What Effect Does Chiropractic Treatment Have on Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders: A Narrative Review of the Literature
SOURCE: J Can Chiropr Assoc 2015 (Jun); 59 (2): 122–133 ~ FULL TEXT
Katherine Angus, BSc(Kin), DC, Sepideh Asgharifar, BSc(Hons), DC,
Brian Gleberzon, DC, MHSc
Chiropractic and Health Associates Clinic,
1 St. Clair Ave West, Suite 404,
The purpose of this study was to provide a narrative review of the literature of studies describing the management of disorders of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract using ‘chiropractic therapy’ broadly defined here as spinal manipulation therapy, mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, modalities and stretches. Search limiters include access to full text studies published between 1980 and November 2012 in peer-reviewed journals, English language only involving human subjects. Twenty-one articles were found that met our inclusion criteria. Retrievable articles varied from case reports to clinical trials to review articles of management options. The majority of articles chronicling patient experiences under chiropractic care reported they demonstrated mild to moderate improvements in presenting symptoms. No adverse side effects were reported. This suggests chiropractic care can be considered as an adjunctive therapy for patients with various GI conditions providing there are no co-morbidities.
KEYWORDS: chiropractic; gastro-intestinal; manipulation; therapy
From the FULL TEXT Article
The purpose of this paper was to conduct a narrative review of the literature that investigated the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. A previous review by Gleberzon et al  reviewed the literature from 2007 to 2011 that investigated the use of one type of chiropractic treatment (spinal manipulative therapy) for pediatric health conditions one of which was colic, often considered a type of GI condition effecting infants [Authors’ note: there is considerable debate whether or not ‘infantile colic’ is a GI condition, or simply ‘baby back pain’ and there is debate if the method used to monitor its existence (crying time) is a subjective or objective outcome measure.  That debate notwithstanding, for the purposes of this report, we have included colic as a GI condition].
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To the best of our knowledge, there has not been a narrative review done specifically on the topic of chiropractic treatment and GI disorders, nor has there been a systematic review that has examined chiropractic treatment of gastrointestinal disorders spanning the broad population. One advantage of a narrative review is that it enables practitioners to learn about the effect a wide variety of treatment options have (or do not have) on a condition or group of conditions- in this case GI disorders- published in various article formats, ranging from well designed clinical trials to commentaries. By contrast, systematic reviews typically exclude by design case reports, expert opinions or other source material often referred to as ‘grey literature’.