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Chiropractic Care for Digestive Disorders : A Natural Way to Gut Health

Dealing with digestive disorders can be painful. Digestive problems can vary from person to person. Suffering from any sort of digestive disorder can deplete you of nutrients and also drain your energy and can leave you dull and distracted throughout the day. There could be various means to deal with digestive health issues. However, have you ever known that digestive disorders can also be treated with chiropractic? If maintaining a healthy diet and taking enough medications does not help any more, visiting a chiropractor can help you to some good extent. Read further and know how chiropractic treatments can benefit your digestive health and help you get rid of various digestive disorders.

What is Chiropractic Treatment?

Chiropractic treatment is an alternative therapy that primarily focuses on treating neuromuscular disorders. Thus, chiropractic can be defined as, “a system of healthcare that believes that our nervous system is the most important determinant of our health status.”(1) This treatment uses manual adjustments for correcting misalignments in a person’s spine or the spinal cord, which can impact their overall health positively.

Thus, the hallmark of chiropractic treatment is spinal manipulation.(2) Mostly, chiropractors or healthcare professionals specialized in chiropractic treatments mostly treat problems with spines, however, many also believe that chiropractic is also an effective method of treatment for a wide range of nonspinal conditions.(3) Some chiropractors have claimed that after treating patients with spinal problems using spinal manipulation, symptoms associated with the digestive system improved frequently.(4) Patients experiencing digestive issues can find enough relief through chiropractic, especially when more conventional treatments do not work.

The Gut-Brain Connection in Brief

There is a strong connection between the gut and the brain. The enteric nervous system is present in the gut, which communicates with the central nervous system, including the spinal cord and the brain, through various pathways within our bodies. Apart from this, the gut and the brain also communicate through neurotransmitters and hormones.

How Disturbances in the Spinal Nerves Affects The Digestion?

The spine and digestive system are intricately linked through a complex network of nerves. Specifically, the nerves emanating from the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine play a pivotal role in regulating the digestive process, including the breakdown and digestion of food. Consequently, any disruptions or health issues related to these spinal nerves can have a direct impact on digestive function. For example, problems in the lower back may manifest as digestive disturbances or stomach discomfort.

What is Subluxation and How can it Cause Digestive Issues?

Subluxation is referred to as a slight misalignment of the vertebral column. Sublaxation can trouble you in absorbing essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the foods that you consume. That is why, even if you might be keeping a healthy diet, you can still struggle with different types of digestive problems. However, an experienced and skilled chiropractor can help you with this.

Chiropractic Treatment for Digestive Disorders

Digestive problems are not rare issues and people experiencing these problems often seek help through various means. Chiropractic is a good way to help with digestive issues and it also improves the overall health of your gut.

As per a survey which was conducted in 2004 by the UK General Chiropractic Council, it was found that 57% of all chiropractors from the United Kingdom (UK) believed that their treatments were effective for several types of digestive disorders.(6) As per another similar survey conducted in 2007, it was found that 61% of UK chiropractors believed that chiropractic methods of treatment could effectively treat gastrointestinal complaints.(5)

So, one of the natural ways to get rid of digestion problems is by undergoing chiropractic treatment.

What Types of Digestive Disorders can be Treated with Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic can help in treating several digestive disorders and conditions including bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, Ulcerative colitis, Chron’s disease, Diverticulitis, GERD, and so on.

No matter how long you have been living with painful digestive problems, if you decide to take aid with your problems with digestion from a chiropractor, then chiropractic can prove beneficial for you.

How Can Digestive Disorders be Treated by a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor not only improves the joint mobility or treats nerve problems but also help you deal with digestive or gastrointestinal issues. A healthy spine can give you digestive relief. Your spinal nerves can affect your digestion, as we already know that the digestive system and nervous system of our body are connected.

When you visit a chiropractor, they use spinal manipulation to guide and also correct the subluxations in your spinal cord into the correct places. This in, turn will allow you to ease your digestive problems. For spinal manipulation, a chiropractor uses hands or special chiropractic tools.

What are the Possible Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Digestive Health?

By adjusting the spine and correcting misalignments, the connection between your gut and brain can be improved and you can get some wonderful benefits of this treatment for your digestive health. Some of these benefits are listed below.

