Why the Neck?

If you have ever experienced a significant impact to your body such as car accidents, sports injuries, falls, or bump to the head, the force on the upper neck may not have been avoidable. Car accidents injury is also called the accelerating and decelerating of the cervical spine injury. Even if the damage to the vehicle is minimal, the body absorbs the forces from the impact.

This type of injury is often dismissed and neglected as a minor soft tissue injury. However, the atlas subluxation can lead to chronic health problems such as headache, dizziness, loss of balance, neck stiffness, tingling and numbness in the arm and legs, posture imbalance, and more.

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Body Imbalance and Chronic Pain

The atlas (c1) spine misalignment can cause nerve interference to the brain, affecting the postural control centers in the upper neck, specifically the lower brainstem area. The stress on this area causes the posture muscles to pull harder on one side than the other half of the body. This results in postural imbalance as you can see here.

This type of postural imbalance should be evaluated carefully, as it can cause long-term effects on spinal discs. When the postural distortion occurs, it shifts the center of the body’s weight to one side more than the other. A slight degree of weight shifting causes uneven weight distribution across the discs, causing the spine to age quicker.

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Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome

The upper neck is the weakest part of the human spine. An injury to the head and neck can cause tissue damage in a complex way, especially in the region where the head and neck meet. Trillions of nerve fibers from the brain travel through the small opening in the upper neck region (craniocervical junction). Even the smallest degree of upper cervical misalingment can cause body imbalance and brainstem compression. This results in interference in the neurological pathway that results in body imbalance.

NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) has developed a very precise system of how to evaluate head and neck misalignment. NUCCA analysis allows us to correct misalignment with very little force without manipulating the neck. When the Atlas correction in the upper neck is achieved, it restores the entire spine to an unstressed, balanced position.

Signs & Symptoms Checklists

Reprinted with permission from Daniel O. Clark, D.C. Copyright 2022 www.uppercervicalillustrations.com

H. Charles Woodfield, D. Gordon Hasick, Werner J. Becker, Marianne S. Rose, James N. Scott, “Effect of Atlas Vertebrae Realignment in Subjects with Migraine: An Observational Pilot Study“, BioMed Research International, vol. 2015, Article ID 630472, 18 pages, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/630472