Can a Chiropractor Help With Constipation?

by | Jan 6, 2023 | 0 comments

5 min read

Constipation is infamously widespread among Americans, being the most common gastrointestinal problem. Patients usually seek medical treatment when the pain becomes chronic or acute, although the type and cause of constipation are hardly ever identified. A change in diet, more rest, or various medications may not help if the cause is found in the nervous system’s poor functionality. In recent years, however, chiropractic care has proven effective against constipation!


Are There Different Types of Constipation?

Constipation is annoying and troublesome regardless of its specific type. Medical studies distinguish between constipation as the main problem (i.e., primary constipation) and constipation as a symptom of an underlying condition (i.e., secondary constipation). 

  • Primary constipation, also called idiopathic constipation, has no apparent cause. Clinicians have identified three different types of primary constipation:
    1. Normal transit constipation: Despite regular bowel movements, patients perceive abdominal bloating and pain as constipation.
    2. Slow transit constipation: Because, in such cases, eating doesn’t stimulate normal bowel movement, stool travels slower through the colon.
    3. Outlet constipation: Damage to the pelvic floor muscles that support the bowel can make passing the stool difficult. Since the same muscles support the uterus, this condition is more common in women after pregnancy.
  • Secondary constipation is as diverse as its various causes. The challenge posed by secondary constipation is identifying the underlying medical issues. Only by identifying and treating the underlying cause can constipation relief be brought about.


What are the Main Causes of Constipation? 

Constipation is annoying and troublesome, regardless of its cause. For example, specific food or dehydration may reduce the number of bowel movements you experience. In such cases, dietary and lifestyle adjustments may be the key to improving the digestive system’s flow. But sometimes chronic constipation is the result of a more subtle condition, such as:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colon cancer 
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiency 


This image listst the different types of constipation

Can a Misaligned Spine Cause Constipation?

Digestive problems are often linked to the nervous system’s health because of psychological distress or nerve compression. For instance, some people with irritable bowel syndrome know firsthand what discomfort anxiety, and intense emotions can bring to their gut. 

Since even psychological factors play a significant role in digestive health, there’s no wonder why nerves related to the digestive system can interfere with its flow and overall health when pinched

Throughout the small intestine and colon, special nerve cells, called ganglion cells, ensure bowel movements by muscle contraction. These nerves are linked to the celiac ganglion, which sends signals to the stomach, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, and colon. The nerve roots of the celiac ganglion connect to the spinal cord at the higher lumbar and lower thoracic regions. 

Pressure on the nerve roots due to vertebrae misalignment interferes with the normal function of the autonomic nervous system responsible for regular bowel movements. Think of a television cable: when it is strangled or pinched, the signal can’t get through, and thus the image gets blurry and inconsistent. 

The same happens when one of the nerves linked to digestive flow becomes strangled: the nervous system can’t work at its optimal pace, stool travels slower through the intestines and colon, and, therefore, patients experience constipation.

This image depicts a woman with spinal misalignment


Can Seeing a Chiropractor Help With Constipation?

The straightforward answer is yes, a chiropractor can help patients report constipation issues linked to nerve compression! This treatment approach is backed by medical studies and patients alike. But how exactly does a chiropractic treatment bring about constipation relief? 


Chiropractic Care Helps Relieve Nerve Interference

Through natural, safe, and effective spinal adjustments, chiropractic treatments can help relieve not merely low back pain but also chronic constipation due to spinal compression.

Patients lie down clothed with their faces upwards on a spinal decompression table. It produces precise and gentle movements, thus making subtle adjustments to the spine. Our chiropractor, Dr. Gregory Doerr, will ensure that the chiropractic adjustments relieve pressure from the nerve roots linked to digestive flow. As a result, you will notice digestive improvements in the days following chiropractic care. Some patients will also report back pain relief, as nerve damage is reversed by the restoration of the typical nutritional flow to the previously strangled nerves.


Does Chiropractic Care Have the Same Effect Against Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Constipation is not the only digestive problem caused by nerve compression. Pressure upon specific nerves related to the gastrointestinal tract may also be responsible for irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms such as cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting may all be due to vertebrae misalignment and nerve strangulation. 

Spinal and nerve health is crucial for proper organ functionality. As with constipation, chiropractic care can bring nerve relief and, thus, improve gastrointestinal health. An appointment with a chiropractor might quickly resolve irritable bowel syndrome caused by nerve compression.

This image depicts two physicians studying the anatomy of the vertebrae


Looking for Natural Constipation Relief? Dr. Doerr and His Team Can Help!

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD, areas. Also, feel free to access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic treatments!



  1. “3 Reasons to Seek Chiropractic Care for Constipation.” Vitality Precision Chiropractic, 5 Nov. 2018, Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.
  2. NHS Choices, NHS, Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.
  3. Rédly, Monika. “The Effects of Chiropractic Care on a Patient with Chronic Constipation.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2001, Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.