The cervical spine is the topic of conversation today. This area is a huge focus of our office especially when it comes to the x-ray evaluation as well as the therapies that we do after the adjustment. The cervical spine curvature is often referred to as the arc of life. This is because the brain stem space is largely affected by a negative change to this curvature. The brain stem provides the proper communication to all of our organs but also specific areas of the cervical spine will control the heart, lungs and all of the feeling and function to our upper extremities. As mentioned in our initial report day, research has shown that when a person loses the proper curvature to the neck they had on average a 14 year shorter lifespan than individuals who had maintained a normal curve. This happens because if the body does not receive the right signals from the brain then there will be dysfunction breeding in the body in the area of abnormal signaling. The nervous system is the basis for ALL function in the body. The nerve for our diaphragm (used to breathe) function starts at the C3, C4, C5 levels. If these levels have interference then we can absolutely see breathing dysfunctions of all types. Another interesting mechanism found in the cervical spine is the vasomotor center control. This area in the neck is used to change blood pressure and heart rhythm. When this area is getting proper blood and nerve supply then this system will be monitoring and adjusting the heart rate and blood pressure throughout the brain and body. However when there is abnormal alignment of the spine with pressure pushing on this area and/or bad nerve supply, this area can start to cause fluctuations in blood pressures, heart rates and heart arrhythmias. Another common issue that can come about with bad cervical spine function or alignment is a headache or migraine. 93% of headaches are linked back to the cervical spine. The nerve that exits the top cervical vertebrae gives us sensation to the skull and when this nerve is pinched by pressure then this will give us a headache symptom. Brain function itself can also be affected by bad cervical spine alignment and structure. The feedback of the nerves from the spine are important for normal brain activity and health. The blood supply to the brain itself is also brought there through the neck so when we have bad alignment then this is going to decrease blood supply to the brain. When the blood supply is decreased then the brain can start to starve and cause developmental issues. Even further are the common issues like decreased focus and concentration as well as clarity of thoughts and memory processing. The heart is also a massive organ that gets a majority of its communication from nerves of the cervical spine and upper thoracic. If this is disrupted then “common” heart problems such as: arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, blood pressure, and circulation issues. There are obviously more organs and issues that can be affected by cervical spine misalignment however the ones listed are some of the more common issues. “The nervous system controls and coordinates all organs and structures of the human body” - Grey’s anatomy textbook.
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