Answers to Questions about Chiropractic:
Can a Chiropractor Treat Acid Reflux?

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Question

Can a chiropractor provide any relief for acid reflux or similar stomach problems?

Answer

When the stomach's digestive juices move up into the esophagus, the pain that results can be similar to the pain of a heart attack. When you have such pain, you should see your family physician in order to rule out a stomach ulcer or some other serious digestive problem before assuming that you have acid reflux or "heartburn."

Stress, overeating, certain medications, foods, and beverages, and other factors can cause or aggravate heartburn. Once a diagnosis of acid reflux is established, there is much you can do to help yourself—information that you can find in many health guides. I do not know of anything a chiropractor could do for heartburn that cannot be done by you and your family physician. I do not recommend chiropractic adjustments as a method of controlling or preventing this problem.

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Dr. Homola is a second-generation chiropractor who has dedicated himself to defining the proper limits on chiropractic and to educating consumers and professionals about the field. His 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism supported the appropriate use of spinal manipulation but renounced chiropractic dogma. His 1999 book Inside Chiropractic: A Patient's Guide provides an incisive look at chiropractic's history, benefits, and shortcomings. Now retired after 43 years of practice, he lives in Panama City, Florida.

This page was posted on February 10, 2002.