digestion sign

Chiropractic Treatment and Digestion

These days, you would be hard pressed to find anyone you know who does not suffer from some sort of digestive issue. Gas, bloating, acid reflux, gluten sensitivity, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, you name it, someone’s got it! And the most common ‘catch-all’ term for these conditions and their symptoms is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS.

These digestive issues are most often attributed to poor nutrition. It’s a busy life these days, and with so many food options that fall short on the nutritional pyramid readily available, many of us forget to properly nourish our bodies, and the result is that our digestive function takes a nose dive.

Lack of fiber, inadequate fluid intake, combined with too much caffeine and not enough rest can all contribute to these digestive issues.

And the pharmaceutical companies are making a killing coming up with new meds every day to help treat these conditions. Antacids are a goldmine, because they work in such a way that as long as you take them, your symptoms will abate, but the minute you stop, the symptoms return.

What most people don’t know is that there’s a whole lot more to digestive issues than just what we put into our mouths. And while changes in diet, and different medications can help with the symptoms, treating the underlying cause is vitally important to help us get off the hamster wheel of using medications to treat our symptoms while ignoring the source of the problem.

So what can we do?

chiropractor pointing at model spineStart at the Root of the Problem

Let’s talk a bit about anatomy. The chest and abdomen are referred to as the ‘thoracic’ region in medical terms. The thoracic region contains the portion of the spine that is responsible for controlling digestion. Are you starting to get the picture?

If the vertebrae in the spine are improperly aligned, it can cause a misfire in the signals they send to the nerves of the digestive system, including those in the stomach and intestines. The result is many of the commonly reported digestive ailments we hear about, or experience ourselves.

It’s important to note that there are over a million nerve cells within the digestive system. This includes the stomach, intestines and esophagus. When these nerves within the digestive system are not sending the correct signals, combined with a poor diet that is most likely low in fiber, all sorts of things can go wrong. People can suffer from a vicious cycle of diarrhea followed by constipation, back and forth to the point where they don’t know which way is up! And of course, if you’ve ever suffered from either, you’ll know that the cramping can cause lower back pain on top of everything else. Yes, a vicious cycle!

Treatment Plan

The best way to treat IBS and associated conditions, is to first ensure that the thoracic spine is properly aligned and sending the right signals to the digestive system.

There have been many studies done that attest to the fact that IBS patients who had regular chiropractic treatments experienced a reduction or a complete remission of all symptoms.

At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, when a patient comes in complaining of digestive issues, our Vancouver chiropractors recommend a treatment plan that includes the following:

  1. A series of bi-weekly adjustments to the thoracic spine, lower back and neck.
  2. A nutritional plan to ensure that once digestive function is restored, the patient maintains the results by eating a well-balanced diet that includes adequate fluids and fiber.
  3. And an end goal to reduce or eliminate the need for medications.


During adjustments, your Chiropractor will locate any areas of spinal misalignment (technically referred to as subluxations). Once these areas have been identified, adjustments will be performed over the course of the treatment plan that will help return the spine to optimal alignment, thereby enabling the nervous system to return to proper function.

It’s important to note – many of the subjects of the studies mention earlier reported an almost immediate change in their symptoms. For example, one patient who suffered from constipation with infrequent bowel movements, experienced an almost immediate need to use the washroom. Wow, that’s fast!

Diet fruits and vegetablesand Nutrition

Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage is a wellness clinic, and as such, we always advocate eating a healthy well balanced diet that includes fruits and veggies, lots of fiber, dairy, lean meats high in protein and lots of water. If you find yourself ‘eating on the run’ and spending more of your grocery bill on fast food than real food, it’s important to improve your eating habits to maintain the effects of your chiropractic treatment.

Care for Children and Babies

The above-mentioned studies also had several participants ranging from teens to toddlers and for those suffering from constipation, the results were equally as impressive. At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we take special care when treating our younger patients, but the results of treatment as the same – in almost every case, a return to regular bowel function was the end result.

Conditions that Have Great Results After Chiropractic Treatment

At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, our patients come in with one or more of the following digestive conditions:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Excessive gas
  • Intestinal motility issues (muscle movements necessary to propel food through the intestines)
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Ulcers
  • Other symptoms that fall under the catchall diagnoses of ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ or ‘Inflammatory Bowel Disease’

Most patients who suffer from these conditions also report lower back pain and aching joints and muscles when their symptoms are at their worst. One of the major benefits of Chiropractic treatment is that not only are the digestive symptoms reduced or cured, the patient’s concomitant pain is also treated.


If you are suffering from digestive issues and would like to try a natural alternative treatment that will not only ease the symptoms of the condition but also treat the source, why not come and see us at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage?







Chiropractic Treatment and Digestion was last modified: by

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