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- The Upper Cervical Spine, TMJ and Facial Pain
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your lower jaw (mandible) to your (maxilla) upper jaw. Located just below each ear, the TMJ is the hinging joint that facilitates the opening and closing of your jaw. Without the TMJ, your lower jaw would have no way of completing the movements required for drinking, eating, laughing, speaking, swallowing, and yawning. TMJ disorders are typically categorized under the umbrella term of TMJDs. It’s estimated that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from TMJDs, making it the most common type of facial pain. So, what does the upper cervical spine have to do with TMJ and facial pain? Keep reading to learn more… TMJD Signs and Symptoms Symptoms of TMJD can appear suddenly after a trauma, or they may take years to develop. Some symptoms may show up on only one side of the face. However, in some cases, they show up on both sides. The symptoms you experience will depend on your condition's cause and severity. The most typical sign patients experience is pain or dysfunction in the jaw joint and its associated muscles and supporting tissues. Other symptoms may include: Pain or Tenderness at the joint Ringing in the ears (Tinnitus) Stiffness in the jaw muscles Popping or clicking of the jaw Locking of the jaw Intermittent shifts in jaw alignment Limited range of motion in the jaw Muscle Spasms in the face or neck Dizziness/Vertigo Headaches or Earaches Stiffness or spasms in facial muscles While for some, these issues will be mild, others will find them quite debilitating. TMJDs can also cause problems with posture, sleep, and spinal alignment. What are the Causes of TMJ? There are several possible causes of TMJ; in most cases, the reasons can be hard to pinpoint. Making diagnosis difficult, but there are a few factors to consider. Mild repetitive actions, such as jaw clenching, teeth grinding, gum chewing, nail-biting, or prolonged periods of supporting a phone between the head and shoulder, can affect the function of the temporomandibular joint over time. Direct or indirect injury to the TMJ from a traumatic event such as whiplash, car accidents, or sports injuries. Dental work and orthodontic braces can cause improper function at this joint. Trauma to the upper neck can affect the TMJ itself or part of the nervous system called the trigeminal nerve that controls and coordinates the jaw muscles. Chronic stress and poor posture have also been associated with the onset of TMJ, and any abnormal wear and tear can cause irritation, inflammation, and, eventually, arthritis within the joint itself, all leading to TMJ dysfunction. There are a few health conditions that can be involved in the onset of TMJDs, including: Growth disorders Arthritis Erosion of the joint Foundational shift of the upper spine A few risk factors may also be associated with the onset of TMJ disorders. Some of these risk factors include: Prolonged stress Female hormones (estrogen is believed to contribute to the development of TMJ) Joint hypermobility Poor posture that strains the neck and face muscles How the Upper Cervical Spine Affects the TMJ The Upper Cervical spine has a considerable influence on the TMJ. This has much to do with the uppermost bone in the neck called the atlas vertebra. Changes to the alignment of this part of the spine can place pressure on the trigeminal nerve, a major craniofacial nerve responsible for regulating the function of the mastication muscle group. Left untreated, pinching or compression of the trigeminal nerve can inflame the muscles around the TMJ, leading to severe discomfort and TMJ disorders. No matter the method of damage, the overarching cause of TMJD is often a subluxation in the neck’s vertebrae, and some research suggests that up to 75% of TMJ cases are related to misalignment in the upper cervical spine. A Gentle Correction Away from Natural Relief At Atlas Specific Chiropractic in Durango, we believe in correcting subluxations in the Upper Cervical spine to remove interferences and get to the root cause of TMJ. We do not just treat the symptoms. Our goal is to allow the body to heal from the underlying cause of facial pain and TMJ-related health concerns. Using state-of-the-art equipment and gentle, non-invasive corrections, we work to restore the neck and spine to its normal position so that any interference can be removed and recovery from TMJ can begin. We provide TMJ treatment for patients in La Plata County and the surrounding areas. This includes Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, Mancos, and Cortez, as well as Aztec NM and Farmington NM. Schedule a free consultation today by clicking the link below, calling us at 970.259.6803, or dropping by our 1800 E 3rd Ave #108 office in Durango, CO. You could be a gentle correction away from natural TMJ pain relief!
