Hiatal Hernia and Chiropractic Care

July 13, 2022

Sometimes, our internal organs push into areas they should not push, and it causes hernia. There are a few types of hernia, and a very known condition is Hiatal Hernia. 

Hiatal Hernia is a condition where our stomach’s portions push into our esophagus or food pipe. In other words, our diaphragm muscles allow food to pass from the mouth to our stomach through an opening called the hiatus, which is a muscular wall that separates the chest from the abdomen. 


So, when our stomach pushes up or protrudes above this opening, the hiatal hernia occurs. It becomes a problem when one of the sensitive nerves that passes through the hiatus are pinched. 


But hiatal hernia is different from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, as known as acid reflux or heartburn). GERD occurs when the stomach’s contents (our digestive acids) enter our esophagus. Hiatal hernia happens by the diaphragm’s weakening.


However, patients with GERD are more likely to develop hiatal hernia in an early age. 


There are three types of hiatal hernias: 


  • Sliding Hernia – when a portion of the stomach protrudes or moves up
  • Paraesophageal (or fixed) Hernia – when a part of your stomach pushes or slides above the diaphragm, but it is a stationary hernia. 
  • Mixed Hernia – when both sliding and paraesophageal hiatal hernias occur in parallel with each other. 


Causes and Symptoms of Hiatal Hernia 


The most common causes of hiatal hernia are: 


  • Smoking;
  • Obesity;
  • Frequent cough;
  • Constipation;
  • Poor posture;
  • Congenital conditions;
  • Age. 


A very good choice for help with hiatal hernia is to rethink your lifestyle and live a healthier life by eating fruits, vegetables and cutting sugar and fat from your diet. Also lose weight and have an exercise routine. 


Even though the hiatal hernia per say rarely has symptoms, there are a few ones that occur that may help with the diagnosis. 


People who have Hiatal Hernia often experiences:


  • Chest Pain;
  • Belching;
  • Hiccups;
  • Coughing;
  • Trouble Swallowing;
  • Heartburn.


All of the symptoms above will depend on the extent of the condition and where it is located in your diaphragm. But experiencing pain in the chest and upper abdomen occurs very often. 


Patients also notice an increase in regurgitation, and can be associated with GERD. As the hiatus and esophagus muscles weaken, the acid is pushed up from the stomach more easily. 


How to treat Hiatal Hernia? 


After seeing your doctor when diagnosing the hiatal hernia by x-rays and/or endoscopies that show your stomach and esophagus health, it is time to set your ideal treatment plan. 


Your care provider will most certainly indicate your to make a lot of lifestyle changes, as we said before. It is very important for you to make those changes, because they are the most important thing to manage your symptoms and to prevent the progression of your condition. 


Those changes may include:


  • Stop smoking;
  • Sleeping in elevated position (to help with acid reflux);
  • Avoid food that increases the acid in your stomach (chocolate, alcohol…)
  • Stop eating late and having midnight snacks;
  • Lose weight. 


In some extreme cases, surgery may be suggested, in order to reconstruct your diaphragm and remove the hernia sac. But you should see your doctor for any kind of advice on that matter. Even though surgery is not the cure, it may be helpful with the symptoms – but your change of habits will also have to happen. 


But there are other non-invasive procedures and techniques that may help you as well. 


Chiropractic care for your Hiatal Hernia


Being a natural and non-invasive technique, the chiropractic care helps you decrease your pain-related symptoms of hiatal hernia. 


As hernia is also known to appear through poor posture and muscle (hiatus) weaknesses that puts pressure on your stomach and esophagus, corrective chiropractic care may help with the symptoms. 


Commonly, you have your body adjusted in your neck, upper and mid back, and it can alleviate the pressure or tightness in your nerves and diaphragm. 


If you’re interested in chiropractic care for hiatal hernia, let’s talk to one of our specialized doctors here at Broadway Chiropractic and Wellness and trace your treatment plan. 


Don’t wait any longer and let’s keep your body healthy together!


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