If you have ever suffered from constipation, you know how serious and painful it can be. Minor constipation may lead to abdominal pain, back pain, bloating, and more, while more prolonged and severe constipation may cause vomiting, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or rectal prolapse. If you ask ten different people how they dealt with their constipation, you’ll likely get ten different answers. For some people, changing their diet is key. Others may find relief with a laxative. Still others, with more severe cases, may need surgery to remove blockages from the intestines. While all of these options may seem like viable solutions, they’re not technically “solutions.” All of these options simply cover up or seemingly eliminate constipation without actually getting to the root of the problem.
Sure, changing your diet may be effective, but why can some people eat a low-fiber diet and not suffer from any constipation while others may still experience constipation even on a high-fiber diet? There is a root cause that is not being addressed in the majority of people who deal with constipation, and that problem can be remedied with chiropractic treatment.
How Can Chiropractic Affect Constipation?
The top vertebra in your lumbar (L1) is directly linked to your large intestines. This means that the nerves that run through this vertebra affect the function of your large intestines, so if the L1 is in misalignment, the messages your brain sends to your large intestines are not getting there properly. This results in problems with large intestine function, including, of course, constipation. People suffering from an L1 subluxation, or misalignment, may also experience colitis, dysentery, diarrhea, intestinal ruptures, or hernias.
When a person comes into a chiropractors’ office complaining about constipation, or when a parent suggests that his or her child is having trouble passing bowel movements, the first thing a chiropractic will check is that upper lumbar vertebra. Some chiropractors, including Dr. Grant, jokingly refer to this vertebra in kids as the “poop button.” When individuals are constipated and receive an adjustment of their L1, they often pass a bowel movement within hours.
Case Studies of Chiropractic Helping Those with Constipation
Anywhere between three bowel movements a day to three bowel movements a week is considered normal. Anything less than that is undoubtedly constipation, but it can also present itself as hard stools that are painful to pass. While babies and adults typically experience a lack of bowel movements, kids often “hold in” their stools to avoid the pain they know will come with passing them. This, unfortunately, contributes to drier, harder stools and increased pain.
This case study follows three children, all under the age of two, who passed bowel movements only one to two times per week. Despite attempting other solutions to remedy their constipation, nothing seemed to help. After receiving chiropractic adjustments, all three children began passing stools once every one to two days with no straining, bleeding, or pain.
Multiple other studies have followed children and adults of all ages and varying degrees of severity in their constipation, and all have resulted in more regular and less painful bowel movements after undergoing chiropractic care.
While the majority of practice members who suffer from constipation are children, we have seen numerous adults who have found relief from constipation, including those with year-long bouts with chronic constipation and pregnant women! If you’re suffering from constipation and are ready to get to the root cause of it to get relief, give us a call at Greater Life Chiropractic today!
Angus, K., Asgharifar, S., & Gleberzon, B. “What Effect Does Chiropractic Treatment Have on Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders: A Narrative Review of the Literature.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 2015, June; 59(2): 122-133. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4486990/
Meyer, D. & Alcantara, J. “Successful Resolution of Chronic Constipation in Pediatric Patients with Adjustments to Sites of Vertebral Subluxation.” International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Clinical Chiropractic, 2008. http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/successful-resolution-of-chronic-constipation-in-pediatric-patients-with-adjustments-to-sites-of-vertebral-subluxation.html