Chiropractic & Digestive disorders

Digestive disorders are now widespread, they make daily work and social activities very uncomfortable and can affect sleep. There are several ways to treat these digestive disorders: medical treatment, changes in lifestyle, but also chiropractic.

Bloating, flatulence, gastro-oesophageal reflux, gastric burns, heaviness sensations and transit disorders are widespread digestive symptoms. They generate pain, discomfort or embarrassment in the personal and social life. These symptoms can come from a sensitivity exacerbated by intestinal stress, by food poisoning, but these dysfunctions sometimes have no known origin, so called functional disorders (functional colopathy, irritable bowel). To understand the importance of chiropractic treatment in digestive disorders, it is important to know the physiological functioning of digestion, referring to the anatomy and physiology, the best allies of the chiropractor. The digestive system alternates work phases and recovery phases.

During the activity phases, it will consume a lot of energy (brought by the arterial system) and create a lot of organic waste (evacuated by the venous and lymphatic system). The alternation of the phases of activity or rest is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, that is to say that its control is involuntary, unconscious.

The nervous system: conductor of digestion

The digestive tract receives its instructions via nerves that will activate it: they are vague nerves, they allow to increase digestive secretions (secretions of acid and various digestive enzymes) and peristalsis (self mobility).

These nerves originate in the skull and travel through the neck, thorax and diaphragm to reach the abdomen to the digestive organs. On their way, they cross many structures (bone, ligament, muscle and fascia) that can cause mechanical stress or stretching of the nerves and resulting in irritation of the nerve and therefore its malfunction. In contrast, the splanchnic nerves will inhibit the digestive system, their action is essential because, without them, the digestive tract would continue to work even when there is no food and therefore end up self-digest . They originate at the level of the spinal cord and after their exit at the vertebral level, they also walk through different tissues before arriving in the abdomen. The chiropractor will therefore ensure the integrity of all these structures in connection with the nervous system using various techniques depending on the problem. He may have to correct a vertebral dysfunction, relax ligament or muscle tension or work on the skull. For example, at the level of the sixth dorsal vertebra comes the nerve that controls the stomach, in case of articular blockage of this vertebra, the irritation of the nerve can cause a malfunction of the stomach and the appearance of symptoms such as cramps, burns, reflux. This blockage can have different origins: a postural problem, a trauma, a repeated movement, that is why the practitioner will always work in the respect of the concept of globality specific to chiropractic, in order to relieve the patient's troubles but also their origin for a lasting result.

What advice does a chiropractor have about digestive disorders?

Thanks to the analysis of the symptoms felt by the patient as well as his palpatory diagnosis, the chiropractor will be able to highlight the part of the digestive tract that is the most suffering and thus give you precise and adapted food proscribe, foods to promote, dietary supplements and advice in herbal medicine. He may also be required to show you breathing exercises that should be performed regularly to mobilize the digestive system through the diaphragm.

This regular practice will have several positive effects:

• Avoid the establishment of tensions in the tissues that surround and fix the digestive tract

• Create a compression and stretching movement in the abdomen responsible for vascular pumping, very useful for venous and lymphatic drainage

• Act on the autonomic nervous system, especially when the digestive disorders are caused by stress, anxiety, nervousness

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