What is upper cervical care?
Upper cervical care is a unique branch of healthcare within the chiropractic profession that focuses on proper alignment of the upper vertebrae in the neck. The importance of these vertebrae (the first called C1 or the atlas, the 2nd called C2 or the axis) has to do with the vital structures it surrounds. The most important structure in this area is the lower brain stem, which extends out of the skull into the upper neck, before transitioning into the spinal cord. The significance of the lower brainstem is that it controls most of the vital automatic functions of the body including heart rate, digestion, breathing, blood pressure, and many reflexes. Also passing through this area are the postural reflexes, that unconsciously control muscle tone throughout the spine. In addition, this area is critical for regulating the body’s inflammatory response.
The upper cervical procedure used at Upper Cervical Wellness Center is called the Atlas Orthogonal procedure. This non-invasive technique starts with taking very specific three-dimensional x-rays, which are digitally analyzed to determine exactly how the atlas vertebra has misaligned. Once the x-rays have been studied, the exact vectors to be used in the correction are calibrated into an adjusting instrument, and a table-mounted spring loaded instrument is used to re-position the misaligned structures.
The specificity of the Advanced (Atlas) Orthogonal procedure allows patients to be corrected within their normal range of motion, and does not require any twisting, popping or gross manipulation. This non-invasive approach can be used with patients with pre-existing disc injuries or arthritic degeneration, and is safe for all ages.