Stomach pain and related issues can upset more than the stomach. The body is filled with nerves from the head to the toes, and the stomach is in the middle of it all! The vagus nerve is one of the largest nerves spreading from the brainstem to the abdomen. What is in the middle of the abdomen? The stomach! (Talk about a brain-gut connection!) Gastroparesis sufferers’ days are interrupted by nausea, pain, delayed stomach emptying, and even vomiting. (1) New Hampshire Spine and Sport shares new studies regarding some less invasive potential treatments like vagal nerve stimulation and even spinal manipulation that may help calm the stomach and relieve the upset for Southern New Hampshire stomach pain patients.
For those who experience gastroparesis, the symptoms may consist of a variety of problems they would like to not have. Researchers explained that any number of factors combined can trigger gastroparesis and impact quality of life. The metabolic feedback link between the gut and brain have been defined and attached to the nervous system, particularly the vagal nerve that extends throughout the body. No matter what causes gastroparesis, most patients had problems with the brain-gut innervation by means of the vagus nerve and/or intestinal nervous system. (2,3) Medical treatment so far has been imperfect in its effect due to the physiological complexity of gastroparesis. (1) Southern New Hampshire gastroparesis patients at New Hampshire Spine and Sport appreciate having some options that may help them with this condition.
TREATMENTS FOR GASTROPARESIS: VNS
Researchers stated that medical therapy has been limited in its ability to help. Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) was said to be promising though. More invasive surgical stimulation of the vagus nerve has been attempted with some success. New, non-invasive approaches included using a self-administered vagal nerve stimulator that was reported to improve gastric emptying for some. (1) Such a stimulator mimicked the surgical cervical vagal nerve stimulation. (4) Stimulating vagal afferents with transcutaneous (through the skin) auricular (ear) vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) enhanced gastric frequency and controlled digestion. To the researchers, this demonstrated that brain stimulation had influence on gut function. (2) They are connected, the brain and the gut! Using slow breathing with taVNS demonstrated promise in addressing anxiety, chronic pain, depressive disorders, insomnia, and cardiovascular diseases, too. Researchers wrote that slow breathing regulated vagus nerve activity and reduced psychophysiological stimulation making it of help in behavioral medicine. (4) New Hampshire Spine and Sport offers that VNS may interest Southern New Hampshire chiropractic patients who have gastroparesis and even chronic pain associated with back pain and/or neck pain.
Your Southern New Hampshire chiropractor wants to use the chiropractic skills and treatments to assist gastroparesis sufferers, too! And they come in all ages – adults and kids. Pediatric functional abdominal disorders include problems with digestion issues. Children with functional abdominal disorders have digestion and/or nausea issues after eating. Drugs are often prescribed. Non-drug treatments like stimulation to the external ear (a spot the vagal nerve extends to), electrical stimulation, diet changes, pro/prebiotics, etc., also now include acupuncture, yoga, and spinal manipulation. (5) That’s our forte at New Hampshire Spine and Sport: spinal manipulation!
CONTACT New Hampshire Spine and Sport
Listen to the PODCAST with Dr. James Cox on the Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as he shares the vagus nerve, its impact on the nervous system, and how to blend its stimulation with the Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management in relieving pain.
Make your next Southern New Hampshire chiropractic appointment with New Hampshire Spine and Sport. Bring your pain issues to us. We’ll work up a treatment plan to help!