Hiatal Hernia Treatment: Internal and Structural

Hiatal Hernia Treatment: Acting on Organs and Structure


In this new webinar, Dr. Vikki gives a deep medical look at Hiatal Hernia Syndrome, emphasizing its treatment from both internal and structural perspectives. She underscores the importance of addressing the root causes of the syndrome, rather than just alleviating the symptoms. Her discussion touches upon the intricate balance of gut hormones, liver function, and the structural changes affecting the diaphragm due to increased abdominal pressure. She also highlights the importance of evaluating the vagus nerve function and the SOAs muscle in relation to the syndrome.

Key Points

  • The internal aspect of the syndrome involves gut imbalances, hormonal shifts, and potential organ malfunctioning.
  • Structural changes occur due to the stomach pushing against the diaphragm, leading to its elevation and impacting the heart.
  • Chronic inflammation in the gut can prevent the diaphragm from returning to its original position without structural intervention.
  • Evaluations for hiatal hernia include assessing breathing patterns, rib movement, diaphragm movement, and nerve functions.
  • The vagus nerve, which connects to the diaphragm nerve, plays a crucial role in symptoms like heart palpitations and panic attacks.
  • The SOAs muscle, linked to the diaphragm, is also assessed for its function in relation to hiatal hernia.
  • Some treatments, like the stomach pull-down by chiropractors, offer temporary relief but don’t address the root cause.
  • The root cause often lies in gut inflammation, nerve function, and muscle imbalances.
  • A structural hiatal hernia treatment can be complemented with exercises, especially for those with conditions like scoliosis.

Transcript of the video

By Dr. Vikki Petersen

This is the last of our 5-day series about Hiatal Hernia Syndrome. Yesterday, I talked about the treatment for Hiatal Hernia Syndrome from the internal aspects of it as far as the gut hormones, etc.

Gut, hormones, liver, and diaphragm

A hiatal hernia treatment will look a the position of the diaphragm in relationship with ribs and spine, the alignment of the neck and the role of the vagus nerve. Today I want to talk about the final piece, which is treating hiatal hernia syndrome structurally, because as you know, if you have it or you’ve been following any information about it, what happens internally of course is the gut is out of balance.
The hormones can get out of balance. Liver function, there’s a lot of internal organ malalignment that can happen, not necessarily disease but malfunctioning. However, along with that, because you’re talking about the stomach spasming and pushing up on the diaphragm, the diaphragm getting elevated, the stomach and spasm it, pushing up, the heart, getting impacted, there’s this structural change that happens with that diaphragm.
Because of that pressure from the lower abdomen, the gut causing increased abdominal pressure as well as the stomach spasming pushing against the diaphragm, the diaphragm can’t freely move anymore.


How’s your diaphragm moving?

The chronicity of that or how long that’s been occurring, when you start working internally and taking down the inflammation in the gut, the diaphragm doesn’t necessarily just bounce back and get back in the right position. It has to be structurally worked on. So when we evaluate someone for the physical aspect of hiatal hernia, we’re looking at how they breathe, how their ribs move, how their diaphragm moves.  Do they have tenderness around the diaphragm, around the stomach area?
We’re looking at the function of the nerves in the neck. Why? Because the nerve that goes to the diaphragm comes from the neck.

Role of the vagus nerve

We’re also evaluating the vagus nerve. Now that’s a cranial nerve, so you’re not touching it because it’s deep in the body, but you’re evaluating its function. And that’s very key because the vagus nerve actually connects to the nerve that goes to the diaphragm and the vagus nerve being imbalanced can create a lot of the heart palpitations, the panic attacks and the overall sense of “I just can’t function in life the way I used to because I just don’t feel right“.
So it can be the shortness of breath, the heart palpitations, etc. Evaluating vagus nerve function is actually a structural component that we do as part and parcel of evaluation.

Hiatal Hernia Treatment

And then of course treatment. There’s a muscle in your body called the Psoas muscle. The psoas muscle is actually a low-back muscle, low-back going into your hip. However, there’s parts of it that tether and hold down your diaphragm. The human body is so incredible. So we’re evaluating that. We’re evaluating hip function and low-back function all associated with hiatal hernia because all of these things can get imbalanced by having Hiatal Hernia Syndrome.

