Upper cervical chiropractors analyze and align the upper cervical spine using low-force yet powerful individualized corrections. More often than not, a displacement of the atlas vertebra (the top segment in the spine) is found in relation to the skull. A millimeter shift at this level can impact brainstem function, and consequently, the form and function of the entire body. When the head is offset from the spine, neurological and structural compensations occur in attempt to protect the nervous system and keep us upright. This process can negatively impact the spine, pelvis, hips, knees, ankles, etc.
It is therefore critical that precision x-rays are taken, from which a formula is derived for the delivery of a personalized correction.
No two misalignments are exactly the same, and in treating the upper cervical region, attention to detail may mean the difference between negligible body changes and the resolution of a chronic neurological condition. For this reason, we do not give general manipulations to the neck using high velocity, rotational force. At the Upper Cervical Center, the patient remains in a side-lying anatomical position for all corrections, and typically receives only one adjustment to one vertebra in one specific direction, setting in motion a full-body healing response.
Progress is monitored by way of thermal scans, which are taken during every office visit to determine if an adjustment is necessary. If the scan shows no pressure, no adjustment is given, and we estimate the time it may take for the misalignment to return (early in a patient’s care, there is a threshold of time that the bone will stay in place before misaligning again due to old muscle patterns. This is the case until new muscle patterns form in response to properly aligned vertebrae).
“Holding is healing” means that our goal is to re-establish a new normal position for the atlas or axis vertebra. Adjusting the problematic segment as soon as it becomes misaligned allows for the joint to “hold” in place longer and longer until it is self-sustaining and requires little attention.
Most patients see results after the first few corrections, and significant improvements in the first 4-6 weeks of stabilization. Our goal is to check this region occasionally to ensure old patterns have not returned, adjusting only as necessary based on thermography findings.