Do you suffer from from heartburn (chronic or short-term), diarrhea or constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other digestive problems? If so, you are not alone. Recent surveys suggest that at least half of Americans report experiencing digestive problems within the last twelve months. And if you do suffer from these digestive disorders, chances are you’ve likely spent plenty of money on over-the-counter (or even prescription) medications to help alleviate your symptoms.
In some cases, these drugs may provide temporary symptomatic relief, but they are unable to treat the underlying cause of digestive issues, and thus cannot heal the problem permanently. Studies show that patients who receive regular chiropractic care, frequently show improved digestive function and have far fewer digestive problems, than people who do not receive regular chiropractic care.
The Link Between Your Spine and Your Bowels
Chiropractic may be extremely effective at treating issues related to digestion, because your digestive system is closely linked to your nervous system, and your nervous system controls your body’s digestive function. For example, the pace at which you digest food is regulated by the nerves in the thoracic and lumbar regions of your spine. If any of these numerous nerves are not properly functioning, digestive problems can easily arise, such as bloating, acid reflux, constipation, and gas. Until the nervous system interference is corrected, these digestive conditions will continue to present problems.
Specialized nerve cells in your intestines, called ganglion cells, regulate the muscles of the digestive tract, that work to push food through your system during the cycles of food digestion and elimination. These specialized nerves connect to the celiac ganglion, which regulates the function of your stomach, liver, spleen, gallbladder, small intestine, kidneys, ascending and transverse colon. The celiac ganglions are located in the lower thoracic and the upper lumbar regions of your spine. Any added pressure on the nerves in the mid-low back due to misalignment or injury, can create dysfunction in the digestive tract.
Bowel movements vary from person to person, but on average, three bowel movements a week to three bowel movements a day is considered to be in the normal range. If you are experiencing painful bowel movements or your normal rate of bowel movement has suddenly decreased or increased, this can be the result of a misalignment in your lumbar spine, causing a miscommunication in your central nervous system.
The Good News About Chiropractic Care And Digestive Problems
Chiropractic care is gentle and safe. It may be more effective at long-term relief than many of the medications prescribed for digestive disturbances. For example, the long-term use of laxatives can lead to dehydration, mineral deficiency and even permeant damage to the nerves and muscles of the digestive tract with extensive use. Many of our patients who have presented with digestive problems have found greater ease in digestive regulation after our chiropractic adjustments.
Digestion for Children and Chiropractic Care
Studies have shown that chiropractic care may be particularly effective at relieving digestive problems in children who suffer from constipation and/or infrequent bowel movements, colic, fussiness. For children, digestion problems may begin from birth.
“During labor the baby’s cranial bones move and overlap (think of a cone-headed newborn!). This is normal, and the bones usually return to their proper position a few days after the birth, mostly as the baby is sucking: The movement of the upper and lower jaw stimulates the base of the skull via the palate. Sometimes, however, things don’t return to normal; often abnormal skull compression becomes noticeable via the baby’s feeding habits and his need to suck much more than usual. If the baby’s vagus nerve (the nerve directly linked to digestion) is compressed, this can also have noticeable effects on a baby’s digestive system causing pain” (FIVE REASONS WHY YOUR BIRTH CAN AFFECT YOUR BABY AND YOUR PARENTING).
Our doctors are specially trained in adjusting infants, babies, toddlers and children. They have over 25 years of combined experience. With the amount of pressure you would use to test the ripeness of a tomato is the same amount of pressure used to adjust infants.
Give our office a call to find out if chiropractic care is right for you or someone you love!