I’ve been pondering the possible connection between the Cervical nerve and the Vagus nerve.
The Vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve or CN X, and interfaces with parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. The Vagus nerve supplies motor parasympathetic fibers to all the organs (except the adrenal glands), from the neck down to the second segment of the transverse colon. The Vagus also controls a few skeletal muscles in the neck or cervical area. The Vagus nerves are paired; however, they are normally referred to in the singular. It is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system.
The first and second cervical nerves are responsible for innervation of the head, face, inner middle ear, sinuses, eyes, upper neck, auditory nerves and other areas. The cervical nerves C3-C7 bear the responsibility of innervating the neck, shoulders, thyroid, teeth, tonsils, outer ear, nose, mouth, vocal cords, and more, with some of their individual responsibilities outlined below. The fourth cervical nerve innervates the thoracic diaphragm, leading to the creation of the surgical mnemonic “Cut C4, breathe no more.”
The Vagus Nerve (also known as the “wandering nerve”) exits the upper cervical spine and descends down to the heart and the stomach and the rest of the digestive system. We know of cases where severe massage of the neck muscles affects digestion and respiration.
The Vagus nerve travels along the side of the cervical vertebrae; fibers of the cervical nerves and the vagus innervate similar neck muscles. Misalignment of the upper cervical vertebrae affects the nerves that innervate those muscles. A biofeedback can affect the Vagus.
A relatively new patient made me ponder this possible connection: he had fallen on his head 30 yrs ago. He complained of neck pain, gall bladder pain, low back pain, walking dis-ease, excessive hunger (drinks lots of veggie and fruit juices). He looked emaciated, held his head forward and his shoulders elevated. His X-rays show facet problems w C1-2 vertebra and a slipping forward of C2 on C3; he admits that he self-adjusts his neck.
On examination, found a bilateral weak psoas (a muscle involved in walking) which suggests a fixation of the occipital bone and C1 vertebrae and then also a fixation of C2 and C3.
I found abnormal sacral movement- a Sacral Wooble, released the erector spinal muscles, adjusted two cranial bones and worked on acu-points for gall bladder, spleen and liver as well as lymphatic points
His neck’s range of motion is better and walking is not uncomfortable.
Gave instructions on how to track his head back without elevating his chin and told him to stop adjusting his own neck. My dietary advice was to stop juicing and eat solid veggies and more protein.
I emailed him a youtube video on how to hold his head and another one on the dangers of self-adjustment.
That night and the next 2 days I get emails saying that though he thought I didn’t do a lot; he was not hungry and he had two really good bowel movements and his breathing and his voice is stronger. He was looking forward to his next visit.
Forward lean is a constant problem with texting, working at a computer and just bad posture. Note that the doctor in the first video mentions that more forward lean, the more years of forward lean, the more medications the patient is on; more stress on cervical…more stress on Vagus?/…more problems w/ organ function.?!!.
Copyright – 2017-Dr. Vittoria Repetto
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