Chiropractic Care with an Ileostomy

Aug 18, 2017 8:08 pm

Have any of you gotten chiropractic care with an ileostomy? I used the chiropractor regularly before I was sliced stem to stern in recent emergency surgery. How do they work with the ileostomy and us not being able to lay face down on the table? Also, how long do I wait before I go back to see him as I don't want him twisting me around with my stomach not being healed up yet?

Aug 19, 2017 7:22 pm

Hi freedancer,

I haven't ever seen a chiropractor but I also don't seem to have any issues lying on my stomach for short periods of time. I have a colostomy and I do try to eat on a schedule somewhat so I am careful not to lie down on it when I think it is getting to the point when it is ready to empty.

I would think it would be best to wait until you are fully healed before you have any chance of twisting and pulling that may affect your incision site.

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Aug 21, 2017 1:56 pm

Hi Freedancer ... I do not go to a chiropractor but do get massages when I am on a cruise and did so a few times this past May. My procedure was not done on an emergent basis, so I was not sliced, just a few holes punched here and there, so I am sure your healing time will be greater than mine was. I am almost 2 years post-procedure for my ileostomy, and I would say it was a good year before I could twist and turn "comfortably", i.e. not really think about any twinges occurring, etc. I have no issue lying flat on my stomach for massages, but I can understand your concern in a chiropractor twisting you around.

It might be best to talk to him/her and find out how to proceed. I am sure you will not be the first patient of theirs that has had abdominal surgery -- also perhaps ask your surgeon or your WOCN about possible timelines on that.


Past Member
Aug 21, 2017 4:22 pm

I have recently used a chiropractor and would be lying on my stomach for about 15-20 minutes at a time, with no problems.

Aug 21, 2017 7:11 pm

I saw a chiropractor after about 1 1/2 years following my initial ileostomy surgery. I noticed pain around the main incision site shortly after the lumbar roll - felt kind of like a tear. It got pretty bad at times. This particular chiropractor can adjust my upper back with me lying on my back, so lying face down wasn't an issue.

Fast forward 4 years: I have now had 2 hernia repair surgeries and can barely turn to look behind me as I back up my car (thank goodness I have a backup camera). I have had a few chiropractic treatments, but I avoid anything related to a lumbar roll. I find I can lie down on the adjusting table face down as long as I am careful - my chiropractor is also aware and makes sure the table is adjusted to compensate. I am tall, so it's not always easy to get the table just right. He has had to use pillows at times.

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Aug 22, 2017 12:35 am

During the past 41 years that I've had an ileostomy, I have seen a chiropractor occasionally and never had any problems. Other than a full pouch, lying on my stomach was never a problem.

Aug 22, 2017 3:10 am

I have an ileostomy since 2012. First, I would say, let yourself heal enough that your incision is well healed. I, myself, use an Alphabiotic practitioner. Much better than a chiropractor for me. He does alignments, not adjustments. He can work on me with me just lying on my back, but I now do turn over for an extra boost to the lumbar area. I am just sure not to have just eaten and have emptied my pouch beforehand. I used to worry about it, but now I have more confidence in the process. I am only on my stomach for a maximum of 5 minutes. Very effectual for me.

Aug 24, 2017 4:40 am

Hi Freedancer!

Heal up first!

I told my chiropractor about my colostomy, and that I'm extremely protective over my stoma site. He gave me a pillow so that I could adjust it to lie on my stomach comfortably, and he had me keep the pillow over my stoma site when I laid on my back so that I still felt protected.