Is There a Natural Treatment for Small Bowel Obstruction?

woman struggling with abdominal adhesions

Small bowel obstruction is a serious and, sometimes, life-threatening condition, often caused by abdominal adhesions. People who experience symptoms of bowel obstruction should consult with their healthcare provider right away. If your life is in immediate danger, you may not be able to avoid surgery. Still, if the problem is not yet a full-blown crisis, this article offers helpful suggestions to relieve symptoms and hopefully prevent further obstructions. 

Clear Passage Physical Therapy is the Best Alternative Treatment Available for Small Bowel Obstructions

If you experience recurring small bowel obstructions, you may be able to circumvent surgery altogether and get long-term relief with a natural/alternative, surgery-free treatment called the Wurn Technique. This technique is a core element of the Clear Passage®️ Approach. This unique ‘hands-on’ physical therapy program includes patient education to help you manage your symptoms and alleviate the fear of future bowel obstructions. 

What is Clear Passage? Clear Passage®️ is a network of physical therapy clinics. These experts, featured in peer-review studies, have successfully proven the Wurn Technique as capable of decreasing, preventing, or healing adhesion-related bowel obstructions non-surgically.

Bowel Obstruction Causes

Both small bowel obstruction (SBO) and large bowel obstruction (LBO) are often caused by adhesions. These internal scars are primarily composed of collagen, a substance that surrounds virtually every structural cell in the body. As such, most adhesions do not generally appear on diagnostic tests such as MRI, CT scan or ultrasound. Thus, the patient suffers from bowel obstruction symptoms caused by these powerful internal bonds called adhesions that the doctor cannot see because they do not appear on X-Rays.

Bowel obstruction may have other causes, such as: 

  • Unnatural folds or twists in the intestines.
  • Complications from hernia repair surgery or other abdominal surgeries.
  • Tumors.
  • Irritable bowel disease. 
  • Crohns or;
  • Other inflammatory bowel conditions. 

Regardless of the cause, bowel obstruction slows digestive processes and, in severe cases, can bring digestion to a complete halt, trapping solids, liquids, and gases in the body. When a complete blockage occurs, the problem may show up on scans, but by then, the patient may have no choice but to opt for a life-saving surgery.

Bowel Obstruction Symptoms

The symptoms of a partial obstruction present as:

  • Intermittent abdominal or pelvic pain.
    • Accompanied by:
      • Bloating
      • Cramping
      • Constipation
      • Nausea
      • Decreased appetite
      • Diarrhea. 

A complete blockage may bring more severe symptoms, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • The inability to pass stool or gas
  • Intense pain
  • Abdominal swelling. 

If the symptoms are accompanied by fever, it could indicate the presence of infection. Bowel obstructions can be life-threatening. If you experience symptoms of bowel obstruction, especially severe pain or fever, you should immediately consult with your healthcare provider.

Beware of Misinformation

Online resources can help provide reliable health information. Unfortunately, thousands of outdated or unreliable medical websites offer misinformation or even disinformation regarding natural treatments for adhesion-related bowel obstructions. 

Except for a unique program designed by Clear Passage® Physical Therapy, none of the numerous items listed below have been shown in medical literature to decrease or prevent adhesions (internal scarring) –the most common cause of life-threatening bowel obstructions.

Outside of Clear Passage Physical Therapy, What are My Options?

People with bowel obstructions caused by adhesions have concerns about a suggested surgery. They want to explore less invasive alternatives to decrease their symptoms. In their journey, they’ll find a vast supply of information online, including the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Castor oil packs
  • Cupping
  • Diets (FODMAP, anti-inflammatory, low residue, low fiber, etc.)
  • Edibles (cannabis, CBD, etc.)
  • Enemas
  • Exercises
  • Fasting
  • Herbal supplements
  • Laxatives with stimulants
  • Medications (for pain, gas, nausea, etc.)
  • Probiotics
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Stool softeners
  • Stretches
  • Therapy (massage, physical therapy, etc.)
  • Tools (balls, rollers, physical therapy tools, etc.)
  • Topical treatments (butters, oils, lotions, etc.)

Steering clear of surgery (which can cause more adhesions) can make the difference between merely existing and surviving versus thriving and actively living life the way you want to live. Understandably, one would want to investigate every possible treatment to clear adhesion-related bowel obstructions and manage its painful symptoms. As you consider all your options, we want to ensure that you have access to accurate, science-based data, like the Wurn Technique.

About the Wurn Technique

If this is the first time you have experienced symptoms of bowel obstruction, you should understand that the chances are good that it will happen again. If you have experienced recurring bowel obstructions, we invite you to consider the advantages and disadvantages of treating your condition with surgical procedures vs. non-surgical manual therapy. The aftereffects of the body trying to heal from a surgical procedure can cause significant problems; one of the most serious is the formation of post-surgical adhesions. In fact, surgery in the abdomen or pelvis is the primary cause of bowel obstruction.

You may be able to avoid surgery and post-surgical adhesions with the Wurn Technique. Over the last 30+ years, Clear Passage® therapists have developed over 200 manual techniques to decrease bowel adhesions and prevent future obstructions. This highly specialized physical therapy is a viable non-surgical option to manage small bowel strictures or obstruction, as documented in peer-reviewed journals.

Here are a couple of examples:

  • A patient with Crohn’s disease who had two strictures in the small intestine due to adhesive scarring was able to avoid surgery with the Wurn Technique. 
  • This controlled study is co-authored by physicians from Stanford and Washington University medical schools. They compared 103 patients with histories of hospitalizations, obstructions, surgeries, and years impacted by bowel issues to 136 untreated patients who had experienced a partial or total bowel obstruction within the last two years. Subjects treated with the Wurn Technique demonstrated significant improvements in diet, pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, quality of life, and pain severity compared to the other group. Even though the treated patients were significantly older, they had more prior surgeries, more partial SBOs, and more years impacted with bowel symptoms than the (untreated) control group.

Visit our Published Studies page to see more peer-reviewed studies published in respected medical journals. Since the initial publication about the Wurn Technique and small bowel obstructions, many studies have found similar results and praise for the Wurn Technique.

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