Millions of Americans suffer from acid reflux in a given year, and for many of those patients, acid reflux is an uncomfortable and even painful part of life that may seem challenging to treat. Sometimes pills aren’t enough to eliminate symptoms, and other, more invasive acid reflux remedies like surgeries aren’t an option due to recovery times or cost. Due to the varied causes of acid reflux, lifestyle changes like weight loss and diet changes only help in some cases.
Chiropractic care is an acid reflux treatment option that most patients don’t think of until they’ve already exhausted other options, but it’s very effective for many patients who try it. Licensed chiropractors can manipulate the stomach and the surrounding muscles to repair the cause of acid reflux over a period of several visits. The resulting relief can improve overall quality relief in multiple ways, from improved sleep to a reduction in diet restrictions.
Causes of Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as acid reflux, is caused by stomach acid moving up through the esophagus, causing irritation and even nausea. If you have heartburn more than twice a week, your acid reflux is probably being caused by more than just spicy foods.
Acid reflux can be triggered by eating spicy or fatty foods, pregnancy, obesity, certain medications, or a stomach problem known as a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when the top of the stomach works up through the diaphragm, pinching part of the stomach and preventing stomach acid from staying where it’s supposed to.
The best acid reflux treatment will depend on the cause of the acid reflux; for some patients, lifestyle changes will get better results than any other kind of treatment. Pregnancy requires special considerations to protect the mother and baby. Hiatal hernias are usually easy to fix but require a visit to at least one licensed medical practitioner for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
How It Works
Chiropractic care for acid reflux treatment relies on soft tissue manipulation. A licensed chiropractor can repair a hiatal hernia by manipulating the top of the stomach back down through the diaphragm. Treatment usually requires multiple visits, and some patients benefit most from weekly visits over a period of a few months.
Other spinal adjustments can help keep the stomach from slipping through the diaphragm again. Spinal problems can actually interfere with how your nervous system controls your stomach muscles, so spinal manipulation may necessary to fully eliminate symptoms.
Chiropractors can also help with lifestyle changes like weight loss. Sometimes, patients with back pain may resort to a more sedentary lifestyle, causing obesity and acid reflux as a result. Chiropractors can help treat underlying causes of obesity, poor posture, and other acid reflux risk factors.
Acid reflux symptoms include chest pain, nausea, regurgitation, unpleasant acidic tastes, and inability to swallow. Symptoms often start off mild or infrequent and are easy to ignore at first. When left untreated, these symptoms can become more severe and interfere with sleeping, eating and even breathing.
With chiropractic acid reflux treatments, symptoms will start to fade over time. Some patients report a dramatic reduction in symptoms in 2-3 visits, while others need a bit longer. In severe cases, symptoms may not fade enough, and other acid reflux remedies may be required. It’s also possible that symptoms will reappear a few weeks or months after chiropractic treatment is ceased, though sometimes this can be fixed with a few more visits to the chiropractor.
However, chiropractic care is a good first option for patients with hiatal hernias who want to treat the root cause of acid reflux instead of using medication to treat the problem temporarily. Over-the-counter and prescription medications can have a range of unpleasant side effects. While surgery is an option, such invasive measures are usually considered a last resort. Lifestyle changes usually can’t fix acid reflux caused by hiatal hernias, so chiropractic acid reflux treatment methods should be attempted to bring long-term relief.