The Vagus Nerve And Its Branches To Other Nerves
In the cervical region, the vagus nerve supplies branches to the:
- Facial nerve. The interaction of the two nerves controls facial expression and the taste sensation on the tongue
- Glossopharyngeal nerve.
- The vagus nerve and glossopharyngeal nerve control the muscles of the throat. Dysfunction can cause swallowing difficulties.
- The nerves serve to help drain blood from the brain into the carotid sinus into the carotid artery in your neck. Dysfunction would cause brain drainage problems and high blood pressure problems.
- The nerves serve to sense fullness in the ear. Tinnitus and Menieres Disease may be a by-product of nerve dysfunction.
- The nerves serve to regulate the parotid gland. Dysfunction can cause too much or too little or no saliva production.
- The Facial nerve was described above as providing a taste sensation in the tongue. It does this by regulating two-thirds of the tongues surface. The glossopharyngeal nerve helps you taste food in the back third of your tongue.
- Voice and swallowing dysfunction can occur if the vagus and glossopharyngeal nerve send distorted messages to the stylopharyngeus muscle which lifts the larynx out of the way when you are eating.
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How To Release A Pinched Nerve In The Shoulder
As one of the most complex joints in the body, its common for the shoulders to be a source of pain. In addition to common shoulder injuries, the area can also suffer from conditions like tendinitis and arthritis. One issue that is often at the root of shoulder pain is cervical radiculopathy, also known as a pinched nerve in the upper spine. This can come from gradual changes in the body over time or from a sudden trauma like a car accident and will typically not be relieved until the pinched nerve has been properly released.
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Managing A Pinched Nerve In The Shoulder
Shoulder pain should always be seen by a skilled doctor who can help understand the root cause of the issue and work towards a resolution. It is common for a pinched nerve to flare up between periods of no symptoms, but the problem is still present without proper treatment. However, treatment can take time, and in order to manage pain and other effects of the pinched nerve, there are home remedies that can offer relief.
During periods of intense symptoms, try the following:
- Sleep with a pillow that offers a lot of neck support or one specifically designed to take pressure off the shoulders.
- Use sparing amounts of anti-inflammatory medications, like Tylenol.
- Wrap an ice pack in cloth or towels, applying to the neck and shoulder blade areas during the first 48 hours of symptoms. After that period, switch to warm, moist heat.
As symptoms wane, there are other steps that can help avoid more episodes of intense pain, such as:
- Engage in regular low-impact exercise to reduce stiffness and maintain a healthy weight.
- Use massage to boost circulation in inflamed areas. This will relieve muscle tension and promote healing.
- Focus on using proper posture when sleeping and sitting, especially at a desk. Ensure any screens are set up to be eye level and your seating is ergonomic to avoid tech neck and further strain.
- Use yoga and other methods to incorporate gentle stretching into your routine.
What Are We Seeing In This Image
This is the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion in its native habitat. Surrounded by blood vessels and nerve networks and near the C2 vertebrae. When the vertebrae wander out of position, it takes these veins, arteries, nerves, and nerve bundles with it, causing compression and stretching of these vital structures. In the context of this article, this compression and stretching can not only cause pain but disrupt nerve signals causing neurologic-like symptoms and conditions already outlined in this article.
The vagus nerve has five main components contained within the nerve, which make up the five fascicles or nerve bundles seen in vagus nerve cross sections. . These are branchial motor, visceral sensory, visceral motor, and special and general sensory fibers. . These five vagus nerve components can be summarized:
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Vascular Compression Is Indicated In Cervical Spine Instability
A 2011 French study by Neurologists affiliated with the University of Lyon evaluated the anatomy of the central myelin portion and the central myelin-peripheral myelin transitional zone of the trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves.
The aim was also to investigate the relationship between the length and volume of the central myelin portion of these nerves with the incidences of the corresponding cranial dysfunctional syndromes caused by their compression to provide some more insights for a better understanding of mechanisms.
The researchers were looking at damaged caused by compression on these structures to help explain how such problems as Trigeminal Neuralgia, Peripheral and Central Facial Nerve Palsy , eye muscle problems such as headaches, eye strain, blurred vision, and double vision, floating eye or problems with eye movement.
The findings: At present, it is rather well-established that primary trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, and vago-glossopharyngeal neuralgia have as one of the main causes a vascular compression.
Vascular compression would be the entanglement of these nerves and the blood vessels leading out of the brain and into the neck. Vascular compression is indicated in cervical spine instability.
