In the body’s upper half, the cardiovascular system’s heart helps pump nutrient-riched oxygenated blood all around the body to the corresponding muscles, tissues, and organs to keep the body functional. The heart is protected by the ribcage and muscles surrounding the heart organ from any external factors that can cause harm to the body. When these factors do cause an effect on the body, it can lead to many issues like thoracic back pain, cardiovascular problems, gut disorders, and even chest pains. These issues affect a person, causing them to feel crummy and dampen their outlook. Today’s article will look at chest pains, how it affects the gut and heart in the body, and how viscerosomatic dysfunction is associated with chest pains. We refer patients to certified, skilled providers specializing in osteopathic and cardiovascular treatments that help those suffering from chest pains and cardiovascular disorders. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is critical for asking insightful questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
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What Are Chest Pains?
Have you noticed your heart is beating irregularly? How about acid reflux that is affecting your chest constantly? Have you felt muscle stiffness or tenderness in the middle regions of your back? Or have you felt your chest harden and stiffen after something impacted you? Many of these symptoms are tell-tale signs of you experiencing chest pains in your upper body. Research studies have defined chest pains as a common type of visceral pain that is a dull, deep pressure that squeezes the chest. This results in the visceral afferent nerves aggravated as they cause shoulder pain, jaw pain, or thoracic back pain since the nerve root reaches the spinal cord. Additional research studies have found that chest pains can have a variety of cardiac disorders as they can cause dysfunction in the muscles and skeletal joints within the chest walls or the thoracic regions of the spine. When the thoracic region of the spine becomes affected due to chest pains, it can cause herniation on the spinal discs, thus resulting in unwanted pain and discomfort to the individual. Chest pain can even affect the gut system and the heart itself.
How Does It Affect The Gut & The Heart?
Research studies have mentioned that chest pains can affect the gut system and the heart organ itself due to environmental changes that can affect the gut system. The gut microbiota helps metabolize homeostasis in the body for the gut system. When the gut has been impaired, the harmful bacteria travel through the systemic circulation and heighten the inflammatory effects that cause the development of cardiovascular diseases in the heart. At the same time, additional research studies have mentioned that any symptoms accompanying angina pain are conceptualized as a warning to individuals developing coronary artery disease. When this happens, not all ischemic episodes in the heart are indistinguishable when it comes to chest pains and can result from abnormalities of the thoracic regions.
Viscerosomatic Reflexes Overview-Video
Have you experienced irregular chest pains that pop up randomly? How about discomfort in the thoracic regions of your back? Do you feel gastrointestinal inflammatory issues like acid reflux or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) cause you pain? These symptoms are associated with chest pains in the body due to viscerosomatic dysfunction. Research studies have found that visceral pain is a complex disorder since it can affect one internal organ in the body. In contrast, the corresponding nerve or muscle gets involved as well. Visceral pain is also associated with GI disturbances and changes in the body’s temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate, which are considered autonomic signs that the body is dysfunctioning. The video above gives an insightful overview explanation of what the viscerosomatic reflexes and nerves do when they are not aggravated.
Viscerosomatic Dysfunction Associated With Chest Pains
Since visceral pain is complex and can affect the internal organs, research studies have found that viscerosomatic dysfunction in the thoracic-upper abdominal regions can cause the thoracic and esophagus to become hypersensitive to environmental factors that irritate the airways that connect the entrance of the gut to the esophageal tube. Additional research studies have even found that non-cardiac chest pains are another form of viscerosomatic dysfunction that causes the esophageal opening of the stomach to become dysmotility and hypersensitive causing gastroesophageal reflux disease. This causes many individuals to develop chest pains and can affect a person’s mortality. Adjusting certain habits affecting the chest, gut, or back can reduce the effects that viscerosomatic dysfunction is causing to the person’s body so that they can get their sense of purpose back.
The body’s upper half has the cardiovascular system, where the heart makes sure to pump blood and nutrients to every muscle, tissue, and organ required to keep the body functional. When environmental factors cause issues affecting the body, it can cause various problems in the gut, chest, and heart; this is known as visceral pain and is a complex disorder that can affect the upper abdominal-thoracic region of the body. Visceral pain can cause the gut system to develop gastroesophageal reflux disease, chest pains, and cardiovascular disorders that can make the thoracic region of the spine herniated and stiff if it is not taken care of. When individuals start to take care of themselves and reduce the visceral pain from the affected organ, their bodies will begin to heal naturally and make them continue their health and wellness journey.
Brumovsky, P R, and G F Gebhart. “Visceral Organ Cross-Sensitization – an Integrated Perspective.” Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 16 Feb. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818077/.
Börjesson, M. “Visceral Chest Pain in Unstable Angina Pectoris and Effects of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. (TENS). A Review.” Herz, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 1999, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10372297/.
Johnson, Ken, and Sassan Ghassemzadeh. “Chest Pain – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 1 Aug. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470557/.
Sikandar, Shafaq, and Anthony H Dickenson. “Visceral Pain: The Ins and Outs, the Ups and Downs.” Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3272481/.
Stochkendahl, Mette J, et al. “Diagnosis and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Chest Pain: Design of a Multi-Purpose Trial.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, BioMed Central, 31 Mar. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2315652/.
Tang, W H Wilson, et al. “Gut Microbiota in Cardiovascular Health and Disease.” Circulation Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 31 Mar. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5390330/.
The information herein on "An Advanced Look At Visceral Pain Associated To The Chest" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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