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What are Acid Reflux and Heartburn?
Heartburn and acid reflux commonly go hand-in-hand, as heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux. Acid reflux is a common digestive disorder that occurs when bile or stomach acids flow into the esophagus and irritate the lining. This irritation can cause heartburn, a painful burning sensation that occurs close to the heart.
Each year, more than 60 million people in the United States suffer from acid reflux and heartburn. The condition is often treated with over-the-counter medications, however, these medications are only aimed at easing the symptoms and not at treating the root cause of the condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux and Heartburn
As mentioned, heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux. The pain from heartburn can be so debilitating that it is often mistaken for a heart attack. Other symptoms include indigestion, regurgitation of food or drinks, a sour taste left in the mouth, and a sore throat resulting from regurgitated acids.
Acid reflux is generally due to an unhealthy diet, but certain medications or other conditions may also be the cause.
How the Upper Cervical Spine Affects Acid Reflux and Heartburn
The gastrointestinal tract is controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is made up of the brain and spinal cord and controls all the functions of the body—including digestion. And, the upper cervical spine is made up of the vertebrae located from the base of the skull through the neck. This is where the pathway of nerves that carry signals from the brain to the body that travel through the upper cervical spine is situated.
If the vertebrae are misaligned, there may be swelling, inflammation, or pinched nerves that impede the flow of signals from the brain. Most importantly, it could impede the all-important vagus nerve, which is the nerve responsible for controlling the GI tract. When this nerve is disrupted it can result in intestinal contractions that cause acid reflux.
How Our Acid Reflux and Heartburn Treatment Works
Dr. Elizabeth Hoefer of Well Connected Chiropractic treats the upper cervical spine using the Blair Chiropractic Technique. As experts in this technique, they’re able to utilize advanced 3D imaging technology to pinpoint misalignments of the upper cervical spine.
Misalignments are then treated by Dr. Hoefer with a series of gentle manipulations to correct and realign the vertebrae. Once the upper cervical spine is brought back into proper alignment it can reduce or eliminate the acid reflux that causes painful heartburn and other symptoms. The body, when properly aligned, is then able to employ the mechanisms of its own natural healing processes.
If you are suffering from acid reflux and heartburn, get in touch with Dr. Hoefer for an appointment. Dr. Hoefer services patients in Orange County, including Anaheim, Rancho Santa Margarita, Dana Point, San Clemente, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and Santa Ana.