Brachial Plexus Birth Injury Treatment
In infants, if no improvement is seen after three months of occupational therapy, consulting a pediatric neurologist and pediatric neurosurgeon can help determine if your child can benefit from other interventions or surgery. Up to 1 in 10 babies with brachial plexus injury will require some level of surgery.
Prompt intervention is important. If the injury occurred during birth, the best time for surgery is when your child is between 4 and 9 months, as waiting longer than a year can limit the level of function a surgery might restore.
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A Very Complex Medical History
We have seen many patients who have a very complex medical history. In some cases, they would describe a dozen or more disorders. The patient will tell us that if they had gastrointestinal distress, the gastrointestinal specialist treated them. If they had cardiovascular-type symptoms, a slow or racing heartbeat for example, or spells of passing out, they were referred to the heart specialist. Problems with earing or tinnitus were sent to the otologist, problems with vision would send them to the ophthalmologist, skin problems were seen by the dermatologist, urinary problems by the urologists, etc. Sometimes a psychiatrist would often be referred.
Sometimes the psychiatrist would be the last referral because the patient has started a process of denial. Not because they denied they had all these things wrong with them, but they started to deny that treatments they were getting were in fact getting anywhere. These people would summarize the above experiences as years of each disorder being treated as its own cause and effect, in isolation, with symptomatic treatment. Rarely were all these problems that these people addressed through a singular cause.
Intuitively patients knew that something had to be at the bottom of all this. Somehow dizziness, digestive problems, ringing in the ears, blurry vision, itching, poor body temperature control, brain fog, choking sensations, depression, anxiety, inability to focus and other symptoms had to somehow all be related.
Types Of Pain Caused By Pinched Shoulder Blade Nerves
This type of pain and degree of pain in the shoulders and arms usually depends on where the pinched nerve is located.
Researchers from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke say that pinched nerves cause pain to radiate outward. This can cause varying types of pain, for example:2
- Tingling sensations or pins and needles
- Sharp burning sensations
- Aching burning pains that radiate along the shoulder and down the arm
- Loss of sensation in the injured area
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You May Need The Vagus Nerve To Understand The Pathophysiology And To Treat Diseases
You may need the vagus nerve to understand the pathophysiology and to treat diseases. This is the title of a 2012 scientific article published in the journal Clinical Science whose premise is, can different pathophysiological mechanisms and risk factors leading to various diseases be linked with altered nerve transmission of signals by one common pathway?
The authors hypothesized that adequate vagal nerve activity reduces the risk of major diseases via common basic mechanisms and interim risk factors.
- There are 3 basic mechanisms that contribute to many chronic diseases, that is local oxidative stress and DNA damage, inflammatory reactions, and excessive sympathetic responses, all of which are inhibited by vagal nerve activity.
- Efferent vagal activity can be easily monitored noninvasively by measuring HRV.
- It is this interconnection between the vagus nerve and the whole body that allows vagus nerve stimulation to relieve chronic pain and reduce the number of cardiovascular-like, gastrointestinal-like, neurological-like, endocrine-like, urinary-like disorders that we will discuss throughout this article.
The researchers of this study found higher HRV predicts greater chances of survival, especially in patients aged 70 years and older with COVID-19, independent of major prognostic factors. Low HRV predicts ICU indication and admission in the first week after hospitalization.
Posture And Sleeping Position
Holding your neck in an awkward position for a prolonged time can lead to strains in the muscles and tendons of your neck and shoulders.
Some of the postures and activities that commonly contribute to neck and shoulder pain are:
- sleeping on too high a pillow or a stack of pillows
- grinding or clenching your teeth at night
- sitting at a computer or over a phone with your neck strained forward or tilted up
- suddenly jerking your neck during exercise
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Understanding Your Neck Nerves
Your spine is made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae, and they stack one on top of the next in a long line commonly known as the spinal column. The bottom section is called the lumbar region, the middle is the thoracic section, and the top part your neck is the cervical region. Each vertebra is numbered, and the cervical section contains C1-C8.
In order to give your extremities feeling and movement, the nerves rooted in your spine branch out from in between your vertebrae and travel throughout your body. You have eight pairs of cervical nerve roots. If you have an injury or develop a condition such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or a herniated disc that puts pressure on those cervical nerves, you may feel the effects not only in your neck, but in the places where those nerves travel.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of cervical radiculopathy:
Propanolol For Blood Pressure Did Not Help
A February 2018 study in the journal Biomed Central Research notes examined the effect of propranolol on heart rate variability in hyperthyroidism before antithyroid treatment. This was a before and after study, on ten patients presenting overt hyperthyroidism who had no previous treatment.
