What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Treatment?
Upper cervical chiropractic care is the chiropractic specialty that focuses on the atlas, axis, and areas that branch out from them. While the head and neck movement that the atlas and axis make possible is important, what they protect is critical.
The spinal cord is attached to the brainstem just above the atlas. Although the brainstem is underneath the skull’s occipital bone, it relies on information received through the spinal cord, nerve, and nervous system outside of the brain. The brainstem governs life-sustaining activities, including breathing, heart rate, sleeping, and eating.
Since this passage carries such vital, life-giving information, maintaining proper alignment is critically important. Subluxations or misalignments in the atlas or axis vertebrae interfere with nerve impulse transmission. Nerve impulses carrying instructions for breathing, heart rate, and other life-promoting activities. At Vital Wellness Center, Dr. David Foss focuses on restoring optimal spinal alignment to maximize your body’s functioning.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic vs. Conventional Chiropractic
While conventional chiropractic care always involves finding and correcting subluxations, upper cervical treatment focuses on this critical region. When your cervical spine is optimally aligned, your entire nervous system enjoys unhindered communication. You can accurately understand and act on information in your environment.
Even though the upper cervical region is in the neck, treating subluxations in this area can impact the hands, lower back, and other body areas. It can also have positive benefits for the immune system.
When you come to Vital Wellness Center for upper cervical care, you’ll get a comprehensive report on your neurological functioning. On the first visit, you’ll get to ask Dr. Foss your questions about spinal subluxations. He’ll also perform a complete physical assessment, including X-rays and neurological scans.
At your return visit, this Upper Cervical Chiropractor will show you your subluxations. He will then explain the series of adjustments needed to reset your spine and nervous system. You can get the information required to make healthcare decisions that work for you.
Benefits of Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Many people only decide to search the web for an ‘upper cervical chiropractor near me’ when they’re in quite a bit of neck pain due to whiplash or some other injury. While cervical adjustment can provide relief for these conditions, it can also help pain in other body areas.
Although it seems improbable, upper cervical adjustments can help back pain. This is because the muscles used to maintain healthy posture are throughout the body. When an imbalance anywhere occurs, muscles like those in the back overcompensate for the imbalance. When an upper cervical chiropractor treats an upper cervical imbalance, the head appropriately rests over the spine, so there is less stress on the back and other areas.
Cervical subluxations can also cause cervical radiculopathy, which is a pinched or irritated nerve. This can make your arms, hands, and fingers weak and numb. Correcting cervical misalignment restores the proper flow of the nerve signals needed to hug your loved ones or be productive at work.
Concussions can cause a range of symptoms such as anxiety, memory loss, fatigue, and insomnia. This is partially due to upper spinal misalignment that interferes with nerve function. Brainstem function is altered; Incomplete, missing, or incorrect nerve signals are sent between the brain and the rest of the body. Restoring healthy alignment can enhance your overall well-being.
A vestibular system malfunction is a significant factor in recovering from these kinds of injuries. The vestibular system transforms the information we get through our senses into our responses or behaviors. Subluxation in the upper cervical and other regions can lead to difficulty concentrating, restlessness, and other behavior issues.
Recall that the brainstem is responsible for breathing. Recent research has shown that when an individual continuously inhales an allergy-triggering fungus, brainstem levels of a specific immune cell called tumor necrosis factor-alpha mRNA are reduced.
Atlas readjustment positively affects immune health by restoring the pathways needed for optimal immune system function. When a subluxation occurs close to the brainstem, it interferes with the nerve impulses, blood, and oxygen required for immune response. This can trigger immune system-related conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Restore the flow, and the trigger begins to lose its power.
Consult With Our Upper Cervical Chiropractor
Upper cervical chiropractic care can balance your body and brain for enhanced movement, thinking, and immune response. To experience its full benefit, you need to visit an Upper cervical chiropractor. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Foss, our Upper Cervical Chiropractor. To make an appointment, you can either schedule an appointment via our Vital Wellness Center homepage or call us at (630) 365-9887.
How Will You Feel After Your First Treatment?
Wondering how you’ll feel after your first few adjustments? Read on:
Some people report feeling great!
Research indicates that some patients receiving chiropractic adjustments may experience a mild side effect of some kind (Cagnie, Vinck, Beernaert & Cambier, 2004; Chaibi, Benth, Tuchin & Russell, 2017). Many patients feel the effects of an adjustment right away, while it may take a bit longer for others. Since everyone is unique, it’s impossible to make exact predictions about how your body will react to the first adjustments from Dr. Foss, so here are some common experiences reported by patients to help you prepare for the possibilities!
Some feel a little bit sore…
Other people report minor discomfort after their first adjustments, particularly in the areas of greatest subluxation. A 2017 study by Chaibi, Benth, Tuchin and Russell indicates that 11.3% of patients receiving chiropractic adjustments during the study experienced a mild, localized tenderness afterward. Muscle soreness is also a common experience and was noted by a study in which 13% of participants reported sore muscles after an adjustment (Meier, Evans, Hartvigsen, Shulz & Bronfort, 2015). The muscles around your spine have been pushing and pulling in the same directions for many years, which has maintained the misalignment of your vertebrae. Now those muscles are being asked to push and pull in the directions that maintain correct alignment, so it’s only natural to expect them to be a bit sore!
Regardless of the type of discomfort, it tends to be mild and usually occurs within 4 hours after an adjustment and resolves within 24 hours (Cagnie, 2004).
(Side note: the “muscle memory” that maintains incorrect vertebral alignment is why multiple adjustments are needed to correct the spine – the muscles need to be retrained!)
Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Foss about any concerns!
Some people report not feeling much different.
Lastly, some people report not feeling any different after their first adjustments. Even though you may not notice any effects, rest assured that important changes are taking place! Chiropractic adjustments won’t always make you feel better instantly, but they’ll make you heal better instantly!