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The frustration, pain, and difficulty of dealing with digestive disorders can be both physically and mentally draining. This is especially true for patients who struggle to find an effective treatment or even a good diagnosis. Find out why some patients are turning to chiropractic care for relief.

Digestive Disorders and Chiropractic Care

Chronic heartburn, diarrhea, constipation and other symptoms of gastric distress can have devastating effects on your quality of life, especially if they don't respond to treatment or require constant monitoring in order to control. For some patients, controlling these conditions means a steady flow of over-the-counter or prescription medications, some of which can have side-effects almost as unpleasant as the condition they're intended to treat.

When most people think about chiropractic care, they imagine a treatment for low back pain and perhaps conditions like whiplash; they often don't realize that there is evidence spinal manipulation therapy can have a positive impact on conditions affecting the digestive system. 

Chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal system with an emphasis on spinal health, but poor spine health can have far-reaching implications throughout the body. Subluxations, which are misalignments of the vertebrae protecting your spinal cord and providing support for your body, can interfere with the signals being transmitted from the spinal cord to various internal systems. When these misalignments affect the nerves charged with communicating information between the central nervous system and the digestive system, for instance, complications can arise in the form of gas, bloating, upset stomach and general gastrointestinal difficulties.

Some patients spend years on a seemingly endless cycle of medications with little to no real relief, not because the medications aren't effective at all, but because they're not addressing the interference along the spinal cord at the root of the problem. Misalignments within the lumbar and thoracic regions of the spine, for instance, can wreak havoc with digestion, setting off what essentially amounts to a domino effect, the end result of which mimics the symptoms of many digestive disorders.

HOW DOES A CHIROPRACTOR TREAT DIGESTIVE DISORDERS?

Your first visit with a chiropractor should include a full examination, during which your medical history should be collected. Tests may also be administered, including x-ray imaging to get a better idea of the condition of your spine. All of this information is gathered so your chiropractor can better diagnose the root cause of your digestive struggles, then devise a targeted treatment plan that is tailored to the unique needs of your individual body.

Depending on the findings during the examination and the results of any tests, a full treatment plan may include not only adjustments and spinal manipulations but also dietary counseling, nutritional supplement recommendations and at-home exercises designed to support your treatment between visits. What your treatment plan will not include, however, is pharmaceutical treatment, invasive procedures or any surgery. A conservative approach to treatment, chiropractic care does not include such drastic interventions. For many patients, the results are not just an improvement in digestive issues, but often a significant improvement in overall health.

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