Digestive issues such as heartburn, bloating, or excess gas are becoming all too frequent in today’s fast-paced world. When people are constantly on the run to keep up at work and home, they make not take the time to eat properly, rest, or exercise. All of these factors can easily lead to digestive problems. In fact, the second best selling drug in the United States, Nexium, treats acid reflux disease.
In most cases, an antacid such as Pepto Bismol can temporarily relieve symptoms, but not actually get to the root of the problem. Invariably, the digestive problems will flare up again, in what seems to be a never-ending cycle. There may actually be a way to break this cycle of poor lifestyle habits leading to digestive problems. Chiropractic treatment can provide a natural, effective way to not only cure digestive problems, but prevent them from recurring as often.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help Digestive Problems?
The nerves in the thoracic (chest and abdominal) region of the spine control digestion. If the thoracic vertebrae are out of alignment, these nerves become irritated. This irritation will make them send erratic impulses to the stomach and intestines, which will lead to digestive problems such as heartburn, bloating, and excess gas.
When the thoracic spine is put back into proper alignment, it allows the attached muscles and nerves to release the tension they may be holding. This release of tension can help alleviate digestive problems.
Research On Chiropractic Adjustments for Digestive Problems
A 1996 article in the journal Chiropractic Technique presented a case report of a young woman suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. She received two chiropractic treatments a week for three weeks. The thoracic, cervical (neck), and lumbar (lower back) regions were all treated. At the end of the treatment sessions, the patient’s symptoms had completely subsided.
A 2008 article in the journal Clinical Chiropractic reported on three pediatric patients (all under two years of age) who suffered from chronic constipation, with bowel movements ranging from every three days to only once a week. Changes in diet had not solved the problem. After chiropractic care, all three children’s bowel movements improved to every one or two days.
Digestive Problems after a Chiropractic Adjustment
As a result of the spine going back into alignment after a chiropractic treatment, some patients may find that their digestive problems will worsen. In almost all cases, this will last no more than 48 hours. As the body shifts back into alignment, it releases tension and toxins that it has been holding. This may result in nausea, diarrhea, or excessive gas. If these problems last for more than 48 hours, make an appointment with the chiropractor for a follow-up visit.
Of course, making healthy lifestyle changes will also help reduce digestive problems. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep and exercise will help the spine hold the correction much longer. Combine these changes with regular chiropractic adjustments, and the result will be a more regular digestive system.