What is Upper Cervical care?
Chiropractic was founded upon the principles of neurology, anatomy and the knowledge that the brain controls the entire body. The brain/body communication is essential for life, health, and healing. Your brain and spinal cord, according to Gray’s Anatomy (one of the most prestigious medical textbooks) coordinate and control every function of your body. Your brain is like a massive computer, receiving information of the body’s needs through the nerves. The brain then interprets the body’s needs and corresponds with the appropriate actions. Therefore, if there is a slight misalignment, or abnormal motion in the spine that surrounds the spinal cord, it will disrupt the relay of communication between the brain and the body. Wherever that miscommunication occurs, the corresponding area of the body where that nerve goes will be affected.
The top two bones in the neck, the Atlas and Axis, are uniquely different as their joint surfaces are flatter and move in more of a three dimensional direction. The most import feature of this area is that it protects the lower portion of the brain called the brainstem. These two bones are the only ones in the spinal column that, when misaligned, can put direct tension on the spinal cord itself. This can cause a large disruption in the nervous system, affecting nerves that exit the spine at every level below.
Specific upper cervical techniques were developed to quantify the misalignment so the precision of adjustment would be in the exact direction or vector necessary to reduce that misalignment. The more precise upper cervical techniques measure the misalignment down to a 1/4 of a degree. Accuracy and reliability are dependent on specialty x-ray equipment and the doctor’s post-graduate training in the technique.
At Austin Life Chiropractic the doctors have advanced training in the upper cervical technique of Orthospinology. This technique is based on the x-ray analysis of John D. Grostic, an orthogonal based system that analyzes specifically the occipito-atlanto-axial region (aka C0-C1-C2 aka the upper cervical region aka the upper portion of your neck under your skull). The technique includes not only the x-ray analysis, but steps for ensuring its precision, an adjustment protocol and post-adjustment evaluation procedures to ensure the correction was made. This allows our doctors to assess the effectiveness of the adjustment and to fine-tune it for your individual needs. The adjustment can be done by hand or via instrument, which allows for a more specific contact point and correction. It’s safe, gentle, effective and painless.