- Arm Pain and Upper Cervical Care
Did you know that the nerves in the hands and forearm are rooted in the neck area? If you’re experiencing shoulder, arm, or hand pain, numbness, tingling, or burning, subluxations in the Upper Cervical Spine could be your culprit. Read on to discover more. What Causes Pain or Numbness in the Shoulders, Arms, and Hands? While there are a number of reasons for pain or numbness in the shoulders, arms, and hands, including injury, compression, and nerve issues, here are a few of the most common causes: Arthritis: Arthritis is the inflammation and gradual degeneration of the protective cartilage in your joints. The acromioclavicular joint (AC joint) is the most common joint in the shoulder to develop arthritis. Bursitis: The bursa is located between a tendon and skin or between a tendon and bone, protecting the joint and helping to create fluid movements. Bursitis is an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac or bursa. Tendonitis: Tendonitis occurs when tendons become compressed on a rigid bone. Inflammation or damage to the compressed tendons can cause pain. Repetitive motions in our daily activities can cause tendonitis. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of connective tissue and small bones that holds the median nerve and tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is inflammation or narrowing of your carpal tunnel that applies pressure on a nerve inside. Pinched Nerves: A pinched nerve occurs when cartilage, tendons, or muscles apply too much weight to a nerve. This pinching can cause numbness, tingling, or burning and may not allow the nerve to work right. Pinched nerves can be caused by injury, illness, and even poor posture. Injuries: From sprains and strains to overuse, rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, and other sports injuries, as some of the most mobile and widely used parts of the body, injuries to the hands, arms, and shoulders are common. How Is Arm Pain Connected to the Upper Cervical Region? As we said above, pain and numbness in the shoulders, arms, and hands can be caused by your neck. That’s because all of the nerves in the hands and forearm are rooted in the neck and, more specifically, the upper cervical spine. When pressure is applied to your upper cervical spine, many conditions may arise as the top vertebrae of your spine also protect your brain stem, which helps normalize your bodily functions. When the misalignment or subluxations are present, it can cause various conditions to develop, including muscle weakness, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pinched nerves as the vertebrae shift from their proper position. How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help With Arm Pain We have covered some of the typically thought of common causes of shoulder, arm, and hand pain already, but the truth is the most common cause of arm pain comes from the cervical spine. When subluxations occur, they can cause the nerves that exit the spine and run down your arms to be pinched, irritated, or have pressure on them. When you experience pain in your hand, arm, or shoulder — aside from an injury — the underlying cause may have been progressing for several years. Only 10% of your nervous system feels pain, so pain is often the last warning that something is wrong and needs to be corrected. Shoulder, hand, and arm pain can manifest itself in various ways. It can include discomfort or numbness, or even tingling. Upper Cervical Chiropractors are trained in diagnosing misalignments in the upper cervical spine. They are experts at correcting subluxations (misalignments). At Atlas Specific in Durango, Colorado. Shoulder, arm, and hand pain are conditions we treat on a daily basis. We do this by working to find the underlying source of your problem, correcting it, and making sure the surrounding ligament and muscles in your shoulders, arms, and hands are able to function properly and pain-free. When everything is aligned correctly and the nerve supply is optimal, you’ll have better shoulder, arm, and hand function and be less injury prone. If you’ve been experiencing shoulder, arm, or hand pain, stop by our 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, Durango, CO office, call us at 970.259.6803, or click below to schedule a free initial consultation. You could be a gentle correction away from being pain-free!
- The Effects of the Righting Reflex on the Spine
The majority of primitive reflexes are integrated into our brains as infants. These reflexes create the majority of the movements we make, such as rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, reaching, and even talking. For the most part, once we learn these movements, we won’t need to learn them again. The movement patterns get integrated into the cerebellum section of the brain, and this integration frees up our nervous system to learn new motor patterns throughout our life. But one primitive reflex is different. The labyrinthine righting reflex or simply righting reflex, this reflex must always be engaged, and it is with us our entire life. What is the Righting Reflex? More than being a primitive reflex, the Righting reflex is a fundamental reflex. It helps keep our brain, eyes, and body in relative balance with each other, as well as keeping our head aligned with the horizon and maintaining the balance of the body. It involves a complex interaction between the vestibular system, the visual system, the proprioceptive system, and interoception senses. The vestibular system The vestibular sense is headquartered within the inner ear. It coordinates eye movements, posture, equilibrium and detects the position of our head in space. The visual system Housed in the eyes, the visual system also includes connecting pathways to the visual cortex and other parts of the brain. The proprioceptive system The proprioceptor system provides sensory input from muscles and joints, especially in the top part of our neck, the upper cervical spine, where the highest concentration of proprioceptors is. The interoception