Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Upper Cervical Chiropractic is a gentle form of chiropractic that enhances health, reduces pain, and eases chronic health problems. There is no popping or cracking. Our doctor has training in the Grostic, Atlas Orthogonal, and Advanced Orthospinology procedures. We are the only chiropractic office to offer gentle upper cervical specific chiropractic from Savannah to Jacksonville. We use state of the art technology to get to the root cause of your condition.
What Is Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Upper cervical chiropractic technique is a sub-specialty in the chiropractic profession, that focuses on re-aligning the top two bones in the spine. This procedure utilizes 3 dimensional x-rays of the top two bones of the neck and the base of the skull (the upper cervical spine) to determine if a misalignment or subluxation is present that can create irritation and interference to the functioning of your nervous system.
Misalignments in the upper cervical spine may manifest as a variety of conditions due to the unique characteristics of this area of the spine. The anatomy of this region of the spine is so special in that the first and topmost vertebra (C1), is called the Atlas, which comes from the Greek Mythologist, Atlas, who held up the world on his shoulders, but in our case it is the 8 to 10 pound head. The second bone (C2), is called the Axis, because it acts as an axis for our head to be able rotate like it does at the top of our neck.
The upper cervical spine is also the most moveable and most vulnerable to injury. It does not have a disc or interlocking joints, which means that forces from traumatic events, such as falls, auto accidents, or repetitive motions can easily cause misalignments in this region. Traumatic events can occur at any age, even as early as the birthing process. During the birthing process, the head is pulled and twisted to help maneuver the baby out; a German study found that over 85% of babies had some type of cervical trauma during the birth process. Injury can happen during the crawling phase, learning to walk phase, learning to ride a bike, sports, and more. Sports such as football, soccer, gymnastics, skiing, baseball and wrestling can have the largest impacts on the upper cervical spine. In today's modern world, chronic posture such as: looking down at the computer, cell phones, kindles, playing video games and cradling the phone between the neck and shoulder can also cause severe misalignments in the upper cervical spine and have a major impact on the curve in the neck. Upper cervical misalignments can result in a wide range of health conditions and people who have been in auto accidents or suffered from a blow to the head can also suffer additional adverse consequences to the health of the brain. Misalignments in the cervical spine have shown on MRI that they can result in a decrease of blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid to the brain.
What Happens When our Upper Cervical Spine Misaligns?
The brainstem and spinal cord meet at the upper cervical spine. A misalignment (subluxation) in the upper cervical spine can cause stress on the brainstem and spinal cord, which can compromise the central nervous system. These misalignments cause interference in communication between the brain and nerves in the body. When the nervous system is compromised, it is unable to self regulate and self heal the body and its systems properly. If the body is unable to self-regulate and heal, it results in chronic health conditions and pain. Common secondary symptoms seen from an upper cervical misalignment are headaches, brain fog, dizziness, vertigo, neck pain, earaches, jaw pain, low back pain, sciatic pain, hip pain, shoulder pain and more.
Additionally, when the upper cervical spine misaligns, it causes tension on the spinal cord and irritation to the nerves that regulate tone in the lower back and pelvic muscles. This irritation causes one side of the body to have tighter musculature verses the other side and an uneven pelvis. This is why we see patients in our office with low back pain, hip pain, sciatic pain, foot pain and degenerative disc disease. When the pelvis is unlevel, the weight of the body is distributed unequally to the weight bearing joints of the spine and lower extremities. Long term imbalance can lead to arthritis, chronic neck and back pain and ultimately make a person more prone to injury.
What About Migraines, Tinnitus, Vertigo, Sinus Pain & Facial Pain?
MRI has recently shown that an upper cervical misalignment can result in a decrease of blood supply to the brain and alterations in the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. These alterations may actually be found to be a leading cause of headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears and facial pain in patients that have had a history of a traumatic event during their lifetime leading to an upper cervical misalignment. Research that is being published utilizing pre and post MRIs are beginning to explain how upper cervical chiropractors get the great results easing these conditions in their patients.