When it comes to chiropractic health, a variety of bodily elements and separate systems can directly impact whether your patients thrive or struggle with their spine and joint health.
One of the most important considerations, though often thought to be unlikely, is gut health. This article explains the intricate linkage between gut and chiropractic health. This information will provide you with the foundational knowledge needed to explain the connection to your patients. Everything in the body is interconnected. Something that’s wrong in one area of the body could dramatically impact another area.
The gut and chiropractic health: How gut health relates to spine health
The gut is “governed” by the enteric nervous system, a neural network that runs the gastrointestinal tract and controls digestive functions. It is the primary link between the gut-brain connection. This connection is responsible for passing signals between the digestive system and the neural system, communicating via the brain, the spinal cord and other paths through the body. This means the spine and central nervous system play a direct role in the digestive system’s function.
The spine and gut health connection
Additionally, the spine is in direct communication with the digestive system. Areas of the spine, like the thoracic or the lumbar, are directly involved in the process of digestion, dictating the speed at which food is broken down and digested.
Issues related to gut health can cause issues related to chiropractic health. For example, if a patient is dealing with subluxation, they can have a harder time absorbing the important vitamins, nutrients and minerals from their food, causing digestive issues. In the same way, gut inflammation could cue other inflammation, causing pain in the spine, joints and other areas of the body.
How chiropractic treatment can improve gut health
If your patients are experiencing gut health issues, it’s possible regular adjustments and tailored chiropractic treatment might improve their digestive issues.
Though it’s not possible to declare chiropractic care a cure-all for every digestive issue, it’s possible there might be a link between your patients’ chiropractic health and their gut health.
Chiropractic adjustments and treatments are often targeted toward reducing inflammation. If your patients are experiencing digestive issues, it’s possible regular adjustments can improve the inflammation causing these issues.
Minimize physical and emotional stress
Many digestive disorders are related to excess stress. Stress can cause the body to produce more adrenaline and cortisol, diverting blood flow away from the digestive tract. Adjustments are often used to minimize stress and maximize relaxation. It’s possible regular adjustments can help regulate stress and minimize digestive issues.
Enhance nutrient absorption
As mentioned, subluxations interfere with proper digestion. If patients are treated with regular adjustments, it’s possible the correct alignment of their vertebrae could improve their body’s nutrient absorption function.
Improve gut motility
Irregular and weak contractions of the digestive system could cause issues with the digestive tract. Without regular and healthy contractions, food can’t move through the digestive tract properly and could cause constipation, diarrhea and bloating. Regular adjustments could reduce nerve interference, align better communication between the gut and brain, and provide improved gut motility for a properly maintained digestive system. Understanding the link between gut and chiropractic health is essential to improving your patients’ overall health.
For more insight into gut and chiropractic health and improving your patients’ health, subscribe to Chiropractic Economics, the #1 magazine for doctors of chiropractic.