senses This sense helps us understand our body’s internal sensations, such as feeling hungry, thirsty, hot, or cold, and many other feelings we may have. How Does the Righting Reflex Work? The righting reflex is a 4-way conversation between the vestibular, proprioceptor, visual, and interoceptor senses. Intercommunication from the upper cervical spine, inner ears joints, muscles, and eyes all work together to interpret the body’s position in space. The brain interprets this information and tells the muscles of the body how to position the eyes and brain so that they stay parallel to gravity. How Does the Righting Reflex Affect the Spine? When the righting reflex is functioning optimally, it helps ensure that the spine remains in a balanced and aligned position. However, certain factors can disrupt this reflex and potentially lead to misalignments in the spine, especially in the upper cervical spine. Let’s imagine for a moment that you’ve suffered a sudden jolt or impact, such as from a fall, accident, or sports injury. This kind of trauma can overwhelm the righting reflex, forcing the body to compensate for injury by adopting an abnormal posture or movement patterns, causing misalignments in the upper cervical spine. The righting reflex’s purpose is to keep your head aligned with the horizon and body balanced. Once a subluxation occurs in the upper cervical spine, the head is out of alignment. The righting reflex will then compensate by shifting the spine to bring the head back to level. Quite often, misalignments below the upper cervical spine are secondary to the major misalignment in the atlas and axis vertebrae. Other things that can interfere with the righting reflex and contribute to upper cervical misalignment include prolonged periods of poor posture, repetitive strain or motion, maintaining fixed positions for extended periods, or muscle imbalances. Muscle imbalances occur when certain muscles become overactive or tight while others become weak or inhibited. How Can Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help? It’s important to note that misalignments in the spine can have multiple causes, and the righting reflex is just one common factor that can potentially contribute to them. However, when the righting reflex is involved, a vertebral subluxation can affect the structural and functional integrity of the whole spinal column as well as disrupt brain-body communication. The goal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic is to correct subluxations in the upper cervical spine restoring optimal health. A correctly aligned spine allows for more precise brain-body communication, keeping the righting reflex and other neurological operations not only right but healthy. If you’re interested in learning more about the righting reflex or upper cervical chiropractic care, Dr. Tim will be happy to answer your questions. Contact our team today by dropping by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108 in Durango, calling us at 970 – 259 – 6803, or clicking the link below to schedule a free consultation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- HPA Axis and The Stress Response
Let’s talk about the Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal axis, more commonly referred to as the HPA axis. Simply put, it is the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland (located just above the brainstem), and adrenal glands (located above the kidneys). It describes the biochemical process of the stress response. What is the HPA Axis, and What Does it Do? The primary function of the HPA axis involves managing the body’s reaction to stress. When the brain senses a stressor, the hypothalamus gland releases a corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). Then the pituitary gland makes an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). All of this leads to the adrenal glands secreting glucocorticoids. Cortisol, also called the stress hormone, helps you deal with stressors. When cortisol is released, your body essentially goes into survival mode. The liver releases stored sugar for instant energy and adrenalin, raising heart and blood pressure to provide additional blood to skeletal muscles in case you need to run for your life. The immune, digestive, and reproductive systems are suppressed to conserve energy. All of this was a genius stroke of evolution at a time when having to run from a saber tooth tiger was a thing. Unfortunately for modern man, your body can’t distinguish between the extended stress of meeting a work deadline and the acute stress of an axe-wielding murderer. For your body, the reaction is the same. And over an extended period of time, this response can lead to both physical and psychiatric problems, including: Anxiety Cardiovascular disease Cognitive dysfunction Decreased ability to handle stress Decreased libido Fatigue Immune system suppression Insomnia Insulin resistance and diabetes Memory and cognitive issues Mood disorders like depression Obesity How Can Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help? Upper Cervical Chiropractic aims to detect and correct vertebral subluxations in the bones of the cervical spine, where the brainstem is housed. A subluxation, or joint misalignment, is both a physical and chemical stressor in the body. Physical because it applies extra strain to the soft tissue structures around the misaligned joint, and chemical due to the accumulation of inflammation it causes. This compounded form of stress floods the brain with negative feedback and triggers the limbic system to kickstart your stress response by activating the HPA axis! Every time you get an Upper Cervical adjustment, misalignments along the spine are corrected, and the negative feedback to the brain is replaced with positive feedback. Regular Upper Cervical care works to stop or slow the brain’s alert to initiate the stress response, reduces prolonged causes of inflammation, and promotes homeostasis. Homeostasis describes the body’s ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions as we navigate a constantly changing world. Upper Cervical care restores the nervous system pathways to an optimum level of function, which maximizes homeostasis and the body’s inherent healing ability. To find out more about managing your body’s stress response in a gentle, natural, drug-free way, contact Atlas Specific today by dropping by the Durango office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, giving us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or clicking the link below to schedule a free consultation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- Why the Brain Stem is So Important
