What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care?
As experts on the upper cervical spine, our chiropractic doctors focus on the intimate relationship between the top two bones in the neck, called the upper cervical spine, and, more importantly, a vital portion of the nervous system called the brain stem. This relationship is absolutely essential to the body’s ability to restore and preserve health.
In order to grasp the upper cervical concept, you must first understand how the body is created and, more importantly, how it is designed to function normally and remain healthy.
The brain stem controls and coordinates virtually every vital function of the body and acts as a conduit between the brain and the body. It extends from the brain down through an opening in the base of your skull and into the upper cervical region. Working much like a telephone cable, the brain stem has millions of individual wires, or nerve fibers, that send signals back and forth between the brain to every system, organ, muscle and cell within the body. We must have 100% brain-to-body communication in order to function properly and remain healthy.
The top two bones in the neck, the atlas and axis, are the only two vertebrae in the entire spine that don’t have an intervertebral disc. They are designed to move in six directions and are considered freely moveable. By contrast, every other bone in the spine, from the 3rd vertebra all the way down to the bottom, not only have a disc but also four inter-locking joints that only allow the bones to move in 2 directions. As a result, the top two freely moveable bones are much more susceptible to misalignment.
If one of the upper two bones becomes misaligned, two things happen. First and foremost, it irritates or interferes with the brain stem and reduces the brain-to-body communication. Wherever those messages were intended to go, whether it’s your foot, kidney, pancreas, heart, lungs, eyes or ears, it is going to malfunction, become sick and possibly shutdown. Secondly, consider the upper spine a kinetic chain, connected from head to toe. If either of the top two bones becomes misaligned, the rest of the body must compensate or adapt, resulting in total “body imbalance” (see chart below). In the end, your health and physical body will be compromised. This condition is called a subluxation.
Every healing profession acknowledges that the body has an inborn or innate ability to heal itself. By restoring these healing messages, your body will operate at its very best and heal itself from the top down, from the inside out.