I get asked “How does chiropractic help digestive issues,” an awful lot and you’ve got to understand the relationship between your spine and the nervous system and your health. So typically when we talk about digestive issue – your stomach, your intestines – everything is enervated by the nerve system. Meaning that messages from the brain go down through the spinal cord and out through the spinal nerves to the stomach and basically inform the stomach what’s going on and then the stomach says okay we’re going to make more acid or less acid depending on what’s coming down the pipe. Particularly if I take a bite of a hamburger, by the time I take that first bite of the hamburger, my stomach already knows that there is protein on the way so it starts secreting some acid to help break that down. That communication is vital for proper digestive function.
So in chiropractic, how we help people with digestive issues is we’ll look at the spine and we’ll see, are there any misalignments or what we call subluxations that could be irritating the nerve structures that tell the stomach what to do or enervate it. If there is and we can remove that interference, it should restore normal communication from the brain to the stomach. And when the stomach cells get the right information and send the right information back to the brain, the body is in balance – it works in harmony and there aren’t digestive issues. But if there is enough irritation and a lot of stress on the body, then the stomach will not work properly.Iit will be upset and when people are really nervous and eat a big meal, it doesn’t always bode well.
So people who have gastritis, or slow motility through the intestines, constipation, diarrhea – it can always be related back to irritation to the spine in many cases because those subluxations are irritating the nerves and preventing proper nerve information from going between the brain and the body, particularly the stomach, and that will cause digestive issues. So we see a host of people who will come in with back pain and on their intake forms their secondary complaints are diarrhea, constipation or whatever and very often when we start adjusting and alleviate the pressure and get the nerve system working properly, not only does their back pain go away but a lot of their digestive issues will settle down as well.
I want to just make sure that everyone understands that it’s not a guarantee and that every person with stomach issues I’m going to fix them, it’s not really how that works. It’s just about clearing off enough pressure to the nerve system to restore a normal tone between the sympathetic and parasympathetic and your nerve system and when everything is restored and balanced, the body just works better. That’s the crux of chiropractic. It’s really about maintaining proper nerve function so your body works properly. Always remembering that the nerve system is the master system and it controls and coordinates every aspect of your digestion and elimination so irritation to those spinal nerves are typically what is going to be causing digestive issues or at least contribute to them.
Dr. Gregg D. Rubinstein, D.C., is a midtown Manhattan chiropractor with over 20 years of experience providing customized chiropractic treatment services to a wide range of clients in the Midtown Manhattan/West New York City area. Dr. Gregg Rubinstein and 57th Street Chiropractic can be reached at (917) 534-6484 and is located at 119 West 57th St. in New York, NY.