Many of us struggle with finding solutions for normal digestion. Millions of people suffer from regular constipation, diarrhea, IBS, Chrohn’s disease, heartburn/GERD, and IBD (irritable bowel disease). Some skeptics out there might be wondering what on earth can chiropractic do for my gut? We’ll tell you.
Conventional medicine can only offer abatement of digestive symptoms through prescription medications. Those drugs only work (if they do work) while you’re taking them (aka medication forever!). But just as often, prescription meds can actually make your symptoms worse and even lead to more problematic side effects. How? For example, the proton pump inhibitors that are prescribed to treat acid reflux are designed to decrease acid production in the stomach. But this goes too far, often depleting stomach acid so much that we have no means of digesting our food. Not only does this totally defeat the purpose (hello!), it also leads to improper nutrient absorption in the gut.
Chiropractic is a more holistic and long-term approach to healing digestive challenges by helping get to the root cause of the problem, which often is a blockage in nerve communication between the spine and the stomach. It was Hippocrates, “the father of medicine,” who said that to find the cause of disease, we must first look to the spine.
Central nerves of the spine communicate and connect with peripheral nerves that innervate with surrounding organ systems, including the enteric nervous system and the involved structures of digestion, i.e. the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and intestines. When the spine becomes fixated and misaligned, we experience stretching and compression of the spinal cord that interferes with nerve conduction to the organs of digestion; synaptic impulses are then delayed, if not halted altogether. Some of the most important nerve roots that impact digestion originate in the junction between the lower thoracic and lumbar spine. This junction marks the transition between two different curves in the vertebrae and spinal cord where tension is high. Compound that tension with constant sitting and lack of regular movement and it makes sense that so many people have digestion problems.
Now, we aren’t necessarily promising an immediate fix. This is about healing chronic issues, not slapping band-aids on symptoms. If you’re into that sort of thing (and you should be!), then give chiropractic adjustments a try to keep those lines of nerve communication from the spine to the gut open for business...so you can go about your business. ;)