Back, Neck and Heart?

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Mind, heart and soul.

Sound body and mind.

Back, neck and heart?

Not exactly a common combination, but nonetheless, they are connected.  In this month that focuses on heart health – particularly the symptoms and  prevention of heart disease – we offer the examination of chiropractic care as a holistic method of cardiovascular care.

For instance, have you ever heard of cervical angina?

“The majority of these cases involve spinal mechanical problems and are not due to loss of blood supply to the heart because of coronary artery problems,” according to Dr. Gallagher, a general practitioner and chiropractor in Washington, D.C. “Rather, the vertebrae in the upper part of the neck, the middle of the back, or even the ribs may be misaligned and locked, affecting the nerves so that the chest wall starts to tighten.

“The chest muscles, ribs, heart, lungs, and stomach are controlled directly and indirectly by spinal nerves. Misalignments can interfere with these nerves and cause chest pain similar to cardiovascular angina. We call this spinal (cervical) angina. Sometimes it may even produce tachycardia and other arrhythmias. Few people know about spinal angina and it is rarely diagnosed by medical doctors.”

To understand how chiropractic care can impact heart health, you need to understand how the heart functions. Even if all of the nerves going to the heart were disconnected, the heart would still beat. That is because it has its own ‘pacemaker’ called the sinoatrial node. The sinoatrial node maintains a heart rate of approximately 70 beats per minute in an average adult. The rhythm remains constant regardless of whether you are exercising or sleeping, stressed or relaxed.

If this is overly technical for you, focus on the take-away: cardiac pain and risk can be addressed through simple spinal adjustment. The prevalence of noncardiac chest pain is estimated to be more than 50% of all cases with chest pain that present to an emergency room like Belleville Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Fast at The Back Pain Clinic employs a number of diagnostic tools and treatments, but nothing is more important that listening to his patients.  If you or someone you love is experiencing chest pain and has been cleared by a cardiologist, call to make an appointment today!