Gastroesophageal Reflux and Chiropractic

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Chiropractic Research Results for Gastroesophageal Reflux

What Effect Does Chiropractic Treatment Have on
Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders: A Narrative
Review of the Literature

J Canadian Chiropractic Association 2015 (Jun); 59 (2): 122–133 ~ FULL TEXT

The purpose of this study was to provide a narrative review of the literature of studies describing the management of disorders of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract using 'chiropractic therapy' broadly defined here as spinal manipulation therapy, mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, modalities and stretches. Search limiters include access to full text studies published between 1980 and November 2012 in peer-reviewed journals, English language only involving human subjects. Twenty-one articles were found that met our inclusion criteria. Retrievable articles varied from case reports to clinical trials to review articles of management options. The majority of articles chronicling patient experiences under chiropractic care reported they demonstrated mild to moderate improvements in presenting symptoms. No adverse side effects were reported. This suggests chiropractic care can be considered as an adjunctive therapy for patients with various GI conditions providing there are no co-morbidities.

Chiropractic Care of a Pediatric Patient With Symptoms
Associated with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease,
Fuss-cry-irritability with Sleep Disorder
Syndrome and Irritable Infant Syndrome
of Musculoskeletal Origin

J Canadian Chiropractic Association 2008 (Dec); 52 (4): 248–255 ~ FULL TEXT

The mother of a 3-month old girl presented her daughter for chiropractic care with a medical diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Her complaints included frequently interrupted sleep, excessive intestinal gas, frequent vomiting, excessive crying, difficulty breastfeeding, plagiocephaly and torticollis. Previous medical care consisted of Prilosec prescription medication. Notable improvement in the patient’s symptoms was observed within four visits and total resolution of symptoms within three months of care. This case study suggests that patients with complaints associated with both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal origin may benefit from chiropractic care.investigated.

Cry Babies: A Framework For Chiropractic Care
Clinical Chiropractic 2007 (Dec); 10 (3): 139–146 ~ FULL TEXT

With 21% of parents taking their excessively crying infant to a healthcare professional, chiropractors are often selected to treat these infants. The personal, family and social costs of this crying syndrome are high, yet there is no agreed treatment protocol. A large number of studies have been aimed at providing useful interventions, but no ‘‘cure’’ has been demonstrated. With some evidential backing, chiropractors are well-placed to provide therapy for this syndrome. A seven-step process of thorough history (including ante-natal and natal factors), administration of depression index to the mother, examination of the infant to rule out illness, differential diagnosis, specific treatment plan for specific disorders, therapeutic trial and reassurance to the parents provides a rational framework for appropriate chiropractic care of this enigmatic and problematic condition.


Other Management Approaches for Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):
A Review of Conventional and Alternative Treatments
Alternative Medicine Review 2011 (Jun);   16 (2):   116–133 ~ FULL TEXT

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), a common disorder in the Western world, can lead to complications that include esophageal stricture and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Multiple challenges are associated with GERD treatment. First, lack of symptoms does not correlate with the absence of or the healing of esophageal lesions. Second, proton pump inhibitors, the current standard of care for GERD, are ineffective for the majority of GERD patients who have non-erosive disease. This article discusses these challenges, investigates the mechanisms of damage in GERD, and explores the existing data on unconventional forms of treatment, including melatonin, acupuncture, botanicals, and dietary interventions.


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Updated 6-26-2022

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