HRV parameters including sympathovagal balance estimate by low-frequency to the high-frequency ratio ratio remained unchanged. Although a significant reduction in heart excitability, propanolol failed to restore a good sympathovagal balance in hyperthyroidism.
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How Do I Know If My Chest Pain Is Heart Related
Heart-related chest pain
How Does Dysfunctional Movement Cause Pinched Nerve Symptoms
All babies are born with the same developmental movement patterns and muscle activity regardless of the many differences they may have. That is because we are programmed to do it that way after all, we dont see babies learn it from anyone or go to the gym to work those muscles out. We are born to move functionally! Dysfunction comes into the picture when we require our bodies to unnaturally sit for 8+ hours every day, stare down at a computer or phone screen, or play one-sided sports to name a few. Dysfunctions happen with injuries where the body recovers, perhaps physical therapy is done but only to the area of injury and not coordinating the recovered movement with the rest of the body!
With our lifestyle factors our brain, which is in charge of every function in the body, is forced to re-route how we move based on the demands we give. Now with every dysfunctional movement, comes small repetitive damage, because your muscles and joints are functioning in a way they are not designed to.
A great example of this is the rolled forward shoulder posture. This is a posture in which the humerus sits too far forward in the socket. This means every time the arm has to move within the socket, the front gets irritated but not necessarily causing pain. The micro-damage starts and you simply dont know it. You may think you just have a poor posture but there is more to it than meets the eye.
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Nerves Within The Cervical Spine:
There are 8 spinal nerves that originate from the cervical spine.
The majority of these nerves control the functions of the upper extremities and allow you to feel your arms, shoulder, and back of your head. Each nerve provides sensation to a specific area of the body called a dermatome.
Perhaps most importantly, several of the nerves that originate in the cervical spine control the diaphragm, the muscle that allows us to breathe. As such, if the neck is severely injured, the consequences can be catastrophic.
What Other Nerves Are Near The Axillary Nerve
Other nerves include your:
- Median nerve, which goes into the front of your forearm, hand and most of your fingers.
- Musculocutaneous nerve, which goes into muscles in the front of your upper arm and near your elbow.
- Radial nerve, which goes into muscles in the back of your arm and in your wrists.
- Ulnar nerve, which goes into your forearm and hand.
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What Is The Anatomy Of The Shoulder Nerve
Your axillary nerve starts in the fifth and sixth bones in your lower cervical spine. Your cervical spine contains the bones that make up your neck.
The axillary nerve then:
- Travels under your collar bone.
- Passes through the quadrangular space, a gap between muscles and other tissue.
- Goes behind the top of your upper arm bone .
Next, the axillary nerve divides into three branches:
- Anterior branch connects to and provides motor function to your anterior deltoid muscle .
- Articularbranch goes into the upper part of your triceps and your glenohumeral joint.
- Posterior branch connects to and provides motor function to your posterior deltoid and teres minor muscles, along with the skin in this area of your arm.
The Image Below Offers An Explanation As To How The Vagus Nerve Impacts So Many Body Functions
The caption of the image reads: The vagus nerve origin in the brainstem: The vagus nerve exits and enters the medulla part of the brain stem and from there goes into the neck and into the body and up from there it goes into other parts of the brainstem and brain. The vagus nerves unique location at the main relay station of the body the craniocervical brainstem junction is why it has such a wide-ranging influence over how the body feels reacts and functions in both stressful situations and peaceful situations.
Of note in the above illustration to the right is the nodose ganglion. The vagus nerve facilitates messages back and forth from the brain to the heart. Afferents go through the nodose ganglion which sits in front of the atlas . If the C1 vertebra is unstable and causes problems of nerve pinching this is how upper cervical instability can affect the heart rate variability. The C1 vertebrae would sit between the left and right side Nodose Ganglion.
Location, location, location. Compression, compression, compression.
What are we seeing in this image? The superior cervical sympathetic ganglion is isolated so we can observe its proximity to the C2 vertebrae. Cervical instability that can lead to a wandering C1, C2, and C3 vertebrae will impact the proper nervous system function of the vagus nerve and the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion.
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