When one thinks of chiropractic care, they may not initially think of treatments that could help GI disorders—like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)—and constipation. However, if you are dealing with chronic constipation and other treatment avenues haven't worked, you may want to consider visiting a chiropractor. Here are just a couple of ways they can help you.
They Offer Spinal Adjustments
One study found that chiropractic adjustments could decrease the feeling of constipation and its accompanying back pain. While more research needs to be done, the normal functioning of the bowel and other digestive organs can be affected by misaligned vertebrae and nerve impairment. When vertebrae are in proper alignment and nerve roots aren't compressed or compromised, your digestive system can better communicate with the rest of the body.
They Offer Dietary Counseling
You may have tried to incorporate more fiber into your diet to reduce constipation, but every GI disorder is different and what may work for one person may not work for you. For example, while insoluble fiber can soften stools, you also need soluble fiber to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Your chiropractor can make sure you are getting the right kinds of foods in your diet and can help you keep a log to see if there are any nutritional deficiencies that may be causing your problems.
They might also prescribe a specific diet; for instance, some people with IBS can develop small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). While it's normal to have some gut bacteria, SIBO hinders healthy bacteria and can cause inflammation. A SIBO diet could help you reduce bloating and cramping related to constipation. Again, a chiropractor can help you eliminate foods that you may have thought were okay.
They Offer Massage Therapy
Your stress levels can alter normal GI function and cause constipation. But massage therapy is a great way to reduce stress levels and improve circulation. Constipation can cause intestinal swelling due to impacted fecal matter, which in turn can cause low back pain from the pressure. Your chiropractor can provide gentle massage therapy to relieve tense back muscles. They can also provide a gentle abdominal massage to promote peristalsis, wave-like muscle contractions that move food through digestion. Your chiropractor can also teach you deep-breathing techniques and self-massage techniques to do at home so that you aren't as anxious and stressed when you have a bowel movement.
Reach out to a chiropractor for more details.