Stomach pull-down

If you’ve been in this arena for a while, you may have heard of a pull-down, a stomach pull-down. That’s something that doctors of chiropractic can do. And people say, “Wow, I got good relief, but it didn’t last. It didn’t last“. And we’re all about root cause here, meaning getting to that deeper root cause and really fixing it. So what can happen with that pull-down as it’s called, is it can kind of release some of the tension between the stomach and the diaphragm, and all of a sudden the diaphragm’s happier and you go, “Wow, I can breathe“.
I’ve had people just burst into tears when we’ve done that because it’s like they’ll say, “It’s the first deep breath I’ve taken in. I don’t know how long“. But why doesn’t it last? Because there there’s more components creating that problem. So if you do a stomach pull-down and you release that tension, but the root cause of the tension is the gut and all the inflammation and the imbalanced nerve function and muscle function, then again, it’s not going to be long lasting.

Root Cause Medical Clinic’s approach

That’s what we’re all about here at Root Cause Medical Clinic. A hiatal hernia treatment has to be a long-lasting, actual solution.
Now, is that the case all the time? No, but in a great number of circumstances, a very high percentage, especially with Hiatal Hernia Syndrome, this can be fully resolved.
I’ve had people say, “Oh, I just drink a big glass of water and I get on my tippy toes and I bounce down on my heels, and then my stomach feels better for a few hours“. And that’s true. That can work for some people, but you don’t want to be doing that the rest of your life because that’s just symptomatic. It’s not getting to the root of the problem. It’s not resolving the problem. It’s certainly not negating and correcting the problem that the digestive tract has, that’s creating all of this.
That’s why [progressing on a hiatal hernia treatment] we work from the inside out, which is what I talked about yesterday. But then we’re also working from the outside in, with the structural aspects of Hiatal Hernia Syndrome. And more often (than not), the internal is more a higher percentage involvement than the structural, though everybody’s different.
Some people can have a little scoliosis of their spine, a little curvature of their spine, so it’s pulling on the diaphragm a little differently. They have to learn certain exercises and maneuvers to do just because structurally they have that. And there’s nothing you can do about a scoliosis. But you can be smart and know certain stretches and certain maneuvers to keep that area moving well and not so stiff.

Hiatal hernia treatment: a telemedicine option?

And then we do this evaluation and we do the hiatal hernia treatment over Zoom as well as in person, which sounds odd if you’ve ever been to a physical therapist before. This is more in the realm of the physical therapy.
The chiropractic aspect of it is from getting an adjustment. Obviously, that’s not done over telemedicine, but we will help you find a chiropractor if that’s required, and work in concert with a local chiropractor as we’re doing what we know how to do very expertly, which is get that diaphragm moving again and all the attendant nerves, muscles that needs to be balanced. And a lot of Doctors of Chiropractic are obviously not trained in this. It’s kind of a newer field.
That is how we evaluate and treat the structural side of Hiatal Hernia Syndrome. There’s a video about to come out which shows a patient going through the process of the evaluation, so you can get an idea of how that’s done over telemedicine or over a Zoom visit. We certainly perfected this over the pandemic by necessity, but since then, it does definitely allow us to treat people who are not local to us, including international patients.

A last word

Once the evaluation is completed we let you know the areas on which our hiatal hernia treatment will work. Our hiatal hernia treatment can be performed long distance and any chiropractic care needed can be performed by a local D.C. which we can help you find. Specific maneuvers and exercises are taught on a gradient to restore normal motion of the diaphragm, function of the vagus nerve, mobility of the neck, jaw, low back and other related areas discovered during the evaluation.

Ultimately our hiatal hernia treatment, associated with internal care, should result in resolution of the syndrome. We have a high success rate and our hiatal hernia treatment program involves neither drugs, nor surgery.

Call 727-335-0400 for a consultation.

Additional resources

Learn more about Hiatal Hernia Syndrome in Dr. Vikki’s book
Day 3: Traditional medicine doesn’t understand Hiatal Hernia Syndrome


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