How Chiropractic Care Supports Digestive Health
Digestive health is something that people struggle with everyday.
62 million Americans a year are diagnosed with some form of digestive disorder, and this number doesn’t even account for the amount of people who are silently struggling with their digestive health without seeking a diagnosis.
Many individuals feel resigned to their fate for a variety of reasons, or some put off treating or examining their symptoms with the expectation or hope that they will resolve on their own.
Others may try to self-treat, cycling through a variety of supplements and diets before giving up or experiencing very minimal improvement.
Many people are surprised to learn that chiropractic care can support and even rejuvenate digestive health.
The connection between chiropractic interventions and treatments are digestion are little-known, but only because science is so newly catching up with the intricate role of the digestive system within the body.
A Short Digestive History
While the digestive system was previously thought of as merely the fuel system for the body, scientists know better now. In addition to transforming food into nutrients, the digestive system has several other prominent functions in optimal body activity.
The body’s ability to grow, heal, and dispense energy are all directly related to the condition of the digestive system.
Problems with digestion can result in lethargy, brain fog, nausea, bloating, heartburn, bad breath, tooth and gum deterioration, and other, more unexpected symptoms like insomnia, irregular heart rate, chest pain, appetite irregularities and a general feeling of unease.
Digestive health can affect the mind.
Digestive imbalances can often masquerade as mood disorders and cognitive concerns.
This is because the digestive system is the home of the enteric nervous system. The enteric nervous system is part of the nervous system, but it is directly responsible for regulating the gastrointestinal system, and is therefore located in the walls of the digestive tract.
The enteric nervous system starts in the esophagus and stretches all the way to the anus. Embedded in this system are enteric neurons, which are responsible for regulating digestive function.
The relationship between enteric neurons and the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spine, is bidirectional.
The enteric nervous system communicates with the central nervous system through the vagus nerve, signaling positively when function is at optimal levels, or signaling distress when the digestive system is encountering problems.
This can be felt in two ways: when the central nervous system is activated, it may affect the enteric nervous system—this can be physically perceived as a sensation of unrest in the abdominal area, commonly referred to as “butterflies in my stomach.”
Then the enteric nervous system is activated and communicating with the central nervous system, this can be felt as a feeling of unrest of discomfort, nausea, or any number of other physical and even psychological symptoms.
Oftentimes, individuals can feel that something in their body is “off,” and may even perceive mental stress, but are unable to pinpoint the origin of the discomfort. This can be from the enteric nervous system.
Chiropractic Care & Digestion
If you’re experiencing poor digestive function which has not been resolved through other forms of care, chiropractic may be able to offer relief and support.
The way chiropractic care works on digestion is through two indirect applications: one is the result of working on the skeletal structure, and the other is the result of working on the nervous system. Here’s how they provide digestive relief:
When chiropractic care is applied to the skeletal structure, as it typically is by way of traditional chiropractic adjustments and spinal traction, the structure is allowed to realign optimally.
When this occurs, misalignment that has been negatively affecting the systems of the body is mitigated.
Misalignment is more harmful to the body systems that most people realize, and because misalignment usually worsens gradually, people often learn to attribute their negative symptoms to other causes.
When there is subluxation in the bones and joints, it can cause a tightening and tensing effect to the surrounding muscles, tendons, and tissues. When fundamental structures like the spine become misaligned, the role of supporting the body is then diverted to other parts of the body.
This creates strain in those areas, which can then compromise nearby organs.
If subluxation and misalignment is severe enough, bone structures in the body can actually become misshapen. When this occurs—for example, in the case of severe scoliosis—the organs of the body can actually be compressed and their function inhibited.
Expert Spokane chiropractic intervention and treatment allows ideal posture to be restored to the body. This takes pressure off of any strained organs, muscles, tissues, tendons, and ligaments, and allows circulation and energy to flow uninhibited once more.
In the same way that chiropractic care can move the skeletal structure back into correct alignment and restore circulation and energy flow, chiropractic care is also therapeutic for the nervous system.
When there is subluxation and misalignment in the bones and joints, the delicate nerve bundles and nerve pathways that exist near and around the spinal cord (or in other areas) begin to become bruised and compressed.
The effect that this has on the transmission of nerve impulses is dire—it can severely impair nerve function and communication, reducing mobility, sensation and circulation, and in some cases, causing pain.
Pinched nerves due to misalignment are extremely common. Once the misalignment has been addressed through chiropractic care, many patients experience relief from cold/hot nerve pain, sciatic pain, and shooting pain.
If you experience nerve pain when turning or moving your head, standing, bending, twisting, or climbing stairs, there is likely a connection between misalignment and the nervous system.
When the nerves of the spinal cord and surrounding areas are unable to transmit energy to the organs of the body—including the digestive system—organ function is decreased.
This can present as all manner of digestive dysfunction, and once addressed by chiropractic care, can lead to a significant improvement of digestion.
More than the stomach and elimination.
Digestion is more than the stomach and elimination. Digestive challenges can be occurring even when food absorption and elimination seem normal.
Other, seemingly unrelated symptoms like light-headedness, brain fog, lethargy, forgetfulness, exhaustion, anxiety, and irregular heart rate can all indicate that there is a digestive imbalance occuring.
Because the digestive system and nervous systems are so closely interconnected, and because chiropractic care works therapeutically on both of these systems, improved health outcomes are likely as a result of expert chiropractic care.
Make Your Appointment
If you’re ready to experience relief from digestive dysfunction, or simply to boost your overall health in every area, it’s time to book your appointment.
Dr. Cameron Weishaar and his team are excited to provide cutting-edge, advanced chiropractic care for back pain, neck pain, misalignment, scoliosis, digestive disorders, and more.
Your first appointment will begin with an in-depth, personalized assessment to identify your symptoms and their origins, followed by the creation of a unique treatment plan made for you. When you’re ready, chiropractic care awaits. Book your appointment now.