Upper Cervical treatment focuses on correcting misalignment problems between the Atlas, Axis and brainstem that can cause many chronic health problems and symptoms. Those top two bones (Atlas and Axis) in the neck are the most movable vertebrae in the body. They have the most control on the body posture and nerve function between the brain and other parts of the body. When the upper neck is properly aligned, the whole spine realigns itself from the top down, allowing the body to return to proper balance.
It’s most important to remember that the nervous system is responsible for all communication in the human body. Since the brainstem is the central connection between the brain and the rest of the body’s nerves, any interference in the messages being sent due to brainstem pressure, will lead to a lack of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Upper cervical chiropractic is the science and art of locating interference to the nervous system (subluxations) and removing them so the body can function optimally, giving the body a much greater chance for health restoration. Upper Cervical Chiropractic utilizes precise and gentle adjustments to the upper neck, delivered painlessly and without twisting or cracking.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic does not include the treatment of disease, but has to do with locating and removing the specific cause of interference in the nervous system. By doing this, the body is placed in an environment where it can heal from the inside out and symptoms will be relieved.
Neck pain affects two thirds of people at some point in their lives and is almost as common as low back pain. The point prevalence of neck pain for North America is somewhere between 13–22.2%, with high-intensity low-disability pain at 10.1% and disabling neck pain affecting 4.6% of the population. For a chiropractor caring for patients with neck pain, upper cervical care is often the most effective way to correct the cause of the problem.
When the body and spine are in balance, the overall health of the individual can improve and many problems a patient may present with can heal. Patients receiving upper cervical adjustments have recovered from problems like headaches, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, numbness and tingling in the arms or legs, dizziness or vertigo and more.
What is body imbalance and how to know when it has happened?
Body Imbalance occurs when the Atlas, and/or the Axis, the top two vertebrae in the neck, are misaligned and out of their proper position. Body imbalance can occur as a result of several things such as: accident, emotional trauma, or chemical toxicity in the body. Childbirth can also play a crucial role in moving the 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. There even cases of when these two bones might misalign because of our accidents as children such as bike or skating accidents or even falling from a tree.
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 whiplash after minor car accidents.
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.
Signs and Symptoms of Upper Cervical Subluxations:
Back, shoulder and/or neck pain;
One shoulder lower than the other;
Jaw clicking or pain;
Scraping or crunching sounds when neck is moved;
How can adjusting the top bone in the neck affect the mid back, low back, or even legs?
Because it affects the entire spine and body. Wherever your atlas moves, your head moves with it. If this top bone in your neck has shifted out of position ever so slightly, no more than the thickness of a fingernail, it can move your head off center of your body. In an effort to keep the head over the center of the neck, the entire spine and pelvis will twist, pulling one hip up and one leg with it. You are now walking around on one leg that is shorter than the other. This places more weight on one side of your body than another. The wear and tear on your entire body is exactly like driving a car that is out of alignment. The result can be muscle and joint pain anywhere in the body.
Without correcting the problem, which originated with a single bone (Atlas) at the top of your neck moving out of position, your entire body is now imbalanced. When this continues over time, something else starts to happen. Because nerve flow is disrupted or distorted, degeneration of cells in organs can occur, causing physical problems that may not show up for years.
How many adjustments is need?
The number of adjustments needed from a Chiropractor like Dr. Gershfeld varies from person to person. This variance is caused by several factors, these include:
1) Patient compliance (following the doctor’s recommendations);
2) The amount of damage to the spinal structures;
3) How long spine has been injured;
4) Spiritual/Mental/Physical health; and
5) Emotional and physical stress.