Low Back Pain
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Heartburn / Digestive Health
Your digestive system is one long tube, which runs
from your mouth to your anus with the primary function of breaking
down your food to extract what is needed to make your body work.
Heartburn occurs when some food reverses course and moves from the
stomach up to the esophagus. Chronic stomach pain (dyspepsia) occurs
when the stomach’s powerful acids begin to irritate the stomach
lining either from a breakdown in the protective mucous layer or
overproduction of hydrochloric acid. This can eventually lead to
ulcers, which is when the acids begin to eat the stomach or
intestinal wall. Underproduction of stomach acid can lead to
problems of nutrient absorption. For instance having enough stomach
acid is crucial to calcium absorption. All digestive organs are
controlled and regulated by the nervous system, which tells your
stomach to produce just the right amount of acid to maintain health
and balance. It also controls your mouth, tongue, esophagus, throat,
pyloric valve, intestines, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, and other
organs to maintain proper body functions.
Chiropractic and Digestive
To put it simply, each digestive organ has two nervous signal
inputs. One says, “slow down” the other says, “speed up”. These are
referred to as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
An imbalance in these signals can cause malfunctions. For instance a
dominance of parasympathetic signals to the intestine can lead to
hyper motility or diarrhea while a sympathetic dominance can lead to
under activity or constipation. Chiropractors pay special attention
to balancing these systems by removing interference from spinal
misalignment subluxation from both. In a study, gastroenterologists
found 72% of patients with abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome,
and heartburn had spinal subluxations in the area that supply nerves
to these organs. Another study of 100 patients with ulcers found
that the spine seemed to play a part. The patients were found to
have scoliosis (spinal curvature/ subluxation) at the area of the
spine, which supplies sympathetic nerves to the stomach. If the
curve was to the left the ulcer was gastric and if the curve was to
the right the ulcer was duodenal. Those with “S” curves had ulcers
of both types. A pilot study has demonstrated improvements in
patients with duodenal ulcer who received chiropractic care. The
researchers concluded, “Manipulation to remove spinal dysfunction
not only relieves pain, but has a healing effect significantly
better than standard drug therapy.”
- Pikalov AA, MD, Vyatcheslav VK, Use of spinal manipulative therapy in the treatment of duodenal ulcer: a pilot study. JMPT, 1994 17(5):310-313.
- orgensen, LS and Fossgreen, J, Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 1990, Dec.;25(12):1235-1241.
- H Kamieth, Pathogenic importance of the thoracic portion of the vertebral spine, Journal of the American Medical Association (Nov. 15, 1958), p. 1586.
- DeBoer, KF et al., Acute effects of spinal manipulation on gastrointestinal myoelectric activity in conscious rabbits. Manuelle Medicine, 1988, 3, pp.85-94.