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What is the Celiac Plexus?

Tony Anthony
Tony Anthony

The celiac plexus — or the solar plexus, as it is more commonly known — is a set of nerves in the human abdomen. It is in the back of the stomach, near the spine’s primary vertebra, between the chest and belly button. It is a complex set of nerves responsible for a range of issues, from the pain that accompanies a hit to the stomach to the discomfort of acid reflux disease.

Anyone who takes a blow to the stomach, whether he is young or old, a professional pugilist or an out-of-shape child, understands the level of discomfort that occurs when he receives a punch or some other type of strike to the celiac plexus. This type of blow can create breathing challenges, because such a punch creates a disturbance in the diaphragm and makes it seem as if it is impossible to breathe without just gasping for air.

The celiac plexus is the network of nerves in the human abdomen.
The celiac plexus is the network of nerves in the human abdomen.

The celiac plexus also is an area where people tend to accumulate acid over time as a result of the consumption of certain greasy foods. The resulting acid reflux disease can lead to pain that is felt in the celiac plexus. Though there are a number of remedies you can purchase at the pharmacy to alleviate pain in this region, those who have acid reflux on a consistent basis may want to consult with a physician who can suggest a more powerful solution to the ailment. Patients often have the option of ingesting chewable tablets or taking a liquid solution to combat the symptoms of acid reflux disease.

To help ease the pain that results from various forms of cancer, doctors may perform a celiac plexus block. The procedure involves inserting fluid directly into a patient’s body to block the celiac plexus nerves from feeling the pain and transmitting the pain signal. A celiac plexus block does involve a certain degree of discomfort at the outset, because it is administered via a syringe inserted directly into the abdomen. The discomfort is relatively short-lived, though, because doctors can add anesthesia to the fluid being used in the block.

While there are various sources of discomfort in the celiac plexus, discomfort in this region of the body can also indicate some type of disturbance in the nervous system. Thus, a reduction in a person’s stress levels may yield positive results in reducing celiac plexus pain. People trying to relieve this kind of pain often opt to practice yoga, which helps in the development of breath control and has the potential to ease stress.

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    • The celiac plexus is the network of nerves in the human abdomen.
      By: Matthew Cole
      The celiac plexus is the network of nerves in the human abdomen.