UPPER CERVICAL CHIROPRACTIC
What is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor?
An upper cervical chiropractor is a Doctor of Chiropractic who has training in the structure, function, and biomechanics of the upper cervical spine. They have the training to perform a thorough evaluation to assess the alignment and mechanics of the upper cervical spine. This includes digital x-ray imaging to determine the extent and direction of spinal misalignment that has occurred. Image-guided, corrective adjustments are then made, designed to have maximum benefits with a minimal amount of force.
At Vitalpoint Clinic, we focus specifically on the upper neck using the chiropractic technique referred to as the Atlas Orthogonal method. Our goal is to restore the body’s healthful functions through expertly applied, painless adjustments to the spine.
Atlas alignment is key for brainstem function
The atlas is the top cervical bone in your neck. For the free flow of communication between the brain and body, the brainstem must be functioning properly. Naturally, the atlas helps to maintain this functionality. However, an atlas misalignment can have negative effects on brainstem function. Correcting the misalignment is vital so that nerve communication can flow freely.
Atlas alignment is vital for proper head alignment
Since the head sits directly on top of the atlas, even the slightest misalignment can affect the entire body and brain. The atlas controls the alignment of the entire spine as well as the hips and shoulders. If the atlas is misaligned, the entire body responds in an attempt to keep the head held up properly.
Upper cervical care is safe and effective
What are the differences between upper cervical care and general chiropractic manipulation? The primary differences are in the safety and precision of the adjustment. Upper cervical care does not involve cracking, twisting, or popping of the spine. Upper cervical care is safe for all ages—from children to the elderly.
The gateway to the nervous system
If you would like to find out if your head is straight on your neck, call Vitalpoint Chiropractic in Vancouver for a free consultation with our upper cervical chiropractic doctors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic?
Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic is a specific chiropractic technique within the chiropractic field to adjust the atlas (C1) vertebrae. The Atlas Orthogonal system is a painless spinal correction which uses minimal amount of percussion force to restore the body balance. This restoration of balance can help to reactivate the body’s natural healing abilities.
How does this unique method differ from general chiropractic care?
One of the most obvious difference is that Atlas Orthogonal care is such a gentle and painless way of adjusting your atlas vertebrae. The Atlas Orthogonist’s methods require such a light touch to the affected area, so those patients who expect a forceful manipulation as part of their treatment find it hard to believe that anything effective has been accomplished. But, their doubts and fears vanish as quickly as their pain and discomfort resolves.
What exactly is an Atlas Orthogonist?
The Atlas Orthogonist is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic who, in addition to six or more years of education, utilizes a light force method of specifically adjusting the spine. The Atlas Orthogonist has undergone extensive training specializing in correcting spinal misalignment by using the atlas orthogonal percussion instrument. This method is gentle and effective and requires post graduate training.
The Atlas Orthogonal system is a painless and safe spinal correction which restores body balance and increases the body’s natural healing ability. Our clinic uses the Atlas Orthogonal system of health care exclusively, to care for our patients. This precision form of upper cervical spinal correction painlessly restores body balance without forceful movements or twisting of the neck or back.
What can I expect after my first correction?
After the first Atlas Orthogonal spinal correction, you may experience a variety of changes within your body. These are due to the nervous system responding to the structural correction. Symptoms are a positive sign that healing is taking place. In order to heal, the body must go through different cycles of repair which very often express themselves in some of the following ways:
- alleviation of symptoms
- tiredness or sleepiness
- muscle stiffness/Soreness
You should not be concerned if the pain changes or moves to another area of the body. Symptoms may decrease immediately. However, the amount of misalignment and severity of the condition will determine the recovery time. Please make the doctor aware of any and all changes. Remember, pain is a sign that the body is working, any changes can be part of the healing process.
Are X-Rays necessary?
Yes. It is important that certain X-rays be made. To see is to know, to not see is to guess. An Atlas Orthogonist will never guess about your health. Our chiropractors had extensive X-ray training and will never require X-ray studies which are not vital to the diagnosis and treatment of your condition.
Are x-rays safe?
In general, cervical spine X-rays are very safe. Although any exposure to radiation poses some risk to the body, the amount used in a cervical spine X-ray is small and not considered dangerous.
Here is a comparison of the radiation dosages you would experience with our x-rays versus radiaiton you are exposed to in the environment:
The radiation exposure is extremely low with the upper cervical x-ray series, due to special lead filters that block out a majority of the radiation. The NAS (National Academy of Sciences) considers a single exposure of the whole body of 50,000 mrems (50 rems) to be a high level dose.
Upper Cervical x-ray series < .22 mrems Flight from LA to Paris 4.8 mrems Dental x-ray (whole mouth) 310 mrems Apollo X moon flight 480 mrems Barium Enema (x-ray study) 8,000 mrems Radiation treatment for cancer 6,000,000 mrems [/av_toggle] [av_toggle title='Can I bring my own x-rays?' tags='' custom_id='' av_uid='av-kwaw54rt' sc_version='1.0'] Your old x-rays can provide more information in diagnosis, but it may not be suitable for atlas orthogonal treatment. If your x-rays were taken from a medical facility or non-upper cervical chiropractors, you would need to take a full upper cervical x-rays series in our office [/av_toggle] [av_toggle title='How long does an adjustment last?' tags='' custom_id='' av_uid='av-kwaw5xcn' sc_version='1.0']
Can I bring my own x-rays?
Your old x-rays can provide more information in diagnosis, but it may not be suitable for atlas orthogonal treatment. If your x-rays were taken from a medical facility or non-upper cervical chiropractors, you would need to take a full upper cervical x-rays series in our office.
How long does an adjustment last?
The accuracy of the procedure affords the patient longer lasting effects. Initially, most spines will not hold their correction for very long, and will need more visits. Once stabilized, you may go months or years without needing to have your spine corrected. While the Atlas can again lose its proper adjustment, for most patients the procedure results in far fewer visits than most other procedures. And that translates into greater relief, better health, fewer office visits and less money spent.
Does Atlas Orthogonal adjustment hurt?
The Atlas Orthogonal spinal correction is painless and barely felt by the patient. Because of the precise X-ray analysis, a correction can be made without any forceful jerking or twisting movements.
How is the treatment determined?
The treatment is decided upon after a thorough evaluation of the patient’s symptoms and prior health history. Combining that information with the results of any orthopedic, neurological chiropractic examination, leg measurements, and X-ray studies, the doctor is able to pinpoint accurately the source of the problem and decide upon the best plan of health care.
How do I maintain my Atlas Orthogonal spinal correction?
Patients often ask what holds the spine in place once it has been corrected. When the head and neck have been re-placed to their natural position, the body will regain its normal balance and relationship to gravity. This will release tension held by the body due to its compensated stressed position. A relaxed body structure is now more stable and functions more freely. This, along with some specific instructions about body position, movement and a simple routine of therapeutic stretching exercises will allow the correction to hold for weeks, months and sometimes even years.