Heartburn, Acid Reflex, GERD

Accepting New Spinal Care Patients

Caring Chiropractors for Heartburn, Acid Reflux and GERD

Helping Provide Natural Heartburn Relief from Acid Reflux and GERD


Whether it’s a piece of high-quality chocolate or a savory bowl of lentil stew, we all enjoy eating. Unfortunately, heartburn can turn a pleasant experience into a painful one. A recent study found that one-third of Americans experienced acid reflux in the past week. At West Suburban Wellness, our goal is to help you understand these conditions and the chiropractic solutions we provide for heartburn relief.

What Is Heartburn, Acid Reflux and GERD?

Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a health condition in which the contents of the stomach move backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. The acid from the stomach irritates the esophagus and can lead to such things as severe discomfort, painful heartburn and nagging coughs. If left untreated, damage can occur to the esophagus over time leading to more serious health conditions.

GERD, is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world. The most common treatment for Acid Reflux/GERD is to take medications like Prilosec, Prevacid & Nexium. These medications make billions of dollars per year for drug companies, but often are only truly treating symptoms and not fixing the cause of the problem.

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux. When you eat, the food travels down the esophagus toward the stomach. At the bottom of the esophagus, a sphincter muscle separates it from the stomach and acts as a valve. This muscular valve is meant to remain closed until you swallow. Then it opens to allow more food into the stomach.

Typically, this valve can remain open for as long as one hour each day without any problem. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always close when it should, allowing stomach acid, enzymes, and partially digested food to flow back up into the esophagus. When this occurs, it can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn. Since the esophagus is so sensitive and the stomach contents are so irritating, this reflux causes pain that radiates throughout the middle of the chest.

Common Causes of Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Issues with the muscular valve between the esophagus and stomach are the primary cause of acid reflux. Carrying excess weight or being pregnant can place more pressure on the stomach. This promotes the backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus.

Scleroderma is a connective tissue disorder that causes tissues to harden. One type of scleroderma makes it more difficult for the stomach to empty. Since the stomach contents are in place longer, they are more likely to reflux or flow backward into the esophagus.

A hiatal hernia causes the upper portion of the stomach to bulge upward into the diaphragm. This configuration can push the stomach against the lower esophagus. As a result, stomach contents move back into the esophagus.

Another anatomical variation that can cause acid reflux is abnormal spinal curvature. When the curve in the lower back is reversed, it is known as lumbar kyphosis. This condition places pressure on the spinal and other nerves responsible for healthy digestion. Sometimes, a patient seeking natural acid reflux relief has too much of a curve in their middle back. This spinal difference is called thoracic hyper-kyphosis, and it can also place direct physical pressure on the stomach similar to that in pregnancy or with excess weight.

Chiropractor at West Suburban Wellness adjusting patient

Symptoms of Heartburn and Acid Reflux

The main symptom our natural acid reflux therapy patients report is pain. Heartburn pain is intense and is often mistaken for heart attack pain. If you have sudden chest pain, please don’t assume it’s heartburn. Seek immediate emergency care for a possible heart attack.

Heartburn pain typically occurs after eating. Many West Suburban Wellness patients tell us it is worse at night. In addition to terrible pain, acid reflux can make it feel like there’s a lump in your throat or even make it hard to swallow. You can also get nauseous or have a sour taste in your mouth. Our patients with nighttime heartburn also have sleep disruption, worsening or developing asthma, chronic cough, and laryngitis.

How Chiropractic Helps Improve Heartburn and Acid Reflux Symptoms

Chiropractic for heartburn, acid reflux and GERD symptoms has several benefits. Many of our patients first consider us once they’ve been offered surgery and after they have been unable to manage their condition with commonly prescribed medications.

Many GERD sufferers under corrective chiropractic care have reported significant reduction in their symptoms. Realigning the spine back to its healthy shape reduces the mechanical pressure on the internal organs and allows nerve energy to flow freely throughout the body. This restores normal function to the stomach and other vital organs in the body.

Even if your heartburn is not this bad, you may have already tried common over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, most people don’t think anything of popping an antacid for a quick fix. This “harmless” medication doesn’t heal the underlying problems and can even cause kidney issues when used chronically.

If you’ve been to a specialist and already have a prescription medication for your acid reflux issue, you may or may not have experienced side effects. While prescription-strength H2 receptor blockers such as famotidine (Pepcid) might seem harmless, chronic use also increases your risk of bone fractures and vitamin B-12 deficiency. Another classification of drugs that can deplete your B-12 supply and cause hip fractures with regular use is prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors such as pantoprazole (Protonix) and esomeprazole (Nexium).

While such medications provide fast and continuous relief, they don’t solve the underlying problem and can cause issues of their own. The next option offered to patients who don’t get the relief they need from medications is surgery. One of these procedures involves implanting magnetic beads to keep the valve between the stomach and esophagus closed (LINX device). Another procedure involves tightening the esophageal sphincter muscle with polypropylene fasteners. One of the most common procedures consists of using the top of the stomach around the esophageal sphincter to tighten the muscle.

