What is the Vagus Nerve?

The super powerful vagus nerve meanders throughout your body, connecting your brain to the rest of your organs, and transmitting information back and forth between them. As a matter of fact, the name “vagus” actually means “wandering” in Latin. Also known as the 10th cranial nerve, the vagus runs through your neck, chest, and stomach, and without it, you couldn’t perform a number of essential bodily functions.

Which Bodily Functions Require the Vagus Nerve?

Almost everything you do relates back to the vagus nerve, from the ability to taste food on your tongue to breathing — the nerve is what your brain uses to tell your lungs to work! Some other bodily functions that relate back to the vagus nerve include:

  • Heart rate
  • Reduction of anxiety after a stressful situation
  • Recovery from injury or illness
  • Guidance for the muscles in your neck to move properly so you can swallow and talk
  • Manages the digestive tract so you can urinate or defecate
  • Sexual arousal
  • Decrease in inflammation in your body
  • Blood pressure

Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve

Though testing is still being completed, the US Food and Drug Administration allows vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of depression and epilepsy when neither disease responds to medications. This is done by using a device that sends electronic pulses to the nerve. Trials and research are also being completed to determine whether this type of stimulation can help resolve other health issues like anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, obesity, heart failure, and migraines and severe headaches.

In recent years, researchers have discovered that vagus nerve stimulation may also reduce or prevent inflammation in the body, which could resolve many health issues. Some initial trials have shown that cureless diseases like rheumatoid arthritis may even go into remission when a device is implanted into the body to send pulses to the nerve. Because of these findings, doctors are now studying the effects of other electric impulse devices on other body parts in order to treat disease without using so many harmful medications.

If you are currently suffering from issues such as migraines, obesity, back pain, and other health issues, contact Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness at 678-482-4400 to find out what we can do for you today.