Can Digestive Distress Cause Back Pain?
It is estimated that over twenty million people in the United States alone experience chronic digestive diseases, upset, and distress, and it’s important to note that these are just reported numbers! Thousands of people never report their digestive problems, living with chronic mild-to-severe discomfort and feeling like there is no relief available to them. Digestive problems can lead to a host of other physical ailments, and it can be tough knowing where to start resolving them. Many unexpected symptoms can accompany digestive distress, including back pain, anxiety, migraines, heart palpitations, chest pain, and more. So if you’ve asked “can digestive distress cause back pain?” read on to learn more!
Types of Digestive Distress
There are a wide variety of digestive disorders that can create pain, discomfort, and anxiety. Some of these disorders overlap with one another or arise from the same cause. Others are isolated symptoms that occur as a response to something else in your environment or body. The most common kinds of digestive distress are constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids, acid reflux, diarrhea, and nausea.
Digestive distress is often attributed exclusively to diet (with a lack of fiber often being called the main culprit), but there are many different causes of digestive distress. Digestion is closely liked to the brain and nervous system, and as a result, it’s important to explore how the two might affect one another.
The Enteric Nervous System
You may have heard of the central nervous system (brain and spine) and the peripheral nervous system (all the other nerves), but have you ever heard of the enteric nervous system?
The enteric nervous system is the digestive system’s own nervous system that is responsible for sending messages to and from the brain and spine, where information is processed. The enteric nervous system runs along the entire gastrointestinal tract. The enteric nervous system has as many as 600 million neurons, second only to the brain. The gut and brain are thought to have a very close connection to one another. For this reason, gastrointestinal symptoms can often lead to psychological symptoms, and vice versa—for example, nausea and anxiety.
The purpose of the enteric nervous system is to regulate the function of the nervous system. The enteric nervous system answers to the central nervous system, which is located in the brain and the spine. Because of the close connection between the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system, they can affect one another. This can cause digestive distress to be perceived as pain in the body.
Can digestive distress cause back pain?
The short answer is “yes.” Digestive distress like constipation, acid reflux/heartburn, indigestion, IBS, Crohn’s, nausea, incontinence, and gas can create pain all around the body. The causes may vary depending on the symptom being experienced, and the pain from digestive distress can be either direct or indirect.
Direct Pain from Digestive Dysfunction
Direct pain caused by digestive dysfunction occurs when the digestive tract is directly causing pain due to an imbalance. Examples of this are acid reflux (stomach acid burning esophagus), constipation (inflammation of intestines and nearby tissue), diarrhea (can result in hemorrhoids), and any other imbalance that causes direct pain.
Indirect Pain from Digestive Dysfunction
Indirect pain from digestive dysfunction happens because of a disruption to the systems of the body. Examples of this include back pain from constipation, muscle aches from diarrhea, anxiety from nausea, and any other imbalance that causes indirect pain.
The Nervous System and Chiropractic Care
While chiropractic care doesn’t directly treat the digestive system, it treats the nervous system, which is closely linked to digestion. Chiropractic care works primarily on the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) which dictates instructions to the enteric nervous system.
When the central nervous system is regulated through chiropractic care, the enteric nervous system can be regulated as well. This can help to reset the function of the enteric nervous system and contribute to the positive effect that patients report on their digestion after chiropractic treatment.
The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Digestion
Patients often report experiencing improved digestion, a decrease or elimination of acid reflux, more regular bowel movements, and decreased nausea. Chiropractic care affects many of the body’s systems both directly and indirectly, so it’s not always easy to trace exactly how the regulating effect is occurring with each individual. Nevertheless, chiropractic care often produces a therapeutic effect on the digestive system, helping to create more ease, relaxation, and improved function.
Chiropractic & Digestion at ASP
At Advanced Spine and Posture (ASP) in Rancho Oakey, We take pride in providing the most customized, high-quality chiropractic care available. Dr. Stephanie Youngblood of our Alta Rancho location serves the entire Rancho Oakey, West Last Vegas area. Dr. Youngblood and staff are committed to the Advanced Spine and Posture standard of care, which focuses on identifying the root cause of your discomfort and pain and treating it at the root.
Have you been experiencing back pain, neck pain, migraines, headaches, or had an injury or accident? If you’re looking for back pain chiropractic, injury and accident chiropractic, or have tried every digestive remedy available with no success, then it’s time to book your appointment at Advanced Spine and Posture of Rancho Oakey. If you’re in the Spring Valley, Paradise, or Las Vegas area, the Alta Rancho team of ASP is standing by to help.
Book your first appointment today to get started on your health journey and discover all of the benefits of chiropractic care.