Reduced Inflammation: Inflammation in the gut results in various digestive problems like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Chiropractic adjustments can help in reducing inflammation, and thus benefit in improving digestive function.

Enhanced Gut Motility: The gut depends on muscle contractions to move food throughout our digestive tract. When such muscle contractions become weaker or irregular, many problems like constipation can arise. Chiropractic adjustments can help in improving gut motility by reducing nerve interference and also improving the gut-brain connection.

Improved Nutrient Absorption: When the gut is experiencing any problem or is inflamed, it can be quite hard for the body to absorb the essential nutrients from the food. Better nutrient absorption is possible by improving gut function through chiropractic adjustments

Reduced Stress: Stress can harm your digestive health. Chiropractic adjustments are known to help in reducing stress and promoting relaxation and improving digestive functions.

Reduced Risk of Digestive Disorders: With an improved gut function and reduced level of inflammation, chiropractic treatment can help in reducing the risk of various digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBD)

Potential Limitations and Considerations of Chiropractic Care for Digestive Disorders

While many patients and chiropractors report positive outcomes with chiropractic treatments for digestive disorders, it’s essential to understand the potential limitations and considerations of such care: 

  • Not a One-size-fits-all Solution: Just as digestive disorders vary widely among individuals, the efficacy of chiropractic treatment can vary. What works for one person might not necessarily work for another. 
  • Potential Side Effects: Some patients might experience temporary soreness, discomfort, or minor pain following a chiropractic adjustment. While these effects are generally mild and go away on their own, it’s essential to be aware of them.
  • Interactions with Other Treatments: If you’re receiving other treatments or taking medications for digestive disorders, it’s crucial to inform your chiropractor. There could be interactions or considerations they need to be aware of.
  • Requires Multiple Sessions: Chiropractic care is often not a one-time treatment. It might require multiple sessions to see noticeable improvements, and some might not observe any change in their condition.
  • Potential Risks: Like all treatments, there are potential risks associated with chiropractic care, though they are relatively rare. These could include strains, sprains, or, in very rare cases, complications like herniated discs or stroke. Always ensure that you’re seeing a licensed and experienced chiropractor.
  • Consultation is Key: Before undergoing any chiropractic treatment, especially for digestive disorders, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide a comprehensive view of your health and advise if chiropractic care is a suitable avenue for you.

Who Can Use Chiropractic Treatment for Digestive Disorders?

Chiropractic treatment is generally considered a safe and effective option for millions of people living with severe digestive disorders.  It can also be a good solution for children struggling with digestive issues. Sometimes, in some children digestive and gut problems occur due to misalignments cause by injuries to neck or hea during birth. With the right evaluation, the proper cause of the digestive issue can be found out and children can be treated quite effectively with chiropractic.

Final Words

Surviving with severe problems of digestion and stomach issues can cause hindrances in your daily life and keep you away from living to your best. So, when you feel the importance of chiropractic care, then consider seeking assistance from an experienced chiropractor who can deal with the root cause of your digestive issue. With an appropriate chiropractic treatment approach, your digestive problems can be managed to a fair extent and you can live an optimal life.


  1. Segen JC. Dictionary of alternative medicine.Stamford: Appleton and Lange; 1998. [Google Scholar]
  2. Ernst E. Chiropractic: A critical evaluation. J Pain Sympt Man. 2008;35:544–62. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  3. General Chiropractic Council. Consulting the profession: A survey of UK chiropractors.London: General Chiropractic Council; 2004. [(Accessed on October 6, 2010)]. [Google Scholar]
  4. Leboeuf-Yde C, Axén I, Ahlefeldt G, Lidefelt P, Rosenbaum A, Thurnherr T. The types and frequencies of improved nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999;22:559–64. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  5. Pollentier A, Langworthy JM. The scope of chiropractic practice: A survey of chiropractors in the UK. Clin Chiropractic. 2007;10:147–55. [Google Scholar]
  6. Chiropractic Council. Consulting the profession: A survey of UK chiropractors.London: General Chiropractic Council; 2004. [(Accessed on October 6, 2010)]. [Google Scholar]

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2023

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