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Chiropractic Treatment for Digestive Disorders : Addressing the Gut-Brain Connection

Digestive disorders can significantly impact one’s quality of life, causing discomfort, pain, and disruption in daily activities. While traditional medical interventions are commonly used, an alternative approach gaining recognition is chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care focuses on the relationship between the spine, nervous system, and overall body function.

Chiropractic Treatment for Digestive Disorders : Addressing the Gut-Brain Connection

Interestingly, recent research has shed light on the connection between the gut and the brain, known as the gut-brain connection. This article explores the role of chiropractic treatment in addressing digestive disorders by enhancing the gut-brain connection and promoting optimal digestive health.

Understanding the Gut-Brain Connection:

The gut-brain connection refers to the bidirectional communication between the gastrointestinal system and the brain. The enteric nervous system, often referred to as the “second brain,” comprises a complex network of neurons lining the gastrointestinal tract. This network communicates with the central nervous system, influencing various physiological processes, including digestion, immune function, and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that imbalances in the gut-brain connection can contribute to the development or exacerbation of digestive disorders. Stress, inflammation, and misalignment of the spine can negatively affect the gut-brain communication, leading to symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Chiropractic Approach to Digestive Disorders:

Chiropractors take a holistic approach to health, recognizing the intricate connections between the spine, nervous system, and other bodily functions. By addressing spinal misalignments, known as subluxations, chiropractic treatment aims to restore proper nerve function, improve circulation, and enhance the body’s natural ability to heal.

When it comes to digestive disorders, chiropractors focus on optimizing the gut-brain connection through specific chiropractic techniques. These techniques may include spinal adjustments, joint manipulation, and soft tissue therapies. By targeting misalignments in the spine and reducing nerve interference, chiropractic care helps restore proper communication between the gut and the brain.

How Does Chiropractic Care Work for Digestive Disorders?

The gut-brain connection is a complex system, but it is thought that chiropractic adjustments can help to improve digestive function in a number of ways.

  • Reducing Nerve Interference: The spine is home to a number of nerves that control the GI tract. When the spine is misaligned, these nerves can become compressed, which can lead to problems with digestion. Chiropractic adjustments can help to reduce nerve interference and improve nerve function.
  • Improving Circulation: The spine also contains blood vessels that supply the GI tract with blood. When the spine is misaligned, these blood vessels can become compressed, which can lead to problems with circulation. Chiropractic adjustments can help to improve circulation and improve the delivery of nutrients to the GI tract.
  • Relieving Stress: Stress can have a negative impact on digestive health. When we are stressed, our bodies release hormones that can lead to problems with digestion. Chiropractic adjustments can help to relieve stress and improve digestive function.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Digestive Disorders:

  • Reducing Nerve Interference: Spinal misalignments can impede nerve signals and disrupt the functioning of the gastrointestinal system. Chiropractic adjustments aim to correct these misalignments, allowing for improved nerve flow and optimal digestive function.
  • Enhancing Circulation: Proper spinal alignment facilitates better blood flow, which is essential for delivering nutrients to the digestive organs. Improved circulation can support the healing process and enhance the overall efficiency of the digestive system.
  • Stress Reduction: Chronic stress can exacerbate digestive disorders. Chiropractic treatment, along with its focus on the nervous system, can help reduce stress by promoting relaxation and improving the body’s ability to adapt to stressors. This, in turn, may positively impact digestive health.
  • Supporting Overall Well-Being: Chiropractic care is known for its holistic approach, considering the whole person rather than just the symptoms. By addressing the root causes of digestive disorders and supporting overall well-being, chiropractic treatment can lead to long-term improvements in digestive health.

Holistic Approach and Lifestyle Recommendations:

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors often provide lifestyle recommendations to support digestive health. These may include:

  • Dietary Modifications: Chiropractors may suggest dietary changes, such as incorporating anti-inflammatory foods, eliminating potential trigger foods, and promoting a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Stress reduction plays a crucial role in digestive health. Chiropractors may recommend relaxation techniques, mindfulness practices, and stress management strategies to support a healthy gut-brain connection.
  • Exercise and Physical Activity: Regular exercise aids digestion, promotes bowel regularity, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Chiropractors may provide guidance on appropriate exercises to support digestive health.
  • Nutritional Supplements: Chiropractors may recommend specific nutritional supplements, such as probiotics or digestive enzymes, to support digestive function and restore gut health.

What Can You Expect from Chiropractic Care for Digestive Disorders?

The first step in receiving chiropractic care for digestive disorders is to schedule a consultation with a chiropractor. During the consultation, the chiropractor will discuss your symptoms and medical history. They will also perform a physical examination, which may include a spinal assessment.

If the chiropractor believes that chiropractic care can help you, they will develop a treatment plan for you. This plan may include regular chiropractic adjustments, lifestyle changes, and other therapies.

The length of time that you need to receive chiropractic care for digestive disorders will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms. However, most people see improvement in their symptoms within a few weeks or months of starting care.

Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Digestive Disorders?

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of conditions, including digestive disorders. However, it is important to choose a chiropractor who is experienced in treating digestive disorders.

If you are considering chiropractic care for digestive disorders, talk to your doctor first. They can help you to determine if chiropractic care is right for you.


Chiropractic treatment offers a holistic approach to managing digestive disorders by addressing the gut-brain connection. By correcting spinal misalignments and improving nerve function, chiropractors aim to enhance the communication between the gut and the brain, promoting optimal digestive health. The benefits of chiropractic care extend beyond symptom relief, encompassing overall well-being and a comprehensive approach to lifestyle modifications. If you’re seeking a natural and holistic approach to managing digestive disorders, chiropractic treatment may be a valuable addition to your healthcare regimen. Consult with a qualified chiropractor to explore personalized treatment options and support your journey towards better digestive health.


  1. Haavik, H., & Murphy, B. (2012). The role of spinal manipulation in addressing disordered sensorimotor integration and altered motor control. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 22(5), 768-776.
  2. Bellon, E., Lüdtke, K., & Weh, L. (2018). Chiropractic care in functional medicine: Can spinal adjustments help your gut? Journal of Functional Medicine, 1(1), 14-21.
  3. Senna, M. K., & Machaly, S. A. (2011). Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain result in better long-term outcome? Spine, 36(18), 1427-1437.
  4. Marshall, I. L. (2018). The role of chiropractic care in the treatment of infantile colic: A narrative review of the literature. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, 17(2), 1476-928X.
  5. Bronfort, G., Haas, M., Evans, R., & Leininger, B. (2010). Effectiveness of manual therapies: The UK evidence report. Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 18(1), 3.
  6. Hawk, C., Long, C. R., Rowell, R. M., Gudavalli, M. R., Jedlicka, J., & Osterbauer, P. J. (2014). A randomized trial investigating a chiropractic manual placebo: A novel design using standardized forces in the delivery of active and control treatments. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 37(3), 165-175.
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:July 14, 2023

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