Chiropractic Techniques for Hiatal Hernias: A Comprehensive Approach

September 18, 2023

Hiatal hernias can cause discomfort and various digestive symptoms, making it crucial to explore holistic treatment options. This condition occurs when a portion of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity, leading to symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, and acid reflux. While medical interventions such as surgery or medication are often considered for managing hiatal hernias, an alternative approach that many people find relief in is chiropractic care. Chiropractic care offers a natural approach to managing hiatal hernias, with a particular focus on techniques like diaphragmatic adjustments, vagus nerve support, spinal alignment, muscle balance, posture correction, and the Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT). In this article, we will delve into how these chiropractic techniques can help individuals with hiatal hernias find relief and improve their overall well-being.

Before delving into the ways chiropractic care can assist with hiatal hernias, let’s briefly review the condition itself. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges through the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes. There are two main types of hiatal hernias:

  1. Sliding Hiatal Hernia: This is the most common type, where the junction between the esophagus and the stomach slides into the chest cavity. It may lead to symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux.
  2. Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernia: In this less common type, a portion of the stomach pushes through the hiatus and stays there. This type can be more serious as it might lead to complications like strangulation of the herniated tissue.

Chiropractic care and hiatal hernias:

Diaphragmatic Adjustments
Chiropractors understand that the diaphragm plays a central role in the function of the upper digestive system. Through diaphragmatic adjustments, chiropractors aim to enhance the diaphragm’s strength and function. These adjustments can help reduce pressure on the hiatus, potentially alleviating symptoms such as acid reflux, chest pain, and heartburn. By addressing the underlying cause of hiatal hernias, chiropractic care seeks to provide long-term relief.

Vagus Nerve Support
The vagus nerve is a crucial regulator of digestive processes. Chiropractors may employ gentle techniques to stimulate the vagus nerve, enhancing digestive function. Improved vagal tone can promote better control of acid production and the movement of food through the digestive system, potentially reducing symptoms associated with hiatal hernias.

Spinal Alignment
Proper spinal alignment is a fundamental aspect of chiropractic care. Misalignments in the spine can lead to poor posture and muscle imbalances, exacerbating hiatal hernia symptoms. Chiropractors use adjustments to align the spine correctly, reducing tension and pressure on the diaphragm. This may lead to symptom relief and overall comfort improvement.

Muscle Balance
Muscle imbalances, especially in the abdominal and back muscles, can worsen hiatal hernia symptoms. Chiropractors evaluate and address these imbalances through targeted exercises and therapies. By strengthening and balancing the supportive muscles around the hernia site, chiropractic care can help stabilize the area, minimizing the risk of further herniation.

Posture Correction
Poor posture contributes to hiatal hernia development and symptom aggravation. Chiropractors work with patients to correct posture issues, reducing diaphragmatic and hiatus pressure. Improved posture encourages proper digestion and may alleviate symptoms such as acid reflux and heartburn.

Chiropractic care offers a comprehensive approach to managing hiatal hernias, targeting both the symptoms and potential root causes of the condition. It’s essential to integrate chiropractic care into a broader treatment plan, consulting with healthcare professionals for a thorough diagnosis and a well-rounded approach to managing hiatal hernias. Chiropractic care provides a natural and holistic option for those seeking relief from hiatal hernia symptoms.

Dr. Jonathan Cartile, DC has extensive experience in evaluation and application of a variety of chiropractic techniques that has helped many living with hiatal hernias to improve their quality of life when they have been told that there was nothing else to try.

For for information, please schedule a discovery call or your first appointment with Dr. Jon here.


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