Dr Coburn's Blog

Thoughts and advice from chiropractor, Dr Wendy Coburn

Acid Reflux and the Phrenic Nerve

So what's the connection between the neck and acid reflux disease? The phrenic nerve.

The phrenic nerve passes from the cervical spine, levels C3, C4 and C5, down through the lungs to the diaphragm. In school, the saying "C3, 4 and 5 keep the diaphragm alive!" was used to help remember the details about the phrenic nerve.

This nerve controls the diaphragm, a thick sheet of muscle that forms a floor beneath the lungs and heart. In order for food to get to your stomach, it has to pass through the diaphragm to get there

It is commonly understood that the spine can pinch a nerve and cause a spasm in the neck or back, tingling or burning arm or leg. When it pinches or irritates the phrenic nerve; the diaphragm, being a muscle, it is subject to tension and spasm. This restricts breathing, and if spasm of the diaphragm is pronounced, the opening through which food passes is altered, causing acid reflux from the stomach and possibly what is called a hiatal hernia. Likewise, the same muscle tension can close upon the aorta and vena cava, causing a throbbing heartbeat

Asthma, heartburn, or tightness and aching under the ribs are often the result of a diaphragm under tension because of spinal pressure on the phrenic nerves.

Chiropractic is the logical first step in resolving any of these problems, or to prevent them so.

Dr. Wendy Coburn

www.chiropracticbalance.com    780-484-2272    #203, 9670-142 street  Edmonton, Ab T5N 4B2

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