Do you have Vagus Nerve Dysfunction?

Vagus nerve dysfunction is a common cause, but one of the least understood health problems in the body, but it is still one of the least understood. Part of the reason is that is affects every dynamic of your life:

  • Heart beat
  • Blood pressure
  • Breathing
  • Swallowing
  • Eating
  • Thyroid function
  • Adrenal function
  • Bowel and bladder function
  • Sexual function

The list goes on and on. However, many people often think that the symptoms they experience are caused by some type of pathology or disease. They never realize that the symptoms they experience could be an electrical problem from a nerve coming out from the base of their brainstem at the top of their neck.

However, there are a few other symptoms associated with the vagus nerve that can be a really important clue.


Symptoms of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction


The vagus nerve has sensory branches that regulate the connective tissues around your brain. The vagus nerve also regulates brain circulation, inflammation and immune function. This is the reason why so many other symptoms are associated with migraine headaches:

Neck Pain

One of the major sources of vagus nerve irritation happens when there is a misalignment of the top vertebra in your neck. This vertebra (also known as the atlas or C1) supports the normal weight of your head on your shoulders. If this vertebra is locked is the wrong position, it has the potential to create tension through the muscles and ligaments in your neck. This can lead to neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches.


There is another branch of the vagus nerve that receives sensory information for the area around your inner ear. Hearing is an interesting sense because it connects with so many other processing centers in our brains including balance, posture and eye coordination. As a result, if your brain ever processes abnormal information from your vagus nerve, your brain can interpret it like an odd ringing noise when your sense of hearing is otherwise just fine.

Reflex, Bloating and Nausea

Your digestive system is one of the most sensitive systems in your body. Reflux, bloating and nausea then are two of subtle ways that your vagus nerve lets your brain know that there is a problem. However, if there is a problem with your vagus nerve itself, you can experience persistent symptoms that aren’t actually coming from your digestive system itself.

Craniocervical Instability

Because of the intimate relationship between your C1 vertebra and your vagus nerve, physical injury or damage of the ligaments in your upper neck can can many problems. This can include a wide variety of symptoms including Ehler’s Danos syndrome, brain fog, clicking and cracking in your neck and also TMJ problems.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

The vagus nerve controls the muscles in the back of your throat. Vagus nerve dysfunction can cause problems with breathing, especially when you are trying to sleep, as well as swallowing difficulties. Sometimes it can also feel like you have swollen glands in your neck.


What causes Vagus Nerve Dysfunction?

If you experience any number of these symptoms, it is very possible that your vagus nerve is involved. The question then, “What is causing the problem in the first place?”

There are a wide variety of potential causes. However, one of the most under diagnosed problems is a misalignment of the C1 vertebra in your neck. If you have ever suffered a head, neck or whiplash injury – even a fall on your tailbone – the shockwave can lock that top bone in an abnormal position.

In fact, birth itself is often a common culprit! A “normal” birth uses approximately 80 pounds of force to pull a newborn (less than 8 pounds) into the world. Especially then if newborns experience colic or reflex, these are also symptoms commonly associated with vagus nerve dysfunction and a potential atlas misalignment.

Even if you experience an injury without bleeding or broken bones, the impact can accumulate over a long time until one day when your body just can’t adapt to the stress any more. That’s when the symptoms can pop out of the blue for no apparent reason.

Especially if you recognize that you experience multiple symptoms associated with vagus nerve dysfunction, let me ask you, “When is the last time that you considered your neck could be the cause?”


Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

Upper cervical care is a special division of general chiropractor that focuses on the health and function of the nerves in the upper neck. Unlike general spinal manipulation, there is NO TWISTING, CRACKING OR POPPING.

The approach involves a detailed history, neurological assessment and then diagnostic scans that help identify the exact location, direction and degree of misalignment in your neck. Because no people are alike on the outside or the inside, upper cervical chiropractic takes a personalized approach to care, correcting any misalignments of that top bone in your neck, and then allowing your body to do what it is naturally designed to do: heal itself.

At Clear Chiropractic Spokane, we are a team of specialists in the field of upper cervical care. If you are looking for a chiropractor in Spokane, visit our home page more information. To schedule a new patient appointment with our Mead (north Spokane) or South Hill offices, complete a new patient request form here or call us direct at 509-315-8166.