It is reported that over $800 billion are spent every year on medications for the relief of digestive disorders such as acid reflux, heartburn, irritable bowel, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. These disorders are increasing and they can be largely attributed to people not being able to maintain proper nutrition and wholesome lifestyle, the foundations for a healthy digestive system.
Research and studies have shown that chiropractic care offers effective solutions to this modern day epidemic associated with the digestive system.
The nervous system controls all of the body functions. Among them, the digestive function is controlled by the nervous system from several regions. The vagus nerve, which stems out of the brainstem into the first vertebra called the Atlas bone, stimulates all the major organs in the digestive system and controls the digestive process.The other areas of the nervous system that can influence the pace of digestion are the sympathetic nerves coming from the thoracic and lumbar regions and the nerve fibers of the sacral parasympathetic nerves. Any spinal misalignment in these regions can greatly affect the digestive function and can lead to neurological anomalies.
The chiropractic professional searches for such misalignment in the spine, called subluxation, taking to consideration the patient’s complaints pertaining to the disorder in the digestive system. Specific chiropractic adjustment corrects the subluxation and restores nerve supply to the impaired organs. This chiropractic approach respects the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Subluxations in specific areas of the spine can alter the normal functioning of the organs involved in the digestion of food and waste discharge. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven effective in restoring normal functions in patients with digestive disorders. Time and again, we see numerous cases of people having trouble with their bowel movement for days experience immediate relief after a chiropractic adjustment.
To cite a published study, a woman has been afflicted with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms for five years. After one adjustment, she felt relief with the symptoms and a short time thereafter, all her digestive problems vanished totally. Two years later when the study was published, the woman was still free of IBS symptoms.
Another study, in 2008, showed the power of chiropractic care for infants with digestive disorders, specifically constipation. Three infants with bowel movements from once a week to once every three or four days had underwent several medical treatment procedures including use of several laxatives, dietary changes and use of mineral oil and cod liver oil. All these attempts at treating the IBS were to no avail. These infants were then introduced to chiropractic wellness program that lasted from three weeks to three months. All of them experienced improvement shortly after the chiropractic care. By the end of the sessions, all the infants had regular bowel movements – at least once a day.
Until recently, the typical treatment for most digestive system disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallstones, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and hemorrhoids are pain relievers, immunosuppressant, artificial hormones and surgery. It is unfortunate that these drugs only provide superficial relief to the symptoms and do not permanently eliminate the underlying cause of the disease. Moreover, there is a long list of the side effects these drugs present. Surgery is complicated, costly and risky.
A recent study on “Chronic Nerve Compression” shows that Crohn’s disease and other digestive problems may be caused by subluxations. The undetected subluxations cause pressure on the nervous system and can significantly impact on your body’s digestion and the absorption of nutrients from food and liquids.
The result of a study of chiropractic patients with chronic digestive problems showed that 70 percent of these patients had long term and stable relief in their symptoms after 12 to 52 weeks of chiropractic adjustments – without using drugs or surgery.
The typical medical treatment methods for digestive problems, such as medications, dietary changes and surgery may provide relief in the symptoms of these disorders. However, the treatment should go further to look at the assignable cause to these problems, and not just relieve the symptoms short-term. Chiropractic care looks at at the health and state of the spine and nervous system, addresses the root cause of the disorder, thereby ensuring lasting and stable solution to the digestive problems.