Chiropractic Works for Digestive Conditions

Chiropractic Works for Digestive Conditions

Chiropractic Works for Digestive Conditions
            Chiropractic treatment works for improving digestive health by improving the health of the spine. There are 60 – 70 million people worldwide who are affected by some type of digestive disease, 20 million of those people in the United States alone with chronic conditions. There are many ways that digestive issues can be treated, usually in western medicine, however, there are many that don’t realize that the good digestive health starts with a healthy spine. Chiropractic treatment is paramount when dealing with matters of the spine.


Treatments for Digestive Problems

            Digestive issues come in many shapes and forms; some being common and others being far more severe or chronic in nature. Although this is the case, there are some general symptoms to have patients look for or for us to look for as providers when taking patient history.

Digestive Conditions Basic Symptoms:


  • Difficulty finishing all food on the plate.
  • Bowel movements are loose or runny
  • Difficulty forcing bowel movements out of the body
  • Cramping pain in the stomach
  • Going to the bathroom more often than usual
  • Blood in the stool
  • Lack of energy
  • Bloating
While many patients may not think much of the typical digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, or bloating, these can be indicative of more severe or chronic digestive conditions.

Digestive Disorders:


  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose Intolerant
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Celiac Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
It is easy for both providers and patients alike to overlook digestive issues, but these problems disrupt everyday life, and must be treated as such. Fortunately, the common treatment, especially when the symptoms are somewhat new, usually involves lifestyle and dietary changes. Since the causes of GI issues has to do with stress, lifestyle, and nutrition, it is vital to instruct patients in proper diet and lifestyle to mitigate GI problems before they evolve into a serious condition.


Chiropractic for GI Conditions

            As chiropractic providers, we know that in reality a healthy spine is where digestive relief truly is achieved. Since the digestive system and nervous system are connected, all nerves within the spine can potentially affect digestion.

Chiropractic treatment can help GI Conditions by:


  • Decreasing inflammation – this can also lead to digestive issues, and chiropractic treatment can aid in inflammation utilizing certain techniques.
  • Increasing nerve communication – a misaligned spine can disrupt this communication leading to digestive problems.
  • Increasing muscle function – in addition to the nervous system communicating with the digestive system, the muscles also play an important part in digestion. When muscle function is off, it can also potentially lead to digestive problems.
Patients often will not seek chiropractic care for digestive problems as they don’t think that they relate in any way. The truth of it, and what patients should understand, is that the spine is actually directly related to the digestive system. The lumbar and thoracic spine regulate how fast food is broken down and digested. Additionally, when there are subluxations in the vertebrae, it can cause the body to have issues absorbing minerals, nutrients, and vitamins from the food patients are eating. That being said, if the spine is misaligned, even if the patient has a healthy diet, they may still suffer from digestive problems because their spine is misaligned. The source of the problem (the spine), should be treated prior to dealing with additional diet and lifestyle tips.

Main Chiropractic Treatments for Digestive Issues:


  • Adjustments – improves the discomfort from misalignment of the joints and bones in the back. Nerve signals are able to better travel at their prime speed and efficiency, restoring chemical and electrical energy within the nervous and digestive systems.
  • Spinal Traction – this treatment, although similar to an adjustment, does not have the same detoxifying effect. It is intended for more long-term benefits rather than adjustments.
  • Corrective exercises – this can be done with equipment or with whatever they have at home. Essentially a rehabilitation of sorts for misaligned or weak areas in the body.
Spinal issues, although seeming indirect at first, can cause a wide variety of digestive problems. For example, if a patient experiences a spinal cord injury, they can experience abdominal pain, constipation, decreased eating, and difficulty controlling bowel movements. Another example would be with herniated discs. Those suffering with herniated discs can experience the same symptoms in addition to uncontrolled peristalsis and tenesmus.
According to a study in 2015, chiropractic showed to be an effective adjunct therapy for patients with GI disorders, and although more in depth studies are needed, chiropractic was shown to be a useful aid in GI problems. Regular chiropractic care allows the spine to properly communicate more efficiently with the central nervous system improving health and function of the digestive system. Being that digestive diseases not only are the result of 25% of all surgical operations, and come in 3rd amongst illnesses total economic cost in the United States, chiropractic treatment is a great intervention for those suffering both acutely and chronically.