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Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

Reprinted with permission from Daniel O. Clark, D.C., www.uppercervicalillustrations.com

Reprinted with permission from Daniel O. Clark, D.C., www.uppercervicalillustrations.com

Reprinted with permission from Daniel O. Clark, D.C., www.uppercervicalillustrations.com

What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care?

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care is a technique used by some chiropractors, where the adjustment is strictly done at the very top part of the neck. The spinal misalignment at the top part of the neck often affects the entire body. An upper cervical misalignment can cause irritation to the brainstem and spinal cord, leading to interference to the nervous system at its most sensitive area. Irritation to this area of the nervous system can impact respiratory function, balance, hearing, vision, and organ function throughout the body. By adjusting this area, we can bring relief of many common ailments without the use of medication or surgery. These adjustments are not strictly for people experiencing pain.

Research has shown that body imbalance and brain-to-body disruption of communication can cause or complicate all kinds of conditions. Please note that 2 people can be diagnosed with the same condition and after their atlas is corrected, the condition in one may be completely eliminated, while the same condition in the other person may improve only a little. Carpal tunnel is a good example of this. If the problem is actually in the wrist, then correcting the atlas may help the condition only minimally. If, on the other hand, the atlas is causing irritation in the nerves flowing down into the arm and into the wrist, the carpal tunnel is likely to improve remarkably. Note, however, that 99% of the people we have tested in our seminars around the country, have all been imbalanced with one short leg. Even the person who has carpal tunnel in the wrist from repeated use of the wrist and hands such as a typist or a factory worker, most likely has a misaligned upper cervical spine as well. Correcting the upper cervical area and restoring brain-to-body communication and body balance will, at the very least, help them cope with their condition better.

Arthritis is another example of how 2 people with the same diagnosis may respond completely differently to the Upper Cervical procedure. If the arthritis, in one is caused by a chemical imbalance, toxicity, or extreme stress, getting their atlas corrected may only help them cope better with that condition. On the other hand, another person with arthritis will respond to the point that he/she has little to no pain anymore. The bottom line is this: For the condition to improve or be eliminated, it has to be caused or complicated by a distortion or disruption of brain-to-body communication or by body imbalance. If it is being caused by something else, such as a chemical imbalance, a genetic problem, or some other cause, then it may or may not respond.

Keep in mind, however, that if your atlas is out of position, having it repositioned can have wonderful side effects! We often get reports of people who have undergone the Upper Cervical procedure for one condition, and as a result, have had other conditions be corrected. For example, a man who was having severe neck pain woke up one morning realizing that after a few weeks of Upper Cervical care, his allergies were no longer bothering him. Or the woman who was having severe back pain and got under Upper Cervical care, noticed that her heartburn was no longer a problem. Or another woman who underwent this type of healthcare for headaches and neck pain, and noticed after several weeks that her life-long inability to eliminate well was gone. She was having normal bowel movements for the first time in her life.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care can even help with shoulder, hip, and low back pain.

When a person presents to the office with lower back pain, they are shocked to learn that the actual cause of their low back problem may be in the upper spine. There are a couple of ways that the upper neck can contribute to the development of lower back pain. First, the spine works and moves as one, continuous unit. The two bones at the top of the spine, called atlas and axis, are the two most mobile segments in the entire spine. These two bones move in six different directions, allowing the head to move up or down, bend side to side or turn left or right. The other vertebrae in the spine move primarily in two directions, making them stronger and more stable than the top two vertebrae.

Secondly, the upper cervical region (neck) has thousands of “sensors” that are responsible for maintaining both the proper posture and alignment of the spine, as well as the balance and stability of the head. These sensors are constantly monitoring the head position, making the necessary changes throughout the lower spine to assure that the head remains upright.

When the spine is properly aligned, it is extremely strong and stable. However, the top two segments are extremely vulnerable to injury or misalignment because of their mobility. When a misalignment occurs at the top of the neck, the entire spine compensates or adapts in an attempt to protect the vital nervous system that is encased inside your vertebrae. This triggers a chain reaction from the top of the spine to the bottom. When the head is off balance, the lower spine is compromised; the pelvis is tilted, or one leg may be drawn up or shortened, resulting in an internal weakness and a spine that is imbalanced. This chain reaction also makes the spinal muscles, bones, and discs more vulnerable to injury – an accident waiting to happen. If neglected, an upper cervical misalignment can lead to premature arthritis and irreversible spinal degeneration.