Do you know what your brain stem’s basic function is, or what purpose it serves for your body? The brain stem is a small but very instrumental part of the brain that sits right at the top of your neck. It carries messages through your nerves from your brain to your body and from your body back to your brain acting as a bridge between the higher levels of your brain and your spinal cord. Your brain stem can be thought of as the conductor for the complex and beautiful symphony that is your body, and in today’s article, we’re going to discuss why the brain stem is so important. What Is the Brain Stem? The brain stem is the lower part of the brain that connects the rest of the brain to the spinal cord. (A part of the central nervous system in the spinal column). It is one of the most vital components of the human body. The brain stem plays an important role in the brain’s core functions such as consciousness, awareness, and movement. It is responsible for regulating most of the body’s essential and automatic functions including; breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, and swallowing. But, that’s not all it does, the brain stem also controls eye movements and facial expressions as well as coordinating movement for your eyes, jaw, face, throat, tongue, neck, pharynx, larynx, and head. It also supplies us with a sense of taste, equilibrium, and hearing, and it relays information to and from the brain to the rest of the body. So, hopefully, at this point, you are beginning to see just how essential your brain stem is, and how detrimental an injury to this part of the brain can be. What are the Parts of the Brain Stem? The brain stem is composed of three sections in descending order: the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. The Midbrain (mesencephalon) This is the topmost part of the brainstem. It is crucial for regulating eye movements. Pons (metencephalon) The pons is the middle portion of the brainstem. The pons is responsible for coordinating facial movements, hearing, and balance. Medulla Oblongata (metencephalon) This is the bottom part of the brainstem. It helps to regulate your breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure and swallowing. Your brain stem also contains your reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS is a network of neurons (cells that carry electrical signals and chemicals through your brain) that control your sleep and wake cycles among other things. The Connection Between Your Health and Your Brain Stem I’m sure that by now, you can imagine that any type of injury to the brain stem could be devastating. Because of the importance of this small portion of the nervous system, even the tiniest misalignment in the upper neck could have profound effects. And, injury to the brain stem caused by trauma, tumors, strokes, illness, or infections could be devastating, if not fatal. Maybe you know someone who had a stroke that affected the brainstem. If not fatal, it may have severely affected that person’s vision or speech, causing speech disorders. It could also have resulted in balance issues, abnormal consciousness, swallowing disorders, respiratory disturbance, and pain sensations to name a few. How Upper Cervical Care Can Help Upper Cervical specialists like Dr. Tim Dugas, are trained to locate and correct nerve interference in the upper cervical spine. This interference can present as a misalignment and affect the nerve communication between the brain stem and the spinal cord. By working precisely with the first two vertebrae of the upper cervical spine, the atlas, and the axis where the lowest part of the brainstem is housed, Upper Cervical Care can help the brain stem to function at its best. The Key Takeaway Now that you know how vital the brain stem is to your body, the key thing to remember is that keeping your brain stem free from any type of interference is critical for your overall health and wellness. If you have been experiencing any chronic issues, suffer from headaches, or have sustained any form of head or neck trauma from an injury, fall, or accident it’s vital to take the time to have your Upper Cervical Spine and brain stem evaluated. Contact us today by dropping by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, in Durango, giving us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or clicking the link below to schedule a free consultation. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with our latest news, and look for our next article to learn about the role the brainstem plays in your immune health. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- Boost Your Immune System, Naturally
