Google searches for digestion issues have been on the rise recently and it is no coincidence that postural deformities are increasing at a similar rate. In fact– Gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, heart burn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, and leaky gut can potentially be caused by forward head-posture, the #1 cause of disease in the body.
When you look at a healthy individual’s neck from the side, you will see a nice curve in the overall structure of the vertebrae (like a banana). Over time, many of the habits that our culture promote and utilize cause that natural curvature to straighten out. This is called forward head posture. The next time you’re at work or out in public, take a minute to notice how many people are looking down at their phones– or slouching in their chair. The amount of sitting and looking down we do in our society is not normal– and is causing disease through forward head-posture. When the cervical curvature is lost, the spinal cord and nerves are stretched much like a rubber band. This stretching puts pressure on the top two vertebrae of the spine, causing the nerves (which provide the life force to the whole body) to malfunction.
What does this have to do with digestion? Everything. One of the main nerves that provides the necessary communication from the brain to the digestive system is the vagus nerve which starts in between the C1 and C2 vertebrae. When a person has forward head posture, they often experience a loss of function of the vegas nerve. This can cause digestion issues because the vagus nerve is responsible for the vagus reflex which, for the most part, controls the whole digestive system including: motility (how fast the intestines move), how much hydrochloric acid the body produces, how many pancreatic enzymes the body produces, etc. Malfunction of the nerves from the C1 and C2 area of the spine are also commonly responsible for: poor immune function, migraines, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, fatigue, dizziness and more.
Many people with digestion issues turn to medical doctors for help– and 9/10 times the MD will give the person drugs to treat the symptoms experienced. The problem with this approach lies in treating the symptom rather than treating the underlying cause of the symptom. Let’s say you are driving down the road in your car and the check engine light comes on. You decide to take your car into a mechanic who knows what they are doing. The mechanic decides he will fix the car by disconnecting the check engine light without fixing the underlying cause of the check engine light. We all know what is going to happen in that situation– you will take your car home thinking it is fixed only to have it break down eventually. This is the same thing medical doctors do when they treat their patient’s symptoms with drugs.
The solution to digestion issues is to first eliminate the possibility of the symptoms being caused by forward head posture by restoring the function of the vagus nerve. Thousands of people have successfully treated their forward head posture through the most advanced and clinically proven chiropractic technique: Chiropractic BioPhysics. If you live in the Denver/Boulder area, give us a call at Terry Chiropractic and tell us you read this article. We will schedule you with a complimentary exam, follow up appointment, and massage. If you live elsewhere — go ahead and check the Chiropractic BioPhysics website for a CBP certified doctor near you by clicking HERE.