How Your Spine Is Connected To Your Organs (Including The Thyroid)

I saw this chart of the connection between the spine and specific organs, including our thyroid, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Written by Brent Wells, D.C.

If you want to take care of your organs, make sure they are healthy, and they are functioning properly, you need to take care of your spine. Although a spine and organ connection may not be readily apparent, your spine and your major internal organs are connected.

Your organs and your body as a whole are all controlled by your central nervous system. The two largest and most important organs that make up your central nervous system are your brain and your spinal cord. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense that your spine is connected to all of the major organs and their functioning in your body as well.

Interestingly, your brain has to send and receive information via your spine. For example, let’s say you cut your finger while you are slicing an apple. The knife goes through your skin and you are hurt. But in order for you to feel the pain associated with the cut, your brain needs to process that information to feel the sensation of pain. For your brain to receive the pain message, it needs to travel through your spinal cord first before it gets to your brain and you can feel the pain. 

Since the brain, spine, body, and organs are so connected and intertwined with one another, it is quite obvious that if you have an issue with your spine, say a misalignment or a blockage, it can have a serious impact on your organs and your health overall. 

Are Your Spine and Organs Actually Connected?

In so many words, your spine is not actually connected to your organs. However, how it works is that the nerves that are located at the edges of your spine can run to different organs and this is when you will feel pain or issues with organs in different parts of your body.

chart of spine and organ connections

Cervical Spine & Your Thyroid

If you have misalignments in the cervical region of your spine, the superior cervical ganglion is linked to upper regions of the body including the head, scalp, brain, eyes, ears, sinuses, tongue, lips, mouth, teeth, forehead, vocal cords, neck, tonsils, shoulders, and you guessed it, the thyroid.

Issues in this region of the spine may be the cause of pain or other issues like: 

  • Headaches
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Mood disturbances
  • Migraines
  • Trouble with the eyes, ears, nose
  • Teeth and gum problems
  • Dizziness 
  • Hair loss
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Thyroid disease

Thoracic Spine and Your Organs

This region of your spine is connected with many of the organs in your body. The different vertebrae that make up the area of this spine are each connected to certain organs. 

T2 is connected to you heart, chest, and blood vessels. T6 is connected to your stomach. T4 is connected to your gallbladder. T10 is connected to your kidneys.

Say you are experiencing an issue with digestion. You are getting bloated all the time, you feel stomach cramps often, and you know something just feels off in your stomach. This could be a sign that you are experiencing an issue in your thoracic spine in the T6 vertebra. Another example would be someone having an issue with their heart. Perhaps it is chest pains or other forms of discomfort. The issue may be caused by the T2 vertebra in your thoracic spine, which is in turn causing the pain in your chest region.

The Spine and Thyroid Connection

The thyroid gland is one of the most important parts of your body. Thyroid hormones are vital and impact so many different functions in your entire body. The thyroid plays a role in metabolism, growth, and regulation of many different bodily systems including metabolism. 

So, exactly how is your thyroid so closely connected with the spine?

cervical spine and thyroid

Firstly, your thyroid is located in your neck in the cervical spine region. If you have a thyroid issue that causes swelling in the thyroid, the swelling can cause a vertebra in your spine to push out of place causing a subluxation in the cervical region of the spine. C7 is connected to the thyroid gland but swelling of the thyroid gland may push other vertebra in close proximity out of place too including C6 which is connected to neck muscles, shoulders, and tonsils or C5 which is connected to the vocal cords.

Swelling of the thyroid gland is particularly common for people who suffer from the thyroid autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland that causes the neck to swell and the vertebra of the spine are vulnerable. The same goes for benign nodules as well as thyroid cancer. It is not surprising that warning signs include hoarseness, pain in the throat, persistent cough, difficulty swallowing and breathing.

Furthermore, someone who has hypothyroidism that has gone uncontrolled for a long period of time can feel the effects in their spine. The imbalances in the thyroid can create damage in your peripheral nerves. These nerves are responsible for carrying information from your spinal cord and your brain to different parts of your body. 

If these nerves are damaged, you may experience symptoms like: 

Pain

Numbness

Tingling

Muscle weakness

Loss of muscle control

These signs and symptoms will be located in the area of the back where it has been affected and nerve damage has happened. As you can see, your spine, organs, and thyroid are all connected in fascinating and intricate ways. We often do not think about all of the different ways our bodies are connected, but it is time to start looking at your health and body in a new and different light. When you begin to realize how much of the spine affects your body, seeing a chiropractor to make sure your spine is healthy and aligned properly makes a lot of sense. As a chiropractor based in Juneau, Alaska, I have seen hundreds of patients come into my office for pain in certain areas in their body they had no idea were connected to their spine.

In the end, spine health is essential and is a major connector in you body. Take care of your spine to live the happiest and healthiest life possible. 

About Brent Wells, D.C.

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the founder of Alaska’s Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. Dr. Wells is the author of over 700 online health articles. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.

READ NEXT: HOW POSTURE AFFECTS YOUR THYROID

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

Comments

  1. Reader in Virginia says

    Wow…great read! My C6/ C7 vertebrae has a significant subluxation that has been recurring the past 5/6 years. I started traditional Synthroid medication about 5 years ago when my TSH levels were finally looked at and so out of range. Since then, with symptoms coming back or worsening, at times…antibodies were finally looked at ( what a hassle trying to get that done!) and surprise….Hashimoto’s it is. I am still having a HUGE amount of difficulty getting the Dr. to check the T3 levels ( as I found another great article on this site about that). I had no idea about the cervical spine connection, or possibility of the thyroid swelling and causing me these problems. I have had xrays at an imaging center and in house at a chiropractor’s office and been diagnosed with the subluxation on the same area. Thanks for the post!

  2. I have Chronic Scoliosis..which has caused Osteo-arthritis. I also have Hypothyroidism…Would my severely bent spine have causes the thyroid issues ??

  3. How do we get our providers to listen? They ignore vital info concerning hypothyroidism (see FDA, ATA, Endo Soc. warnings on biotin skewing tests) & deliberately misdiagnose. In my case I have severe spinal issues:DDD, cervical fractures, etc. thru my whole spine & was stable on 124 mcg Levo for over 10 years. Then an NP became obsessed with my thyroid meds ignored the FDA,ATA etc, deliberately misdiagnosed me hyper & reduced my meds dangerously low. When I tried to get her to understand she started putting false info in my ‘records’ & now is saying I am mentally ill so no one will believe the truth. She has started issuing threats for me to backoff from trying to regain my needed meds How do we get these unscrupulous providers to listen to facts?Changing doctors is useless since there is no HIPAA for them & she is still interfering. Records can NOT be changed any more. Where do we find help to literally save our lives?

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