During this time of year, when colds and flus run rampant, people often wonder, are there ways to boost your immune system naturally? And, the answer is a resounding yes! Read on to see the ways that you can improve your immune system and experience fewer illnesses this year. Drink Plenty of Fluids Water is the essence of life, and it is essential for immune health. This is largely due to the fact that water is a key component of lymphatic fluid. Lymphatic fluid contains a special type of white blood cells, called lymphocytes, whose primary function is to help the body fight infection. To boost your immune function, aim to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This will help to keep your lymphatic fluid circulating and doing its job of removing waste products, toxins, and impurities from your body, including bacteria and viruses. Eat Foods High in Probiotics Did you know that 70% of your immune system is found in your gut? That’s why a healthy diet is one of the most important factors in immune health. Some of the best foods to boost immunity contain probiotics, live bacteria, and yeasts. Probiotics can be found in fermented and cultured foods. Some foods that contain probiotics are: Apple Cider Vinegar – a type of vinegar made with crushed apples, yeast, and sugar Kefir – a drink made from fermented milk Kimchi – a Korean dish of salted, fermented vegetables, often based on cabbage Kombucha – a fizzy sweet-and-sour drink made with fermented tea Miso – a fermented soybean paste Sauerkraut – raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria Tamari – a Japanese sauce made from fermented soybeans, it is a by-product of miso Tempeh – a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans Tofu – condensed soy milk pressed into blocks of different firmness Yogurt – a dish produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk Spice Up Your Life Along the same lines as probiotics, yeast, and live bacteria, herbs and spices can also play a role in boosting your immune system. That’s right, a healthier you could be as close as your spice cabinet! Some helpful spices to add to your life include: Cinnamon Cinnamon is a pantry staple in most homes, so chances are high that you have this spice tucked up on a shelf already. The active, infection-fighting component of cinnamon is called cinnamaldehyde. This unassuming spice has been shown to both relieve and treat respiratory tract infections, but it may also inhibit the growth of bacteria. Raw Garlic Eating raw garlic may not make you the most popular person to have a conversation with, but it may make you the healthiest! Over the centuries, garlic has been used to ward off the plague and was even used in wartime to prevent gangrene. One tiny clove is jam-packed full of high levels of calcium, potassium, and sulfuric compounds – all of which may help to wipe out bacteria and infection. Rosemary This is another herb you may already have in your spice cabinet. Rosemary is a member of the mint family and it has a range of health benefits. It is a rich source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help to boost the immune system and reduce infection. Ginger Ginger has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that may prevent certain viruses from attaching to and infecting the upper respiratory tract by stimulating the respiratory cells to secrete an antiviral protein. It may also help to clear up congestion by inhibiting the production of mucus. Oregano Oregano is a popular culinary herb that can be found in almost any kitchen, but it is also a powerful anti-microbial. Studies have shown that oregano is an effective tool against 23 different species of infection-causing bacteria. Additionally, it’s been shown that two components of oregano (carvacrol and thymol) may also protect you against certain viruses. Thyme Thyme is a fantastic herb believed to prevent viral and fungal infections. It is useful for relieving symptoms of respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, colds, flu, allergies, and blocked sinuses. It also helps to eliminate phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract, eases inflammation, and prevents microbial development. Additionally, thyme contains high levels of Vitamin C which stimulate the production of white blood cells, to strengthen the immune system. Turmeric Turmeric contains curcumin which has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric has long been a staple healing food for centuries in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine, being used to treat and prevent a wide range of illnesses. *Note – High doses of turmeric should not be taken by anyone on blood thinning medication. Try Fire Cider Fire cider is a traditional folk remedy made with many of the herbs and spices listed here as well as lemons and apple cider vinegar. It’s a potent tonic that has been used for generations as a remedy to naturally protect against colds and flu and ease sinus congestion. You can find instructions on how to make a batch for yourself here, or do a quick google search to come up with other recipes. Reduce Stress Excess stress can overwork your immune system and drain your ability to stay healthy. Daily stressors big and small can constantly push your immune system and reduce its ability to keep you healthy. That’s why it is so important to make time for self-care. From moments of meditation or reading to long walks and massages, take the time each day to halt the grind and do activities that focus on you and “refilling your tank.” Upper Cervical Care Did you know that one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system naturally is to get started with Upper Cervical Care? Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the connection between your neck, brainstem, and central nervous system. A healthy central nervous system is the single most important factor there is in your being able to fight off whatever colds or viruses you come in contact with. With regular upper cervical adjustments at Atlas Specific, we can help your body learn to heal itself naturally. This cold and flu season, combine the foods, herbs, and spices listed in this article with upper cervical care at Atlas Specific and find yourself the perfect recipe for a healthier season. Our patients visit our Durango office from all over the Four Corners region, including, Bayfield, Ignacio, Mancos, Cortez, Aztec, and Farmington. Contact us today by dropping by 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or click the link below to schedule a free evaluation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- Why Drainage and Detox go Hand in Hand
