Digestive Problems

Can specific, scientific chiropractic help with digestive problems?


Study #1:

Twenty patients from 87 Swedish chiropractors consecutively answered questionnaires on return visits. A total of 1,504 questionnaires were completed and returned. 23% of patients reported improvement in nonmusculoskeletal symptoms, including:

Easier to breathe (98 patients)

Improved digestive function (92)

Clearer/better/sharper vision (49)

Improved circulation (34)

Less ringing in the ears (10)

Acne/eczema better (8)

Dysmenorrhoea better (7)

Asthma/allergies better (6)

Sense of smell heightened (3)

Reduced blood pressure (2)

Numbness in tongue gone (1)

Hiccups gone (1)

Menses function returned (1)

Cough disappeared (1)

Double vision disappeared (1)

Tunnel vision disappeared (1)

Less nausea (1)

The types and frequencies of nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. Leboeuf-Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G, et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999:22(9):559-564.


Study #2:

This is the case study of a 3 year-old with acute stomach complaints including indigestion and pain that started after a fall off her bed onto the floor. After the fifth visit all of her symptoms resolved.

Case study: three year old female with acute stomach problems. Peet JB Chiropractic Pediatrics, 1997;310-11.


Study #3:

This is the case of a 28-year-old male who suffered from frequent urination, perineal pain and mild low back and buttock pain. An MRI confirmed a lateral L5 disc bulge and a fixation at L5/S1. After two adjustments to the 5th lumbar vertebrae the patient’s pelvic and urological symptoms disappeared.

L5 subluxation: a cause of interstitial cystitis. Hammer W. Dynamic Chiropractic, 1997 (April 7):14.


Study #4:

1,567 persons who consulted eight chiropractors on 2,974 occasions during November 1994 were surveyed. 57% reported indigestion infrequently or more, 71% reported mid-back pain during the previous 6 months and 46% experienced both symptoms during this time. 22% of those with indigestion reported some relief after chiropractic care.

Indigestion and heartburn: a descriptive study of prevalence in persons seeking care from chiropractors. Bryner P and Staerker, PG. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1996; 19(5); 317-23.


Study #5:

Sixty-one hospital patients were examined and in 88% of patients with gallbladder disease there was lipping (preventable spinal degeneration) from T7-T10; spinal osteophytes (preventable spinal degeneration) (T9-T11) were found in 82% of those with stomach disease. Many sufferers of pancreatic disease had segments T5-T7 involved and 31% of patients with duodenal disease had osteophytes (preventable spinal degeneration) at T9-L2.

Segmental spinal osteophytosis in visceral disease. Burchett GD J of the American Osteopathic Association 1968; 67(6): 675.


Study #6

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as mucous colitis and nervous bowel affects 15-25% of adults. Symptoms include cramping and/or abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, ulcer-type symptoms, heartburn and/or upper abdominal indigestion.

In this case study of a 25-year-old woman with chronic irritable bowel syndrome her chief complaint was intestinal pain and diarrhea which was worse during stressful periods which occurred one or two times per week for the past five years.

After her first chiropractic adjustment, she reported that she had not experienced any diarrhea for two days. Her symptoms were quickly alleviated during the course of her care. Two years later she remained symptom free.

Irritable bowel syndrome and spinal manipulation: a case report. Wagner T, Owen J, Malone E, Mann K. Chiropractic Technique 1996; 7: 139-140.


Study #7

Patients suffering from bed-wetting, menstrual cramps and ulcer pains/indigestion were given chiropractic care. MDs performed pap tests, pelvic exams and upper GI studies and were negative for active pathology. One subject did have a true peptic ulcer and demonstrated a desire to be in the study.

“A total of eight subjects in each category were selected and two in each category were not treated (to be used as control studies). It should be noted here that no one had any low back, dorsal or cervical spine pain prior to being a patient in this program. In the dysmenorrhea category, all cases of pelvic pain and severe cramping of the uterus had stopped. All women experienced three menstrual cycles through the duration of their menses. The bedwetting category demonstrated 50% of the children had stopped bedwetting early in the program, 25% of the children had a 50% reduction in the frequency of occurrences and 25% showed no improvement.”

“All the patients in the gastric category except one responded to chiropractic care; no one was taken off medication or put on special diet.”

Enuresis, spasmodic dysmenorrhea and gastric discomfort: a vertebral subluxation complex entity. Regan KJ Digest of Chiropractic Economics March/April 1990;32(5):110.


Study #8

Pelvic organic (internal organs) problems that have been shown to respond to manipulative treatment include impairment of bladder, bowel and sexual function.

The recognition of mechanically induced pelvic pain and organic dysfunction in the low back pain patient. Browning JE. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1989,12(5):369-373.


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