Treating Acid Reflux with Chiropractic BioPhysics®
Acid reflux can be a frustrating and painful experience for many people. Over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes can provide some relief, but they often don’t address the root cause of the problem. However, chiropractic care, specifically Chiropractic BioPhysics®, can provide an effective solution for those suffering from acid reflux. Chiropractic BioPhysics® can be an excellent treatment option for acid reflux, treating the ailment at the root – in the neuro-musculoskeletal system.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing discomfort and heartburn. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including eating large meals, lying down or bending over after eating, and certain foods and beverages. While occasional acid reflux is normal, chronic or severe acid reflux can lead to more serious health complications, such as esophageal damage.
Acid reflux often manifests as a burning sensation in the chest, colloquially referred to as heartburn. Imagine this scenario: You wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden, sharp discomfort in your chest. It feels as though your chest is on fire, the pain radiating up towards your neck and down towards your stomach. Coupled with this is a sour or bitter taste in your mouth, a backwash of acid that has traveled from your stomach to your throat. You may feel an uncomfortable bloating sensation in your stomach, accompanied by burps that feel unusually hot. In more severe cases, you might even experience a dry cough, or a sense of choking or difficulty swallowing. These symptoms are particularly pronounced when you lie down, or shortly after having a heavy meal, especially one involving spicy or fatty foods, alcohol, or caffeine. This discomfort can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, interfering with your sleep and leaving you feeling tired and uneasy the next day.
What are traditional treatments for acid reflux?
Traditional treatments for acid reflux often include antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). While these treatments can provide temporary relief, they don’t address the root cause of the problem and can even lead to long-term health issues.
Long-term use of antacids and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can lead to a variety of health complications. Primarily, these treatments merely suppress symptoms instead of addressing the underlying issue causing acid reflux. This means that while you may feel temporary relief from heartburn, the root cause remains untreated, potentially exacerbating the problem over time.
How Traditional Treatments Mask Symptoms of Acid Reflux
For instance, imagine that you’ve been dependent on antacids for several years, popping a tablet or two every time you experience heartburn. Initially, these over-the-counter medications provide immediate relief, neutralizing stomach acid and suppressing the burning sensation. However, they don’t treat the dysfunction causing the acid reflux in the first place. Over time, you might find that you need to take more antacids, more frequently, to achieve the same level of relief.
Moreover, prolonged use of antacids can lead to kidney problems, diarrhea, or constipation. In more severe cases, it may cause a condition called hypochlorhydria, where the stomach doesn’t produce enough acid, leading to nutrient deficiencies, especially with minerals like calcium and magnesium, and vitamins B12 and C.
PPIs, on the other hand, work by reducing the production of stomach acid. While initially beneficial, long-term PPI use can lead to nutrient deficiencies, particularly of magnesium and vitamin B12, because certain nutrients require stomach acid for absorption. To illustrate, consider someone relying on PPIs for over a decade. They might start experiencing symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as muscle cramps or irregular heartbeat. They might also be more prone to bacterial infections due to a reduced ability to kill harmful bacteria without the necessary stomach acid.
A recent study suggests that long-term PPI usage might even increase the risk of developing stomach cancer. In essence, while antacids and PPIs may provide immediate relief, they could potentially lead to severe long-term problems if used as the primary method of treating acid reflux.
This is where Chiropractic BioPhysics® can be beneficial.
How can Chiropractic BioPhysics® be used as a treatment for acid reflux?
Chiropractic BioPhysics® is a technique that combines traditional chiropractic adjustments with spinal rehabilitation and posture correction. This treatment approach works to restore proper alignment and function to the spine and nervous system, which can alleviate many different health issues, including acid reflux.
The specific way Chiropractic BioPhysics® helps with acid reflux is by improving nerve function in the body. The vagus nerve, which helps regulate digestion, runs through the spine and can become compressed or impinged due to spinal misalignments. By correcting these misalignments, nerve function can be restored, which can help alleviate acid reflux symptoms.
In addition to spinal adjustments, Chiropractic BioPhysics® also focuses on correcting posture and strengthening the supporting muscles around the spine. This comprehensive approach can provide long-term relief for many different health issues, including acid reflux.
Acid Reflux As a Malfunction of the Enteric Nervous System
The enteric nervous system (ENS), often referred to as the “second brain,” is a part of the autonomic nervous system that directly controls the gastrointestinal system. It is a complex network of neurons and nerve fibers that line the walls of the digestive tract, from the esophagus to the rectum. The ENS is primarily responsible for regulating digestion, including the coordination of peristalsis (the wave-like muscle contractions that move food along the digestive tract), secretion of digestive enzymes, and interaction with gut microbiota.
In relation to acid reflux, the ENS plays a crucial role. A properly functioning ENS ensures that the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — a ring of muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach — opens to allow food to pass into the stomach, and then closes to prevent stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus. This is where the spinal alignment comes into play.
The messages between the ENS and the central nervous system (CNS) travel along nerve pathways, including the vagus nerve. However, if there is a misalignment in the spine, these pathways can be disrupted. This disruption can lead to a breakdown in the communication between the CNS and ENS, potentially causing a malfunction in the LES. This malfunction can result in the LES failing to close properly, enabling stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, triggering the symptoms of acid reflux. Therefore, a misalignment in the spine can lead to or exacerbate acid reflux by disrupting the proper functioning of the ENS.
Safe, Natural Acid Reflux Treatment – Spokane, WA
If you’re experiencing acid reflux and are looking for a more effective, long-term solution, consider Chiropractic BioPhysics®. Dr. Cameron Weishaar at Back In Motion P.S. Chiropractic is experienced in providing this treatment and can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. Don’t let acid reflux continue to impact your quality of life – schedule an appointment today.
BACK IN MOTION PS CHIROPRACTIC
Add: 1717 W Francis Ave #202 Spokane, WA 99205, United States
Mail: [email protected]