Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, particularly those related to the spine. Chiropractors use manual techniques to manipulate the spine and other joints in the body to alleviate pain and improve overall health. One common issue that people seek chiropractic care for is constipation. While it may seem odd that a spinal adjustment could help with digestive issues, there is evidence to suggest that chiropractic care can be an effective treatment for constipation, particularly in children.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), about 16% of adults in the United States experience constipation. Constipation is a condition that occurs when bowel movements become infrequent or difficult to pass. Some people may also experience abdominal pain, bloating, and discomfort. Although constipation is not a severe condition, it can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation is a common digestive issue that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stool, and hard, dry stools. Many factors can contribute to constipation, including:
- Diet: A diet low in fiber and high in processed foods can lead to constipation.
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can make stools more difficult to pass.
- Lack of exercise: Exercise helps to stimulate bowel movements so a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to constipation.
- Medications: Certain medications such as opioids, antacids, and antidepressants can cause constipation as a side effect.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hypothyroidism, and neurological disorders, can cause constipation.
- Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and pressure on the bowels during pregnancy can lead to constipation.
- Age: As we age, digestion can slow down, and the muscles in the digestive tract may not work as effectively, leading to constipation.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help Relieve Constipation
One of the main ways that chiropractic care at CornerStone in Minot can help with constipation relief is by addressing spinal misalignments. Spinal misalignments, also known as subluxations, can disrupt the nervous system’s communication with the digestive system, leading to issues like constipation. By correcting these misalignments through chiropractic adjustments, the nervous system can function more effectively, improving digestion and bowel movements.
In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors may also use other techniques to help relieve constipation. These include:
Soft tissue massage: Chiropractors may use gentle tissue massage to help relax the muscles in the digestive system, promoting better digestion and bowel movements.
Nutritional counseling: Chiropractors may offer nutritional counseling to help patients make dietary changes that can improve digestion and relieve constipation. This may include increasing fiber intake, staying hydrated, and avoiding certain foods that can contribute to constipation.
Exercise recommendations: Chiropractors may recommend specific exercises to help improve bowel movements. For example, exercises that focus on the abdominal muscles can help improve the muscles’ ability to move waste through the digestive system.
5 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Constipation Relief
Constipation can cause discomfort and affect daily activities. While there are many treatment options available, chiropractic care offers a natural and holistic approach to relieving constipation. Here are some benefits of chiropractic care for constipation relief:
- Natural and Holistic Approach
Chiropractic care is a natural and holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the body’s natural healing process. By addressing the underlying causes of constipation, chiropractors can provide relief without relying on medications or other invasive procedures.
- Safe and Effective
Chiropractic care is safe and effective for most people, including pregnant women and children. Unlike medications, chiropractic adjustments do not have any significant side effects.
- Long-Term Relief
While over-the-counter remedies can provide short-term relief for constipation, chiropractic care can provide long-term relief by addressing the underlying causes of the condition.
- Improved Digestion
By correcting spinal misalignments and improving nervous system function, chiropractic care can help improve overall digestion and bowel movements.
- Improved Quality of Life
Constipation can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, causing discomfort, pain, and frustration. By providing relief from constipation, chiropractic care can help improve a person’s overall well-being and quality of life.
Lifestyle Changes for Constipation Relief
In addition to chiropractic care, several lifestyle changes can be effective in relieving constipation. Here are some lifestyle changes for constipation relief:
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking water helps to soften stools and make them easier to pass. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Eat a high-fiber diet: Fiber helps to add bulk to stools and promotes regular bowel movements. Foods that are high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise helps to stimulate bowel movements and improve digestion. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
- Practice good toilet habits: Make sure you’re taking your time on the toilet and not straining to pass stools. Try to go at the same time every day, as this can help train your body to have regular bowel movements.
- Reduce stress: Stress can affect digestion and make constipation worse. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to reduce stress.
- Avoid constipating foods: Certain foods can contribute to constipation, such as dairy products, fried foods, and processed foods. Try to limit your intake of these foods and focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods instead.
Combining Chiropractic Care and Lifestyle Changes
While chiropractic care and lifestyle changes can be effective on their own, combining the two approaches can provide even greater long-term relief for constipation. By addressing both the underlying causes of constipation and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can improve digestive function and prevent future episodes of constipation.
If you or a family member are experiencing constipation, consider consulting with a chiropractor at CornerStone in Minot to see if chiropractic care can help. Additionally, making simple lifestyle changes like drinking plenty of water, eating a high-fiber diet, and practicing good toilet habits can also make a significant difference in relieving constipation. Call us at (701) 852-2800 and book your appointment today!