Proper digestion, rest and exercise are some of the important aspects of healthy living that many people fail to give enough attention to because of their fast-paced activities at work and in the home. This leads to the rise of various digestive issues. From studies, we know that 40% of visits to the doctors are due to gastrointestinal problems. The complaints include heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome. The common convenient way people afflicted with digestive disorders try to treat their conditions is by taking a pill. Do not be surprised that the second highest selling drug in America is Nexium that treats gastroesophageal reflux diseases, or simply, acid reflux.
The Effects of Drugs to Digestion
While medications in most cases provide relief to the symptoms of digestive disorders, they are temporary and do not address the root cause of the problem. The digestive problem will most likely flare up again, and the vicious cycle of unhealthy habits, digestive problem and medication continue, with no apparent end.
It is also unfortunate that many people with spinal pain such as back pain, tension headache and neck pain almost instinctively turn to painkilling drugs for relief. This practice may have adverse effects to their digestive health. It is estimated that about 16,500 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to bleeding ulcer from the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). This type of drugs that include Aspirin, Aleve, Advil and Naprosyn are common medications prescribed for spinal pain.
Tylenol, although not an NSAID, is linked to liver damage, which is another digestive problem. Tylenol poses a severe risk to the liver of patients who are already into other medications that have known liver toxicity.
Laxatives when used long-term can lead to a number of problems that can damage your digestive function.
There is a more effective and natural way of managing digestive problems and preventing their recurrence – chiropractic treatment. Yes, chiropractic care, aside from helping patients be relieved of back pain, neck pain and tension headaches and treating disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, can offer other health benefits, including relief from digestive problems.
Chiropractic Care and Digestion
Nerves from different regions in the spine have definite connection to the digestion process. These spinal nerves have the capability to control the speed of the food passing through the digestive tracts, control the quantity of digestive juices being secreted into the gastrointestinal tract, and control blood supply to the various organs of the digestive system. Disturbances in these spinal nerves will not just necessarily result to spinal pain, but they can potentially affect any function associated with these nerves, including digestion.
Minor to severe subluxations or misalignments in the spine can interfere with the nerves’ ability for proper digestion control. Improper alignment in the spine put stress and strain on the nerves, making them incapable to send out the important signals to the digestive organs that activate them to function well. Digestive disorders such as chronic acid reflux, constipation and upset stomach can develop as a result. These ailments will persist until the interference in the nervous system or the subluxation is corrected.
It was revealed in an Australian survey of 1,494 patients of chiropractic that heartburn or indigestion often accompanied their spinal pain. Most of these patients initially reported only their spinal pain, which was usually felt between their shoulder blades, to their doctors, and not about their stomach troubles. 22% of the patients with indigestion or heartburn reported relief from the symptoms of their digestive problems, as well as from their spinal pain, in the course of their chiropractic care.
Other studies showed the link between low back pain and constipation or diarrhea in patients. In these cases, correction of misalignment or subluxation in the patients’ pelvis or lumbar area lead to the relief of both their low back pain and problems with their bowel movement.
The digestive system is strongly linked to the nervous systems, which has complete and total control over the functions of the digestive system. Chiropractic care can have dramatic improvements on the functioning of the digestive system. It is extremely effective and safe in the treatment of conditions related to digestion.