It’s “New Year, New You” time, and what better way to start than by detoxing your body of last year’s toxins? Most people are familiar with the concept of detoxing, the process of flushing harmful chemicals from the body. But, before you get ahead of yourself, did you know that drainage and detox go hand in hand? Perhaps you’ve even done a detox at some point in the past. Was it a pleasant journey, or an uncomfortable process? If your past detox plans left you feeling drained, we’re here to get you started on the right foot by explaining why drainage is essential to detox. Drainage – The pathway/mechanism through which unwanted substances leave the body. Detox – Pulling toxins and toxic substances out at the cellular level. Why Drainage is Important for Detox Detox is the process of grabbing toxins and drainage is the process that takes them out of the body. If your drainage pathways aren’t open and the toxins can’t efficiently get out, they can recirculate in your body, become more toxic, and could leave you feeling no different, or even worse than you did before. Therefore, before you can focus on killing pathogens and detoxing harmful chemicals from your body your drainage pathways need to be open and stay open. These pathways include: The Colon The Liver The Bile ducts The Kidneys The Skin The Lymphatic system The Glymphatic system (the brain drainage to the lymphatic system) To put it into simple terms, imagine sitting at home, and deciding to take the trash out. It’s not going to happen if the door isn’t open. This is the same story with your body. If your drainage pathways aren’t open and actually draining before you start the detox process, you’ll generally experience symptoms and discomfort during the process and you may even end up feeling worse than when you started. Below is a visual of your drainage funnel. On the left is a healthy drainage funnel and on the right is what happens when one or more pathways get backed up. Is There an Order of Importance to Drainage? There is absolutely an order of priority to these drainage pathways! The Colon Though it is at the bottom of the drainage funnel, the colon is at the top of the list. The colon, or large intestine, serves as the primary drainage pathway. If your colon is backed up it backs up the entire system and requires the other pathways to pick up its slack. Having 2 – 3 bowel movements per day is a sign of a healthy colon drainage pathway. The Liver & Bile Ducts Next are the liver and bile ducts. Your liver is designed to process toxins and release them into either your bile or your blood. Toxins moved into the bloodstream are filtered through your kidneys and eliminated in your urine. Toxins that move into your bile are released into your digestive tract to be excreted through the bowels. When this system gets backed up, toxins build up and get dumped directly into the bloodstream. From there, they can go throughout your body wreaking havoc and causing skin irritation, itching, and rashes. This is a common area for issues during a detox. The Lymphatic and Glymphatic Systems The purpose of the Lymphatic System is to filter out viruses, bacteria, and toxins while draining fluid from the tissues throughout the body. Then there is the Glymphatic system, which serves as the drainage from the brain to the lymphatic system. This is a common area to have glitches in during detox. Issues here can look like brain fog, headaches, memory issues, and just not thinking clearly. For the brain to drain properly the colon, liver, bile ducts, and lymphatic system all need to be draining properly. Keeping these pathways open and functioning well makes a world of difference when you’re detoxing. How the Foundational Protocol Works Here at Atlas Specific, the foundational detox journey begins with Cellcore’s “Roadmap to Health.” The strategic order or “roadmap” that the Foundational Protocol follows is broken down into easy-to-follow steps or phases that properly prepare the body for detoxification. Cellcore’s Foundational Protocol is a 4-month approach to supporting detoxification that’s intended for individuals who are looking to periodically promote cleansing for an overall wellness boost. Step One Focuses on energy and drainage pathways which is essential before promoting detoxification. This also makes the process smoother and encourages more energy as you move through the Protocol. Step Two Step two focuses on promoting the body’s natural detox processes and nurturing the gut microbiome. Step Three As you enter step three the Protocol will build momentum for a deeper whole-body cleansing while building on the first 2 steps. It also helps promote a healthy liver and bile flow. Step Four This step picks up where step three left off to continue promoting systemic detoxification and healthy drainage pathways. This phase goes beyond the gut to detoxify, lends increased support to the lymphatic system, and is loaded with potent herbs used traditionally to support drainage and detox throughout the body. Are You Ready to Truly Experience a “New Year, New You?” If your health is less than optimal, a detox could be just the right thing to restore your health. Join us and the dozens of others who have improved their health and wellness through a foundational detox journey. This journey will help you to ensure that your drainage pathways are up and running efficiently, so the power of detoxification can be realized! If you’re ready to make 2023 your healthiest year ever, please reach out to us by dropping by the Durango office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, giving us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or clicking the link below to schedule a free evaluation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- Upper Cervical Chiropractic: It’s a Journey, Not a Moment
