Hiatal Hernia? Chiropractic Can Help

on Jan 27
by Dr. Vikki Petersen | Print the article |

Do You Need Antacids or a Chiropractic Adjustment?

You might not think about going to your chiropractor to get relief from abdominal discomfort, but think again…

Here at HealthNOW Medical Center, we see many patients who have been dealing with digestive related distress – some for a very long time.  The stomach is a major organ along the digestive pathway, and a big player in a condition known as a hiatal hernia – which basically means that the stomach spasms and pushes up on your diaphragm leading to symptoms such as:

• heartburn

• pain in the upper abdomen

• chest pain

• difficulty breathing

• anxiety

• panic attack symptoms

How the Stomach Can Create So Many Problems

The condition of ‘heartburn’ is also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) wherein some of the acidic contents of the stomach escapes through the the top of the stomach and projects upwards into the esophagus causing a  painful burning sensation in the chest.

The esophagus (that tube running from the mouth to the stomach) penetrates through a large muscle called the diaphragm in its journey from the mouth to the stomach. The opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes is called a hiatus (which simply means ‘hole’).

Normally, when we swallow and food goes into the stomach, the hole at the top of the stomach closes, keeping food and the acidic digestive juices within the confines of the stomach.  Under certain circumstances, the upper portion of the stomach actually pushes up through the hole (hiatus) in the diaphragm causing a ‘hiatal hernia.’  This can result in pain in the stomach area, chest pain and the more commonly known heartburn sensation.

As with most conditions, there is a range of severity for hiatal hernias from mild to moderate to severe.  Severe conditions may require more serious medical interventions such as surgery.

A Manual ‘Adjustment’ May Be All You Need

For mild and moderate conditions, however, a manual procedure to physically pull the stomach down below the diaphragm can be very helpful.  Along with dietary changes that reveal why the stomach is spasming and possible nutritional supplements to reduce stomach acidity, this manual procedure can bring immediate relief or produce gradual improvement over repeated manipulations.

The stomach pull-down procedure (Hiatal Hernia Technique) is performed here at HealthNOW Medical Center by a doctor of chiropractic who is trained in the technique. The patient can either stand against a wall or lie on a treatment table to receive the technique.  While there may be some mild discomfort associated with the technique, it’s worth it considering there is often immediate relief.  The patient can take a deeper breath and the  pressure and pain subsides.  The procedure may need to be repeated multiple times for lasting results.

In addition to the above, our department of physical therapy can perform a manipulation called a ‘diaphragmatic release’ that can reduce the tension of the diaphragm as well as related muscles in the area of the rib cage.

Lastly, chiropractic adjustments  performed in the neck and mid-back can positively affect nerves that go to the diaphragm itself.

If you or anyone you know suffers from acid reflux, heartburn, chest pain or panic attacks, please consider getting evaluated for a hiatal hernia. A simple, natural and drug-free therapy may be all that’s needed to eradicate your discomfort.

Feel free to contact us for a complimentary health analysis – we’re here to help! Call 408-733-0400

In health,

Dr Koen Kallop, DC
Director of Chiropractic Services
HealthNOW Medical Center

Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Dr Koen Kallop & HealthNOW Medical Center and a clickable link back to this page.


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