It’s fun to say, “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” but when it comes to your “vagus nerve”, just the opposite is true. What happens in your vagus nerve affects your entire body.
The vagus nerve is one of the most widespread nerves in your body. It provides the parasympathetic nerve supply to your cardiovascular system, your digestive system and can even affect your immunity. Recent research even revealed that the activity of your vagus nerve can predict cancer survival regardless of the stage. (1)
The vagus nerve originates in the brain stem and supplies every organ. This nerve supply is absolutely necessary for your body to function properly. Unfortunately the spine can be injured in the upper neck area and alter the function of the vagus nerve. This in turn, alters the function of your organs, systems and cells.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is one metric used to monitor and measure activity of the vagus nerve. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, HRV / Vagal Nerve Activity was changed for the better in patients as a result of chiropractic care. (2)
Chiropractic examinations include the evaluation of the upper cervical spine and the function of the vagus nerve. Palpation, range of motion and even computer testing can determine the level of injury and dysfunction of the vagus nerve as it passes by the spinal column. These evaluations should be an ongoing part of your health care plan.
Injuries to this area of the spine can be caused by the birth process, childhood falls, head injuries (concussions), whiplash injuries, poor sleeping habits and even poor posture caused from smartphone usage. Injuries to the vagus nerve can be asymptomatic for decades leading to severe health conditions down the road or they can be the cause of headaches, poor digestion, asthma, allergies or focus issues as well as many other common health related problems.
If you have not had a chiropractic check up to determine the health of your upper neck and vagus nerve, there is no better time like the present. Don’t wait for a crisis to force you to act. Your health should be your top priority and so should a healthy vagus nerve.
1. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2014 Apr-Jun;28(2):195-201.
2. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2006 May;29(4):267-74.