Upper Cervical misalignment
(when the head and neck shift)
As we help you address the root cause of your pain, we are looking for a moderate to severe three-dimensional shift of the spine away from its normal position. We start by looking at what can be considered the keystone of the spine – the junction where the head and neck meet.
The upper cervical spine lacks the stability of the rest of the spine and for good reason – we need to move our heads! However, this leaves a weak link in the chain. When the head and neck shift, your shoulders and hips twist too. This forces the entire spine out of alignment. These Structural Shifts cause muscles to spasm, ligaments to deform, and will compromise nerves that travel down the spinal cord. In other words, a Structural Shift can interfere with your nervous system – the communication system between your brain and body.
The primary condition we work with is called the Atlas Displacement Complex, which can also be called atlas subluxation.
Conventional / walk-in chiropractors often use a handful of adjustment techniques that may fix the “average” back problem. However, we know each person, and their specific problem, is unique. We believe in figuring out the actual cause of the pain and treating it appropriately rather than using “one size fits most” adjustments and hoping the symptoms disappear.
To precisely diagnose each individual, we have a suite of instruments not found in typical chiropractic offices that help us pinpoint problems:
- Digital Structural Radiographs – This tool gives us the WHERE of the adjustment. Precision, laser-aligned, digital x-ray analysis so we can accurately determine the nature of your Structural Shift. Seeing is knowing.
- Digital Structural Symmetry Analysis – force sensing plate that measures weight distribution in all planes to analyze how the body is compensating for Structural Shifts
- NeuroFunctional Thermographic Assessment – This tool gives tells us WHEN your atlas needs to be corrected and when we need to leave it alone (as to not create more instability when things are properly aligned)
We also measure:
- Blood pressure (in some patients pre and post adjustment)
- O2 saturation
- Grip strength (left and right comparison)
- Leg length discrepancy
- Subjective outcome assessment survey
All of these things give us a glimpse into some aspect of central nervous system function and its ability to regulate your body’s automatic operating system.
Some of the same tools we use to determine the problem initially are used visit-to-visit to gauge progress as we work.
We also perform a progress examination at the end of an Initial Phase of Correction so you can SEE your results.