Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on an elderly man with hyper frequent bowel movements reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing these patients.  The literature included supports the role of chiropractic in those suffering from the related health challenges and calls for more research in this area.

“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and gastrointestinal system” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy added “In the case report presented, the man was suffering from hyper-frequent bowel movements that resolved under chiropractic care because of the nature of the nervous system and its relationship to the spine.  Research indicates that minor shifts in the structure of the spine may impact function, suggesting that these structural shifts may be a factor in a number of disorders.”

According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function.

The 98-year-old man in this study had been experiencing frequent bowel movements for over two years due to inflammatory bowel disease.  His bowel movements occurred nearly every hour, for a total of 8-9 times a night.  He did not experience this during the day.

The chiropractor examined him and found posture changes and structural shifts in his neck, upper back, mid back, low back, pelvis, and sacrum.  Structural shifts were also noted in the right shoulder and jaw.  Range of motion, thermal scans, and x-rays confirmed the findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic adjustments, he experienced resolution of the frequent bowel movements and he also experienced improvement in his posture.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

To read more about this study, and other chiropractic research, visit Vertebral Subluxation Research.