The gut is really a microcosm representing the state of our overall health. This is why digestive issues should never be ignored. However, anyone trying to get to the bottom of stomach issues like cramping, bloating, reflux and pain soon learns that identifying the causes of digestive distress isn’t easy. For many people, chronic digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, constipation and persistent diarrhea make it hard to live life due to the unpredictability surrounding when a flare-up will strike. Many people are told that the only way to manage conditions like bowel flare-ups and reflux issues is to take prescription medications for the rest of their lives.
First, you’re not alone if you’re in despair due to digestive flare-ups. Between 60 million and 70 million Americans are living with digestive disorders today. Relief may be in sight if things like dietary changes and medications have done little to heal your digestive woes. Chiropractic treatments are helping many people to achieve better gut health and alleviate painful, stressful digestive symptoms. You don’t necessarily have to live on a restrictive diet or take prescription medications just because you haven’t been able to figure out why your digestive system has gone awry. Learn about the connection between proper bodily alignment and proper digestion.
Why Chiropractic Care May Be the Answer for Common Digestive Disorders
For many people suffering from digestive issues, the answer may actually be hidden in the nervous system. This may come as a shock because of the way doctors typically focus on the stomach and intestines when diagnosing and treating digestive problems. However, the idea of a compromised nervous system begins to make sense once you look at digestive health from a holistic perspective.
Spinal misalignment can restrict communication between the organs and tissue within the digestive system. That means that a blockage caused by a misalignment in the spine can actually prevent your body from properly digesting and expelling nutrients. Chiropractic care can often assist with digestive issues even if a blockage isn’t directly impacting your ability to digest food. Inflammation that presents anywhere within the body that is caused by a misalignment or blockage can prohibit systems from functioning properly. This includes the digestive system. In fact, it’s possible that inflammation may be causing food sensitivities that are making it difficult for your body to digest some or all types of food. We also know that the stress created by a misalignment or blockage in the body can potentially put people at greater risk for digestive issues based on the very distinct brain-gut connection that ties in our stress levels with our gut performance.
What Types of Digestive Conditions Can Chiropractic Care Be Used For?
There’s really no limit to the types of digestive conditions that can be treated with chiropractic care. Generally, digestive and gut conditions are largely misunderstood by doctors. This is due to the fact that symptoms can be hard to track and pinpoint. Many doctors chalk common painful digestive issues up to things like stress and allergies. If you’ve seen a doctor regarding a digestive issue, you may have been told to reduce your stress levels or eliminate certain food groups from your diet. Both of these strategies can be helpful as part of an overall plan for treating digestive issues. However, they won’t be able to provide you with full relief if your digestive problem is actually the result of a spinal misalignment. Here’s a rundown of the digestive conditions that are commonly treated through chiropractic care:
- Chronic constipation.
- Chronic diarrhea.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Crohn’s disease,
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived with a painful digestive issue when it comes to receiving chiropractic care. Some patients with lifelong digestive issues may actually be living with spinal misalignments that have been with them since childhood. For “sudden” cases of digestive distress, an injury or chronic poor posture could be behind your body’s inability to handle certain foods.
How Do Chiropractors Treat Digestive Issues?
Using spinal adjustments, chiropractors are able to correct misalignments within your vertebra that are called subluxations. Your nerves are unable to function and transmit information properly when you have subluxations. However, there typically aren’t any obvious signs that you are living with a subluxation. Some patients do have telltale signs of misalignment like muscle pain and soreness that accompany their digestive discomfort. Others are unaware that misalignments are actually causing bones and discs to press against their nerves on a constant basis.
Using adjustments, your chiropractor will work to get your vertebrae back in alignment by alternating between slow and fast techniques to relieve pressure from your nerves and joints. Your spinal column will begin to come back into proper alignment during the course of your treatment. Typically, it can take several sessions for alignment to be fully restored. However, many patients begin to experience results after just one visit.
Who Can Use Chiropractic Care for Healing Digestive Disorders?
Chiropractic care is generally considered a safe and worthwhile option for any of the 60 million to 70 million people living with painful digestive issues. Many people simply accept painful conditions like GERD as part of the “aging process.” However, they may be ignoring a big sign that something is out of alignment within their bodies, If left untreated, these subluxations could lead to greater pain and loss of mobility beyond the digestive system.
Chiropractic care may also be a good solution for children suffering from digestive problems. It’s possible that digestive and gut issues in some children could be owed to misalignments caused by injuries to the head and neck during birth. Of course, a proper evaluation that looks over a patient’s medical history is so important for determining the proper course of action for treating a gut issue.
The Full Picture: Using Chiropractic Care as Part of a Plan for Better Gut Health
Chiropractic care can be used within a larger treatment plan for improving overall digestion or addressing specific symptoms. While some patients find full relief using chiropractic adjustments, others get better outcomes when working adjustments into larger lifestyle changes. Here’s a look at some of the best practices for good gut health for those suffering from worrying symptoms:
- Dietary changes.
- Allergy tests.
- Increased fiber intake.
- Stress management.
- Increased water intake.
- Chewing food more thoroughly.
- Stress reduction.
Gut health truly is overall health. If you’re experiencing digestive distress, there’s no need to simply dismiss painful bowel movements, cramping, bloating, and other symptoms as “part of the aging process.” These are all signs that something is off balance in your body. With chiropractic care, you’re getting an opportunity to restore balance throughout the systems of your body. Addressing digestive health will enable you to maximize nutrient benefits for a healthier, stronger, and more energized body. Consider seeing a chiropractor to finally get to the bottom of the digestive issues that are making it difficult to live the life you want!