has little direct effect on the overall inflammation of the gut, but can help gut function. Often, having the lumbar spine adjusted when experiencing mechanical gut distress such as constipation or indigestion, helps ease symptoms. There may be an improvement in at least these contributors to abdominal pain and distress if you get adjusted when you're hung over.  

      So that was fun. We'll close with this audacious claim made by one of our patients:


Did this really happen? Is it really possible that getting adjusted could “cure” a hangover? Meh. Probably not, but it could help. Give us a call.

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