Americans spend billions of dollars on over-the-counter and prescription medication hoping to relieve digestive problems. Their symptoms can come in the form of constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and other common complaints of a digestive nature. Untreated, digestive disorders may affect one's quality of life, immune system, social well-being, and job productivity. On the other hand, the side-effects of steroid medications and other drugs used to treat digestive problems are very hard on the body.
While the symptoms of digestive disorders are bothersome, there are ways to address the underlying factors that contribute to the problem without the use of drugs. Research offers evidence that chiropractic care, for example, can be very effective in treating digestive conditions.
What Chiropractic Care Can Do for Your Digestive Disorder
The nervous system is responsible for controlling digestive function. It does so from several different parts of the body. The vagus nerve, for example, travels from the brain stem to the atlas bone, energizing the digestive organs and inciting the digestive process. The sympathetic nerves of the thoracic and lumbar region, and the sacral parasympathetic nerve fibers, are responsible for the pace of digestion.
Spinal misalignment in these spinal regions may affect the proper functioning of the bowel and the neurological process as a whole. Chiropractic doctors seek to isolate the exact location of spinal misalignments (also known as subluxations). The adjustment is performed in order to realign the impaired regions, and recover proper nerve supply to the affected organs.
Chiropractic care recognizes the body's natural ability to heal itself. As such, its approach to restoring ailments is based on addressing organ function, so that it can perform optimally without the aid of drugs.
Various studies have illustrated the effectiveness of chiropractic care in treating patients with digestive conditions. One study showed how infants with infrequent bowel syndrome receiving chiropractic care experienced almost immediate improvement after sessions.
Another comprehensive study established a link between spinal misalignments and the occurrence of Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease results in inflammation along the small intestine, affecting any part of the digestive tract. In addition to pain, this inflammation results in frequent emptying of the intestines and diarrhea.
The prevailing theory around the cause of Crohn's disease is that the immune system is acting in response to a virus or bacterium. Traditional treatment for Crohn's disease involves the use of corticosteroids to address the inflammation. However, the side-effects of corticosteroids can be serious, possibly prompting greater vulnerability to infection. Drugs that suppress the immune system are also used. Researchers of the study sought to look for treatment options that boosted the immune system (as opposed to suppressing it) in a way that did not rely on the use of drugs.
Another study revealed the link between spinal misalignments and a wide range of conditions including ulcerative colitis, asthma, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel disorder. It showed that correcting those displacements caused improvement (and sometimes complete remission) of symptoms of Crohn's disease. Research findings also point to another attendant benefit of chiropractic care. Not only is there improvement of digestive disorders following chiropractic care but also an overall improvement of patients' quality of life.
Contact a Chiropractor for a Thorough Assessment of Your Digestive Condition
Chiropractors adjust misalignments of the spine that interfere with nerve function. These problems can be painlessly corrected. Once the misalignment is treated, the troublesome symptoms will likely go away as well.
Chiropractic care can benefit those suffering from digestive disorders by restoring the digestive processes' natural rhythm. In addition to spinal manipulation, your chiropractor may also employ the use of nutritional counseling as part of his or her practice. Vitamin and mineral supplements, healing herbs, as well as other complementary approaches may also be suggested. In an effort to address the patient as a whole, chiropractic doctors seek for ways to encourage wellness in a holistic manner.