One thing that can happen to patients on the upper cervical chiropractic healing path is that they tend to question: how do I know that my upper cervical adjustments are working? When can I say “I am healed”? First and foremost, Upper Cervical Chiropractic healing is a journey, not a moment. Up until now, chances are high that you’ve become accustomed to having an ailment, visiting a doctor, receiving a prescription, and “feeling better” in days or weeks. You’re probably also used to some of the ailments returning on a regular basis, or perhaps getting worse. This is where Upper Cervical Chiropractic differs from traditional medicine. It is not about muting the pain or treating the symptoms. Instead, Upper Cervical Chiropractic is about solving the underlying problem for which pain is just a symptom. Now, let’s go over some of the steps in the chiropractic journey so that you’ll have a clear understanding. Starting Your Journey Let’s first step back and imagine that you’re at the beginning of a long-anticipated road trip. You’re looking forward to getting to your destination, thinking about all the things you’ll do once you arrive. As you travel along, you take in the landscape around you. Perhaps there are some boring spots that you wish would pass faster. But there are also beautiful rivers and mountains that make you want to stop and admire them. The Upper Cervical Chiropractic journey is very much the same. When first you start Upper Cervical Chiropractic treatment, some days may seem more difficult. Other times you’ll realize that the pain is still there. However, there will also be days when you’ll realize that you’re stronger and more flexible, that you have better balance, or that you’ve gained the strength to do some of the things you used to enjoy before your injury or ailment changed the course of your life. Take Small Steps and Celebrate Small Victories Depending on your illness or injury, you may or may not experience instant relief or an immediate reduction in pain. But throughout the course of your treatment, there will be many small victories to celebrate as your body returns to its optimal state. Throughout your treatment, you will begin to see signs of healing, whether it’s a reduction in pain, an increase in flexibility, longer periods between headaches, or even just an improvement in balance. Remember that healing, true healing takes time and each of these small wins is an important part of the journey. No Two Bodies are the Same No two bodies or conditions are alike, a unique aspect of Upper Cervical Chiropractic is that it takes this into account. There is no “blanket treatment” for all patients with migraines or any other condition. Each adjustment and step in your treatment will be done based on scans of your own cervical spine. There is no instant reset button for the human body. Just because the friend that referred you found instant relief, it does not mean that you will. Even if you both suffer from the same condition. When it comes to Upper Cervical healing, each body has a different pattern of response to its adjustments. Track Your Progress Just like parents tend to notch lines on the wall to keep track of their children’s growth, it’s important that you find your own way of monitoring the steps in your journey, and your ultimate recovery process. It’s a good idea for you, your morale, and your chiropractor to have a clear idea of how your body responds to treatments so that you can track your progress. The Road to Wellness The core purpose of Upper Cervical chiropractic is adjusting your body to regain its regular function in a natural and non-invasive way. You are not a machine, again, there is no magic reset button. Both the type of injury or illness, as well as the length of time you have been experiencing it will be determining factors in how long your healing journey will take. Upper Cervical Chiropractic healing is a journey from pain and discomfort to a stronger, healthier, more true you. After your first adjustment, the doctor will have a clearer idea of what length of care will be necessary for you. Most patients typically experience the largest change in symptoms during their first month of treatment. However, that is not a universal statement and our main goal is to have you start holding the adjustment as soon as possible to allow your body to start the healing process. If you are ready to start your healing journey, contact us today by dropping by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, in Durango, giving us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or clicking the link below to schedule a free consultation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, do not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- The Link Between Neck Pain, Poor Posture, and Daily Habits
Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints that drive a patient to seek chiropractic care. In fact, experts suggest that up to 70% of adults in the US will experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities during their lifetimes. But did you know that outside of illness or injury, some of your daily habits may be the cause of neck pain? Read on to discover the link between neck pain, poor posture, and daily habits. Defining Neck Pain It’s a pain in the neck, sure, but sometimes it’s more than just an aching sensation in your neck. Other symptoms of neck pain can include: Headaches Muscle tightness or spasms Limited head or neck mobility Pain, tingling, and numbness in the shoulders neck, and arms Neck Pain and Poor Posture There’s a reason your mom always said to stand up straight, one of the primary culprits behind neck pain is poor posture. Many of us today lead sedentary lives meaning hours of sitting in front of a computer or television. Bad posture can take your spine out of its natural position leading to vertebral misalignments which can result in disc pain, sciatica, and other problems that stem from the neck down. Increased Stress on the Cervical Spine Another element of poor posture is spending long periods of time with your head extended forward. Think for a moment about the position you sit in while looking at your phone or tablet. Now, consider that the human head weighs between 10 and 14 pounds, and every inch extended adds 10 lbs to the weight your neck must carry. This results in a condition known as “Tech Neck” and it can lead to a host of ailments above and beyond neck pain. Neck Pain and Your Daily Habits There are certain daily habits that many of us tend to have that can either