Although these procedures represent exciting technological advances, they all come with increased infection risk. Unfortunately, none of them is guaranteed to be without side effects or downtime. They certainly do nothing to improve your underlying health.

A chiropractic adjustment, however, focuses on optimizing nerve function. The spinal nerves and nerves that arise from the spinal cord connect the brain and body. One of the most potent links is between the brain and the digestive system. Chiropractic care can help optimize nerve function so the brain and gut can adequately communicate, sending messages that deliver nutrients to where they’re needed in the body for building and regenerating tissue.

Holistic heartburn relief and chiropractic care in general also place a lot of emphasis on improving overall health. When you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, strengthen the spine to make movement easier, and eliminate pressure on the spinal nerves to enhance functions throughout the body, you optimize your health.

West Suburban Wellness also focuses on lifestyle interventions that can help promote proper digestion. These include eating as many as six mini-meals, slowly savoring your food, and avoiding exercise or laying down for at least three hours after eating. We also recommend you avoid smoking and alcohol use as well as fried, spicy, or acidic foods such as coffee, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Taking a daily probiotic can help boost digestion by populating your intestinal tract with healthy bacteria.

When To Visit Our Chiropractor for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

As you have seen, acid reflux and GERD is widespread, and there are many ways we can help you get natural heartburn relief. Reaching out to West Suburban Wellness is your first step to beginning natural acid reflux therapy. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice. Visit us at 1127 S Main St, Lombard, IL 60148 or call us at (630) 629-9500. Let our experienced team of chiropractors led by Dr. Tim Weselak, with the support of Dr. Carolyn Spadafino, Dr. Vito Spadafino, and Dr. Matt Greenberg, help you regain your digestive health and overall wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD?

A: Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, characterized by a burning sensation in the chest. Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid and other stomach contents flow backward into the esophagus. GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a more severe and chronic form of acid reflux.

Q: Are there any lifestyle changes that could help manage heartburn and acid reflux?

A: Yes, West Suburban Wellness suggests eating several small meals throughout the day, thoroughly chewing your food, and avoiding lying down or exercising for at least three hours after eating. It’s also advisable to abstain from smoking and alcohol and to limit your consumption of fried, spicy, or acidic foods. Taking a daily probiotic can also be beneficial for your digestive health.

Q: How can chiropractic treatment help with heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD?

A: Chiropractic adjustments can help by improving nerve function between the brain and the digestive system. Corrective chiropractic care can also reduce mechanical pressure on internal organs and restore normal function to your stomach and other vital organs in your body.

Q: What are some common medications used to treat acid reflux and GERD, and why might I choose chiropractic care over them?

A: Common medications for acid reflux/GERD include Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Pepcid, and Protonix. However, these medications often treat only symptoms and can even lead to complications like kidney issues, bone fractures, and vitamin B-12 deficiency with chronic use. Chiropractic care offers a natural treatment option that aims to resolve the root cause of the problem.

Q: How do I know if my heartburn or chest pain is a sign of a heart attack?

A: Heartburn and heart attack pain can be similar, but there are often other symptoms with heart attacks, such as shortness of breath, pain radiating to the arms or jaw, and cold sweats. Any sudden chest pain should be considered an emergency. If in doubt, seek immediate medical help.

Q: Can chiropractic care help with hiatal hernia or anatomical issues causing acid reflux?

A: Yes, by correcting spinal alignment, chiropractic adjustments can help relieve pressure on the stomach and lower esophagus, which can contribute to acid reflux. However, the effectiveness can vary depending on the individual’s condition.

Q: Can pregnant women benefit from chiropractic care for GERD, heartburn, and acid reflux?

A: Yes, chiropractic care can be beneficial during pregnancy as it can alleviate pressure on the stomach, aiding in the reduction of acid reflux symptoms. However, always consult with your doctor before starting any new treatment regimen during pregnancy.

Q: What symptoms should prompt me to visit West Suburban Wellness for a chiropractic evaluation for GERD?

A: If you experience intense heartburn, difficulty swallowing, a feeling of a lump in your throat, chronic cough, laryngitis, disrupted sleep due to heartburn, or if your acid reflux symptoms persist despite medication, it might be time to seek a chiropractic evaluation.

Q: Is the chiropractic treatment for heartburn, GERD, and acid reflux painful?

A: No, chiropractic adjustments are typically not painful. Some patients may experience a brief period of minor discomfort or soreness, similar to what you might feel after a workout, but this usually resolves quickly.

Q: How can I book an appointment at West Suburban Wellness?

A: To book an appointment at West Suburban Wellness, visit us at 1127 S Main St, Lombard, IL 60148, or call us at (630) 629-9500. Our experienced team of chiropractors is here to assist you in regaining your digestive health and overall wellness.

Chiropractor at West Suburban Wellness adjusting patient

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1127 S Main St
Lombard, IL 60148

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(630) 629-9500