Chronic Nausea can be a drag on life. Twenty Three years ago I suffered with chronic nausea that lasted over two years. Beyond the chronic daily headaches and 20 other symptoms the nausea stood out. It's a terrible feeling to feel like you are going to throw up at unexpected times throughout the day. And it doesn't exactly make eating one of the enjoyable daily experiences. In the following article we would like to discuss nausea that is not associated with other conditions such as vertigo, cancer, and pregnancy.
Sometimes it is easy to connect where nausea is coming from. However, what about the person who suffers from chronic nausea who does not have one of the syndromes listed above? What might cause chronic nausea in someone who doesn't have vertigo or another condition? Recently we had a patient enter our office with chronic unrelenting nausea. It was not from vertigo, food poisoning or the other commonly associated conditions. He did remember having a whiplash type injury prior to its onset. Neurologically speaking it is possible that nausea can result from neck injury. The nuclei that controls the "GAG" reflex is located in the medulla or brain-stem.(fig.1) The brain-stem is housed by the lower skull, atlas (c-1) and axis(c-2). If there is an injury to the upper cervical spine interference to the central nerve system and brain-stem can occur.(1,2,3)
Listen to what one of our patients says about his nausea and upper cervical care :
Injury to the upper cervical spine can happen from a variety of traumas. It is common for most people to have several traumas throughout their life. Car accidents, sports injuries, slip and falls and other trauma can affect the structural relationship of the skull and neck. This anatomical region is the weakest link in the spine. The head weighs 10-12 pounds and sits on the atlas(c-1)that weighs 2 ounces.(fig. 2) This area is held together and stabilized with ligaments , soft tissue, and muscles. Because of these facts it is susceptible to injury and spinal misalignment. Forces generated from whiplash type injuries cause the atlas vertebrae to structurally misalign. Injury to the joint capsule(ligament that gives the joint support and stability) causes irritation to the central nerve system. The body attempts to adapt to the neck injury and in doing so the spine becomes structurally imbalanced. This chain reaction throughout the system structurally also affects the body functionally. When the body loses its normal posture and spinal curves the stress and strain on the nerve tissue results in abnormal function. It has been our experience in clinical practice that this bio-mechanical problem is the root of many unexplained chronic health problems including nausea.
An upper Cervical Doctor has a singular objective; locate and correct upper neck misalignments and monitor over time. Objective neurological tests are used to determine whether or not the patient has an upper neck misalignments that is impacting the central nervous system. If it is a series of articular(joint) x-rays are taken. These x-rays look individually at each joint and how the fit to each other. Joints are mirror images and if there is a misalignment by viewing each joint it allows the doctor to see how you are off(direction) and how your joints are built(angulation). This information is used in making precise spinal adjustments.
Correcting misalignments in the neck allows the central nervous system to function without interference. Over time this allows damage that occurred do to a long-standing interference to the nervous system to correct. The Doctor will monitor your upper neck with objective tests to determine whether a correction is warranted or not. The goal is for the spinal misalignment to stay in its normal position for as long as possible. This allows for joint stabilization and long-term correction. To end we would like to use a famous quote that sums up our sentiments regarding healing, "Nature needs no Help Just no interference!" We hope that this article has been informative for those who are seeking answers. For every problem there is a CAUSE. Seeking causes and their correction is what allows healing to happen!
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