1 in every 4 deaths is from heart disease. It’s actually the second most common cause of premature death in the UK.
When looking at heart disease and the potential cause many people immediately think diet is the only contributing factor. However there are more contributing factors causing heart disease than simply eating badly.
To understand how the health of the spine can be a major cause of heart disease we need a tiny bit of background understanding.
Your autonomic nervous system has two branches to it. Your body will switch between these two branches of your nervous system as and when it needs to. Switching between these two branches has a dramatic effect on your body physiology.
Firstly there is the para-sympathetic branch which is the rest and digest branch. This is how you should be most the time when you’re not under stress.
Then there is the sympathetic branch of your nervous system. This is the fight or flight branch which gets triggered under stressful situations. Your body should only occasionally switch to this branch when it’s needs to react to a fight or flight situation like being attacked.
Now you understand that we should only occasionally be in the sympathetic branch of the nervous system it becomes more apparent that we should do all we can to avoid staying in this stressful sympathetic state.
It is well known that increased sympathetic tone (prolonged fight or flight physiology) is a major cause of cardiovascular events and disease. So with this being the case it makes a lot of sense to do all you can to lower your sympathetic tone by reducing the various stressors the body is under.
Now the big question! How does your spine directly affect your brain and trigger this sympathetic branch of your nervous system? When some of the bones in your spine stop moving properly and go out of alignment (this is called a subluxation) it sends faulty messages up the spinal cord to your brain. These faulty messages trigger a part of your brain called your hypothalamus to increase your sympathetic tone which will increase your bodies stress physiology.
And that’s it!
Spine not moving properly or out of alignment causes brain to increase sympathetic (fight or flight) activity which is a major cause of heart disease.
Now you know how it all works the decision to go and find your local spine expert to get a full spinal assessment becomes a smart decision.
Remember these spinal subluxations are often not painful although they can be. So no pain doesn’t mean you’ve got a healthy spine.