Many Auburn people suffering from neck pain, stiffness, or other degenerative cervical
spine disease conditions wonder
how it might affect your ability to swallow.
Dysphagia is the technical term for difficulty with swallowing.
While cervical spine conditions may affect your pharynx
and its swallowing function, it is valuable to know
just how and why this occurs. Let us,
Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. and our Auburn chiropractic client, look
more closely at the connection between cervical spine
disorders and swallowing function.
The Link Between Cervical Spine Pain and Swallowing Function
The relationship between cervical spine pain conditions and
swallowing function entails both sensory and motor components.
When it comes to the sensory component, pain stemming
from the neck can interfere with
your ability to identify what is in your mouth,
resulting in trouble determining when to swallow
which can result in issues such as choking
or coughing during meals. On the motor side of things, cervical
spine pain conditions may also disturb your
ability to move food as it goes through your mouth
and throat by disrupting usual tongue, jaw, and
hyolaryngeal motions (the movement of the hyoid bone, the bone
that holds the tongue). Therefore, there may
be trouble clearing food debris from your mouth after each
bite or sip. Furthermore, cervical spine disorder has been linked to heightened risk of aspiration (inhaling food
particles) due to reduced laryngeal elevation that commonly
occurs during swallowing. (1) Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. wants our Auburn
cervical spine pain patients to be aware of such issues.
The Importance of Proper Treatment
The ability to swallow impacts your
quality of life. A variety of diseases and spinal conditions may be the root cause
of the swallowing trouble. Researchers are fine-tuning their evaluation of
patients with swallowing issues. (2) A recent study documented
that, lucky for these patients, those who have spine-associated
dysphagia had better outcomes with treatment than patients whose
dysphagia was linked to other issues. (1) As a matter of
fact, a case report of a female patient who had both dysphagia and cervical
osteophytes, cervical kyphosis, and thoracolumar scoliosis was treated for 6 months
with chiropractic and reported relief of all issues including dyspagia. (3) In order for individuals with cervical
spine disorder-related dysphagia to again experience safe
eating habits, proper treatment is essential. Treatment at Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C.
typically involves a thorough examination to determine the underlying
cervical spine issue followed by a treatment plan incorporating
gentle spinal manipulation care (often in the form of Cox® Technic) and
exercises meant to improve strength and range of
motion in the neck muscles plus tactics for swallowing safety when eating. Electrical
stimulation has been found helpful in targeting
specific areas of weakness related to impaired tongue
motion or jaw closure while also promoting increased blood flow throughout the
neck region. (4,5) Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C. deliveres research based and
clinically experienced relieving treatment modalities along with chiropractic
CONTACT Dr. Le's Chiropractic & Wellness, L.L.C.
There may not be a quick fix for
this problem—treatment typically takes several weeks—and with
patience and dedication you can get the results you want with
personalized care tailored specifically for your needs. Make
your Auburn chiropractic appointment soon.