Chiropractic and Gut Health

Woman experiencing stomach pain

Can Chiropractic Treatment Improve Your Digestive Health?

Chiropractic treatment doesn't just ease aches and pains in your joints and muscles. The therapy may also offer an effective treatment option if you have frequent stomachaches, reflux, constipation, and other gastrointestinal conditions.

How Chiropractic Treats the Source of Your Gut Problems

Your nervous system controls every part of your body, including your gastrointestinal system. A collection of nerves branches out from the lower part of your spinal cord and travels to your stomach and intestines. Nerves carry messages from one part of the body to another and play an essential role in digestion, movement of food through the gastrointestinal system, absorption of nutrients and minerals, and removal of waste products via the intestines.

Misalignments of your vertebrae, known as "subluxations," interfere with the way nerves function. When the vertebrae aren't properly aligned, bones or spinal discs can press against nerves, pinching or compressing them. This can cause the organs to malfunction, resulting in heartburn, gas, cramping, diarrhea, constipation or other symptoms. Muscle tension in your abdomen can also contribute to digestive problems, whether it occurs due to stress or as a result of sitting for hours every day.

Chiropractic treatment is aimed at relieving pressure on your nerves, joints, and muscles by realigning the vertebrae in your spine. Spinal manipulation or mobilization are two techniques that are commonly used to improve the alignment of your spinal column. Quick thrusts realign vertebrae during spinal manipulation, while slower, gentler movements are used during mobilization. Massage and other therapeutic techniques may also be part of your treatment plan.

Chiropractic Care Is a Good Option for GERD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Other Digestive Conditions

Digestive problems are particularly common in the U.S. and affect 60 to 70 million people, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' Digestive Disease Statistics for the United States report.

Twenty million people experience reflux, a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), at least once a week, the report notes. GERD affects both children and adults and can cause heartburn, chest pain, sore throat, nausea, belching, and difficulty swallowing. Reflux occurs when stomach acids travel out of the stomach and into the esophagus.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a type of medication often used to treat GERD symptoms. The medication works by reducing acid production in the stomach. Unfortunately, PPIs can cause unpleasant side effects including diarrhea, constipation, headaches, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. You may also be more likely to fracture a bone if you fall because PPIs may interfere with your body's absorption of calcium.

Even more concerning is the potential long-term effects on your stomach, heart, and kidneys. A recent study conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System uncovered a link between PPI use and chronic kidney disease, stomach cancer, and fatal cases of cardiovascular disease.

Reflux and other GERD symptoms can occur if nerves that serve the stomach and esophagus malfunction and irritate these organs. Chiropractic treatment relieves irritation and restores normal functioning.

Chiropractic care can also help you manage the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In a Chinese study, IBS patients who received spinal manipulation treatment five times experienced a significant reduction in the severity and frequency of their symptoms.

Chiropractic treatment is an excellent choice no matter what type of gastrointestinal issue you have. It may reduce flare-ups of Crohn's disease, help relieve chronic constipation, decrease abdominal pain and bloating, and even ease colic in infants.

Don't let digestive issues affect your quality of life. Chiropractic treatment can help you control your symptoms and may even allow you to reduce your dependence on medications. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Digestive Disease Statistics for the United States

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/digestive-diseases

Washington University School of Medicine: Heartburn Drugs Linked to Fatal Heart and Kidney Disease, Stomach Cancer, 5/30/19

https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/popular-heartburn-drugs-linked-to-fatal-heart-disease-chronic-kidney-disease-stomach-cancer/

NCBI: Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Treated by Traditional Chinese Orthopedic Manipulation, 12/12

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23427390

The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association: What Effect Does Chiropractic Treatment Have on Gastrointestinal GI Disorders: A Narrative Review of the Literature, 6/15

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486990/

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  • "Dr. Falwell and staff are wonderful people! I have been coming in quite frequently over the past few months and Dr. Falwell has completely changed my life. I went in with extremely painful lower back problems and other issues I had from being an athlete my whole life. Dr. Falwell completed an assessment before starting anything which i really liked. She asked me very thorough questions about my life and background so she had a good understanding of who I am and life changes I might need to make to improve my physical health. The staff here are fabulous, I love those ladies! There is a very friendly but professional atmosphere and I am always greeted with big smiles every time I come in."
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    After several medical tests, I was diagnosed with Cough Syncope, and there was nothing the medical profession could do. So guess who I asked to explain my condition: Dr. Fallwell. She not only relayed to me her knowledge of how the vagus nerve was involved but also applied that knowledge through her hands to restore my health. After a few treatments, my cough syncope stopped and so did the blackouts and seizures. Thanks, Dr. Fallwell!"
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  • "If you want to find a chiropractor who understands the mind, body, and spirit connection than look no further than Dr. Christine Fallwell. It is truly amazing to see your physical symptoms fade away after treatments by Dr. Chris. She encourages looking at all aspects of your life that, in time, ease your stress and inflammation in your body, thus promoting healing. She is one of a kind and I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Chris for the best in chiropractic care."
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    By the end of the first week of treatment, walking wasn't painful for my foot. My knees and back were working again much more comfortably than before! With a month of so of treatments three times a week, I was walking like normal with NO pain in my foot or knees!"
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