The solar plexus can be described in simple terms as a vital network of nerves. It emanates from the abdomen and connects various nerves that branch out to many body parts such as the abdominal aorta and the coeliac trunk, which in turn houses nerves that connect to various other organs such as the stomach, spleen, liver, pancreas and oesophagus. In short, the solar plexus is a very delicate and complex cluster of nerves that acts as a connection to many important organs of the nervous and digestive systems.
Causes of Pain
Pain in the solar plexus can result from various factors. One of the factors is internal, which means the pain is caused by problems in the functioning of the network of the nerves. This can cause discomfort to one or more of any of the organs connected to the nerves of the solar plexus. Pain can also be the result of injury caused by a hit to the stomach. Cancer is another potential reason for pain in the solar plexus, especially if the cancer is metastatic. Metastatic cancers in the solar plexus can spread from one organ to another within the network, so this type of cancer can be particularly difficult to treat.
Managing pain in the solar plexus is a complex phenomenon because the pain can be due to many potential reasons. Any pain on any bodily organ may in fact be related to the solar plexus. For instance, something that appears to be just a cramp in the abdomen could be more complicated if the solar plexus is involved. Thus, when solar plexus injury is suspected, a diagnosis has to be made before treatmet, using scans and other aids to find out if the plexus is involved. If it is, appropriate treatments have to be given based on the reason for the pain. When pain is related to cancer, the oncologist makes the decision on treatment. To relieve pain in the muscles, the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method can be tried.
Methods of Treatment
The central fact about pain in the solar plexus is that it is related to the nerves. Hence, pain relievers that act on the muscular or skeletal structures will be of limited use. Medications that act on the nervous system can suppress pain, but this is a symptomatic treatment. The key to actually resolving the underlying problem is to relax the nerves. Perhaps no system of treatment is proven to be as effective as yoga in the relaxation of nerves. A few easy techniques that can be practised on a day-to-day basis include deep breathing (hyperventilating while lying on the back) and shallow and rapid breathing. Shallow and rapid breathing should be like a dog's panting, and if done for five minutes, can soothe the nervous system. Letting out pent-up stress by chanting out loudly, while placing the hands on the plexus, may also be helpful.