Many Augusta cervical spine-related pain (like neck pain, stiffness, or other degenerative cervical spine disease conditions) sufferers are curious how it might impact your swallowing ability. 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’s, Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic and you, 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 originating in the neck has the potential to affect your ability to identify what’s in your mouth, resulting in difficulty knowing when to swallow which can result in issues such as choking or coughing while eating. On the motor side of things, cervical spine pain conditions might also interfere with your ability to process food as it goes through your mouth and throat by disrupting usual tongue, jaw, and hyolaryngeal movements (the movement of the hyoid bone, the bone that holds the tongue). Therefore, there may be difficulty clearing food debris from your mouth after each bite or sip. Additionally, cervical spine disorder has been associated with heightened risk of aspiration (inhaling food particles) due to decreased laryngeal elevation that commonly occurs during swallowing. (1) Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic wants our Augusta 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 reported that, lucky for these patients, those who have spine-related dysphagia had better outcomes with treatment than those whose dysphagia was related to other issues. (1) In fact, a case report of a female patient with swallowing issues who also had cervical osteophytes, cervical kyphosis, and thoracolumar scoliosis was treated for 6 months with chiropractic reported relief of all issues including dysphagia. (3) In order for individuals with cervical spine disorder-related dysphagia to return to safe eating habits, proper treatment is important. Treatment at Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic typically starts with a thorough examination to determine the underlying cervical spine issue followed by a treatment plan including gentle spinal manipulation care (often in the form of Cox® Technic) and exercises designed to increase strength and range of motion in the neck muscles plus strategies for swallowing safety during meals. Electrical stimulation has been found beneficial in targeting specific areas of weakness associated with impaired tongue motion or jaw closure while also promoting increased blood flow throughout the neck region. (4,5) Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic offers research based and clinically experienced relieving treatment modalities along with chiropractic spinal manipulation.
CONTACT Lombardy Chiropractic Clinic
While there isn't necessarily a quick fix for this problem—treatment typically takes several weeks—with patience and commitment you can get the results you want with personalized care tailored specifically for your needs. Make your Augusta chiropractic appointment soon.