Let’s face it, constipation is not something people like to talk about. It’s an awkward topic, yet if left untreated, constipation can become a real problem. Constipation is considered present if your bowel movements are infrequent, difficult to pass and are painful. Appetite can disappear, toxins can be recirculated through the body due to the backlog of stool causing inflammation, illness, skin breakouts, nausea and myriad other ailments. Many things can contribute to constipation such as a poor diet that lacks adequate fibre, not drinking enough fluids, stress, some medications, inactivity, a sluggish digestive system, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and another less known cause, misalignment of the spine.
As is well known, our bodily functions are carried out by our nervous system. The intestines are connected to our nervous system at the last thoracic vertebrae, T12, and at the first lumbar vertebrae, L1. It’s through these nerves that our brain sends the message to our bowels that nature is calling. If you are struggling with constipation, it is possible that there may be a subluxation, or misalignment, around one, or both, of these vertebrae. In fact, our entire digestive system is linked to our nervous system. Another key nerve responsible for our digestive health is the vagus nerve, situated at the base of our skull. Our vagus nerve can become compromised via a misalignment or vertebrae in the neck. If any of these digestive related nerves become subjected to strain or stress from misaligned vertebrae, they become incapable or sending correct messages. Hence our digestive system can slow down, we may not absorb the nutrients and vitamins in our food properly, and constipation can occur.
Chiropractic care focuses on fixing the problem, not just masking the symptoms. An x-ray can show the extent of the constipation and also the areas of the spine that need adjusting. Studies have shown that once these adjustments have been applied, digestive issues experienced improvements. A chiropractor will perform gentle manipulations on these misaligned areas to guide the vertebrae back into place, relieving pressure on the affected nerves, allowing the digestive system to move more freely.
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