Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux, is a prevalent digestive disease affecting roughly 3 million Americans annually. It can be an extremely frustrating condition that severely impacts quality of life, causing pain and discomfort that requires you to avoid eating foods you may love.
Chiropractic care may not always be the first option that pops into your head when seeking care for GERD since the two may seem different. However, chiropractors can provide effective relief through GERD chiropractic care that aims to address the disease’s root causes.
How GERD Chiropractic Treatment Alleviates Symptoms
Chiropractors are musculoskeletal experts who focus on the spine and its interrelationship with the rest of the body. So, how does this treat GERD, a digestive condition?
The answer is that the spine, its alignment, and our posture significantly affect many body functions, including the digestive system. The alignment of the spine and posture can affect the digestive system, increasing your likelihood of experiencing GERD.
|The spine’s alignment can heavily inform digestive performance. Spinal misalignment can increase the likelihood of developing GERD and experiencing symptoms, and chiropractors seek to address it at the root by restoring the spine’s natural alignment.|
GERD is primarily caused by a weakening or malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is a ring of muscle that separates the stomach and the esophagus. It acts similarly to a door designed to open and close while preventing things from entering or leaving when they aren’t supposed to.
A compromise in the ability of the LES to contain stomach acid results in a reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. This leads to irritation and inflammation of the esophageal lining, causing a range of symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad taste in the mouth
The symptoms of GERD can become worse when you lie down and can also lead to damage to the lining of the esophagus, which is why it’s important to seek care when you experience GERD symptoms.
GERD and Spinal Misalignment
Spinal misalignment can compromise the ability of the LES in a few ways, including:
- Increased intra-abdominal pressure: Poor posture, especially a slouching or forward posture (hunching), can compress the abdominal muscles, which increases pressure on the abdomen. This pressure can cause the contents of your stomach, including acid, to be pushed up against the LES, which can weaken it and cause improper function.
- Esophageal misalignment: The spine’s alignment informs the alignment of the esophagus, and when the esophagus is misaligned, its normal function can be altered, allowing acid from the stomach to more easily reflux into the esophagus.
- Delayed gastric emptying: Poor posture can slow down the rate at which the stomach empties its contents into the intestines, and this delay can cause acid to stay in the stomach longer than it is supposed to, increasing the likelihood of it flowing into the esophagus.
- Pressure on the stomach: Poor posture can lead to abdominal compression, which can put excess pressure on the stomach. This extra pressure can affect the LES’s positioning, leading to stomach acid breaking through to the esophagus more easily, especially as the LES muscles weaken over time.
- Reduce myoeletrical function: Misalignment and posture is shown to reduce the nerve function to the muscles of the stomach and lead to the malfunction of the LES and muscular coordination of the stomach.
Chiropractors address these issues by looking at the orientation of the esophagus and the spine’s alignment and seeking to restore spinal alignment and promote better posture. This foundational, whole-body approach to treating GERD restores proper function and naturally mitigates the likelihood of developing symptoms.
|Treatments Used for GERD Chiropractic Care|
|Spinal Adjustments||At the core of GERD chiropractic care is the restoration of spinal alignment. Chiropractors use instruments and adjustments to manipulate the spine and the muscles around it back into their natural position, improving posture and the digestive process, and lessening the propensity of GERD symptoms.|
|Lifestyle Guidance||Chiropractors often advise on continued lifestyle modifications and weight management to maintain spinal alignment.|
|Nutritional Recommendations||Chiropractors may suggest dietary changes to alleviate GERD symptoms, such as avoiding certain trigger foods or recommending foods to help prevent GERD.|
|Stress Management Techniques||Because stress can also contribute to GERD, chiropractors may recommend relaxation and breathing exercises that reduce stress.|
GERD chiropractic care can provide effective relief from symptoms through a holistic, non-invasive approach that reduces dependency on medications—contributing to enhanced overall health and well-being.
PostureWorks Provides Effective Relief from Pesky GERD Symptoms
GERD can be a harsh factor in the lives of those who have to deal with the pain and discomfort it causes. That’s why the team at PostureWorks uses advanced treatments like Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) to develop the most effective GERD chiropractic care strategies.
CBP allows us to go beyond chiropractic adjustments by giving us a comprehensive understanding of your spinal alignment. We begin with a full-health assessment that encompasses your entire medical history and a postural analysis that gives us a clear picture of your spinal health.
Leveraging this insightful data, we curate a customized treatment regimen meticulously designed to cater to your distinct requirements, ensuring optimal efficacy. This approach offers respite from GERD symptoms and assures you a lasting relief that remains steadfast, all while benefiting from improved overall health.
Contact us today for more information on GERD chiropractic care or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks in Lakewood or San Francisco.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive as with all chiropractic care.