Dr. Jimenez DC presents clinical implications of the viscerosomatic reflex.
In today’s big data informational era, there are many disorders, diseases, and clinical presentations that demonstrate concomitant associations, coincidences, correlations, causations, overlapping profiles, overlapping risk profiles, co-morbidities, and risks of associated disorders that clinically intermingle in presentations and outcomes.
To this point, assessing the viscerosomatic dysfunction and somatovisceral disorders is of paramount importance in order to get a full clinical picture affecting patients.
The clinician is mandated by the depth of our present clinical understandings and our oath to our patients to see the complete clinical picture within these integrated clinical paradigms and to treat accordingly.
Somatic dysfunction is defined as the “impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic (body framework) system: skeletal, arthrodial, and myofascial structures, and related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements.”
A viscerosomatic reflex is the resultant of the effect of afferent stimuli arising from a visceral disorder on the somatic tissues. The reflex is initiated by afferent impulses from visceral receptors; these impulses are transmitted to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, where they synapse with interconnecting neurons. These, in turn, convey the stimulus to sympathetic and peripheral motor efferents, thus resulting in sensory and motor changes in somatic tissues of skeletal muscle, viscera, blood vessels, and skin.
As an example only, visceral afferents play an important part in the maintenance of internal equilibrium and the related mutual adjustments of visceral function. They are also responsible for the conduction of pain impulses that may be caused by distention of a viscus, anoxia (particularly of muscle), irritating metabolites, stretching or crushing of blood vessels, irritation of the peritoneum, contraction of muscular walls, and distention of the capsule of a solid organ.” Because pain-sensitive nerve end- ings are not numerous in viscera, pain sensation or a visceral reflex response may result from the combined input of several different types of receptors rather than as a specific response to a particular receptor. A variety of visceral receptors have been mucosal and epithelial receptors, which respond to mechanical and epithelial stimuli; tension receptors in the visceral muscle layers, which respond to mechanical distention, such as the degree of filling; serosal receptors, which are slow adapting mechanoreceptors in mesentery or
serosa and which monitor visceral fullness; Pacinian corpuscles in mesentery and pain receptors; and free nerve endings in viscera and blood vessels.
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare 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.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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