Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is the most common form of dysautonomia; this is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system which involves failure of the sympathetic or parasympathetic control. It is defined by an increase in heart rate of over 30bpm in adults and 40bpm in teens within 10 mins of assuming upright posture, this is an abnormal response by the autonomic nervous system.
POTS is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, particularly the parasympathetic pathway that involves abnormal symptoms in many parts of the body. This includes abnormal blood flow to the heart, lungs, and brain. It often involves problems with digestion, temperature regulation and many other involuntary functions of the body. The diagnosis of POTS can be challenging as the symptoms can vary. Often patients will have seen multiple doctors before receiving the diagnosis and may have been told their symptoms are due to anxiety or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
This can be a very debilitating condition and many sufferers will report not being able to do simple daily activities that many of us take for granted. Oftentimes these people are bed bound for long periods of their day and only able to do small tasks, even then needing to take regular breaks to lay down so their heart rate returns to normal. Over the last couple of years more and more people are receiving this diagnosis and are struggling to receive the correct help.
Because of the role the autonomic nervous system plays in this disorder Chiropractic has potential to play a key role in helping POTS patients. The autonomic nervous system has two different pathways, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The sympathetic nerve roots exit from the lower neck, mid back, and lower back; whereas the parasympathetic nerve roots exit from the upper neck and sacral regions.
The most important and influential parasympathetic innervation is the vagus nerve. This nerve exits from the top of the neck and runs to every organ in the torso, including the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. If there is an issue with this nerve innervation there are a multitude of symptoms which can occur, some of which are seen in POTS. Due to the proximity of the vagus nerve to the top vertebrae in the neck it is possible that misalignment of these vertebrae, in particular the C1 or Atlas, can negatively impact vagus nerve function leading to the onset of these symptoms.
How can Top Chiropractic help?
Many times, this issue in the upper neck goes unnoticed as patients may not present with neck pain or stiffness therefore not drawing attention to this area. This problem may lay dormant for a time until a triggering event causes the body’s adaptive mechanisms to become overwhelmed leading to the onset of POTS. By identifying and correcting this misalignment we allow the nervous system to operate correctly by restoring vagal tone. This gives patients the best chance to heal and function more normally again.
contact us here www.topchiropractic.co.uk