In the research periodical, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, a case study was published on April 18, 2013 documenting the improvement of a case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with chiropractic care.
The author of the study notes that in the Unites States Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) will affect between 12% and 30% of the population. It is interesting to note that the rest of the world only reports this issue in between 5% and 10% of their populations. In the US IBS accounts for 12-14% of primary care physician visits and 28% of referrals to gastroenterologists. The authors note that standard medical care is aimed at reducing symptoms like pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
In this case a 32 year old woman, who was an optometrist, went to the chiropractors with complaints of loose, painful, runny stools upon waking with abdominal pain and bloating that began ten years earlier. The woman also suffered from mild depression which began three years earlier, and anxiety that began 10 years prior to her visit to the chiropractor. Her history included being in two car accidents, one at the age of 10, where she was struck as a pedestrian leaving her in a coma for three days, and the second at age twenty where she suffered a fractured pelvis.
A chiropractic examination showed abnormal spinal postural positioning and a decrease in the range of motion in her neck. Thermal (heat-reading) scans were performed which also showed irregularities in the neck area. Spinal x-rays were taken of the neck which showed malpositioning of the first and second bones in her neck. From these findings a determination of subluxations in the upper neck was made. Specific cervical (neck) adjustments were performed to correct the subluxations in the upper neck.
The results showed that on her second visit she reported that she had a pain free, solid bowel movement the morning after her first adjustment which has continued. She also reported that her mood was better and less frequency of anxiety when faced with issues that would normally trigger anxiety in the past. The study notes that the woman was reassessed three months later in care and she continued to show documented measurable improvement in her physical and mental issues.
In his conclusion, the author explains that a subluxation in the upper neck can cause nerve system dysfunction that can result in a problem with the bowels. He writes, “Correcting the misalignment at this level restores proper neurological function and thereby proper function of the gastro-intestinal track.”