Upper Cervical Chiropractic care focuses on misalignments of the top one or two bones of the spine as the origin of troubles throughout the spine...in fact, troubles throughout the entire body! When these bones (C-1 or Atlas &/or C-2 or Axis ) become misaligned, the resultant irritation to the brainstem portion of the Central Nervous System can be the source of Body Imbalance.
Body Imbalance occurs when the C1 or Atlas, and/or the C2 or Axis, the top two vertebra in the neck, are misaligned and out of their proper position. This can occur as a result of an accident, emotional trauma, or chemical toxicity in the body. Childbirth itself can move the baby’s atlas out of position because of the massive amounts of pressure on the head and neck of the baby as it passes down the birth canal. Or childhood accidents like falling from a tree, bike or skates can also misalign the upper cervical spine. In adulthood, the atlas can be shoved out of position during minor or major accidents such as sporting accidents, automobile accidents or slips and, falls. Some of the worst cases of atlas misalignment and resulting pain have been caused by minor car accidents such as being rear-ended. One indication of body imbalance is having one leg slightly shorter than the other. You may also notice that when you stand in front of a mirror one shoulder is slightly higher than another, and one hip is higher than the other. Another indication your atlas may be out of position is by having different symptoms in your body that your medical doctor cannot explain or find the cause for on any tests. We talk about Body Imbalance and not just neck imbalance because when there is a misalignment in the C1/C2 area of the spine, it can have an impact throughout the entire body.
The Atlas or C-1 is a donut-shaped bone that your skull rests on. Your brain stem exits the skull and passes through the center of the donut-shaped Atlas. Your spinal cord, at that point, consists of trillions of nerve fibers (the nervous system) that “bottleneck” through the small opening in the atlas. These fibers eventually branch off carrying information to every part of your body. If the C1 is out of its proper position, it can irritate, constrict, or disrupt vital nerve signals to any portion of your body. This can cause muscle or joint pain, organ dysfunction, lowered immune system, and countless other conditions that you would not ordinarily relate to a problem originating in your neck.
The Upper Cervical Correction can be described as a slight pressure applied to the first bone (Atlas) or second bone (Axis) in the neck, along a predetermined direction to correct the misalignment. It can feel like a brisk thrust, a light tap, or a message on the side of the neck just below the earlobe. That’s where the atlas is. There is NO twisting of the neck. When the correction is made, muscles begin to relax and balance out, blood and oxygen circulation is increased, the brain is able to communicate with the affected area, and the body’s natural healing process is restored. The healing process continues as long as body balance is maintained and the brain can communicate with all parts of the body.