cause neck pain or significantly aggravate existing neck pain. Once you become more aware of these, you’ll be able to make conscious efforts to improve on them or avoid them to help minimize or even eliminate your pain and discomfort. Let’s go over the daily habits that may be the culprit of your neck pain: A Hard Days Night Everyone knows that few things are better for the body than a good night’s sleep. But nagging neck pain can ruin that and can last for days. Oftentimes, however, the culprit can be the position that you sleep in, particularly If you have a tendency to sleep on your stomach. This is because when you lay on your stomach, your neck stays on one side for long periods, which can be stressful for the neck. It’s also important to remember that the type of pillow you use can make a huge difference. There are types of pillows created for each type of sleeper, but no matter which pillow you choose, it should be able to support the natural curve of your neck thereby ensuring that the neck and spine stay relaxed throughout the night and not overstretched or stressed. The Long Commute If your work involves a long commute or hours spent traveling, your time behind the wheel can lead to neck pain. It can be hard to get comfortable in a car, and many of us will have a tendency to hunch over the steering wheel. This position can overwork the muscles that are trying to maintain your forward head position and counterbalance the pull of gravity. Because of this, your muscles become highly susceptible to strains and spasms. Additionally, when your head is in a forward posture, your shoulders tend to move forward, and your upper back rounds up. Unfortunately, this brings more pain in the back, upper back, and shoulders. Work, Work, Work If you are among the many who work in front of a computer for a living you’re probably unaware of the stress it’s putting on your body. You may think that because you are seated there isn’t stress being put on your muscles. But the truth is that sitting for extended hours without proper back and neck support can exhaust your muscles, adding strain and stress until the pain starts showing up. Heavy Lifting Heavy lifting can include anything from grocery bags to your backpack or purse. Lifting incorrectly can cause misalignments, muscle strains, and spasms. Always use your legs when lifting heavy objects. If you carry a purse or backpack over one should be sure to alternate the weight often. Sports and Exercise Sports and athletic activities are not only good for your health, they reinvigorate your mind, promote good eating habits, fill your lungs with air and even increase your metabolism. But what happens when we practice bad techniques? Whether it’s doing crunches in the gym, riding your bike, lifting weights, or swimming lap after lap, there is always a possibility of straining the neck or working one side while not working the other. Not Dealing with Stress Stress and anxiety have a way of affecting not only your mind but your body as well. If you regularly experience any form of anxiety or stress, it can easily develop into neck and back pain over time. Be sure you find ways to destress on a regular basis to avoid any adverse effects. Finding Gentle, Drug-Free Relief From Neck Pain Many people have resigned themselves to the idea that neck pain is a regular part of life. At Atlas Specific, we discourage you from thinking this way. In fact, we know that living a pain-free life is not only ideal but highly possible with upper cervical care. If you live in the Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, or Four Corners Region, contact us today by visiting our Durango office, calling us at 970 – 259 – 6803, or clicking the link below to schedule a free consultation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- 4 Reasons to See An Upper Cervical Chiropractor
Many people out there may be completely unaware of the incredible health benefits of seeing an Upper Cervical Chiropractor. But, the truth is that Upper Cervical Care can help with a wide variety of conditions and ailments as well as provide your body with the ability to heal from within as intended. For a list of Hidden Benefits of Upper Cervical Care click the link below to find out more. But to start with, we’re going to cover 4 of the best reasons to see an Upper Cervical Chiropractor. What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care? Upper Cervical Care is a form of Chiropractic that involves a series of non-invasive adjustments designed to address and treat what is known as vertebral subluxation. This occurs when there is a misalignment of the Atlas (C1 vertebra), which is the first vertebrae in the spinal column. Accidents, injuries, and even the stress of daily living can cause the Atlas bone to be knocked out of place. That’s because, unlike the other vertebrae in the spine, the Atlas bone is not connected to a disc; only a few ligaments hold it in place. This feature allows your head and neck a full range of motion, but since it’s not fused to any discs, the Atlas is the most susceptible to becoming misaligned. What are the Symptoms of a Subluxation? A subluxation in the upper cervical area can have a cascade effect on your overall health leading to a laundry list of symptoms and conditions including but not limited to: Arthritis Bone spurs Bulging discs Chronic Pain Dizziness & Vertigo Disruption of the Central Nervous System Headaches or Migraines High blood pressure Insomnia Multiple Sclerosis Nerve Interference Numbness in the arms, legs, or feet Sciatica 4 Reasons to See An Upper Cervical Chiropractor Without a doubt, people with back pain, neck pain, and headaches tend to seek Chiropractors as a standard solution to pain management. But, Upper Cervical Chiropractic care can benefit your body whether you have back pain or not. So what are the top 4 reasons to see an Upper Cervical Chiropractor even if you aren’t having pain? #1 A Holistic Approach Holistic care differs from traditional medicine in that it focuses on looking at patients as a whole person rather than narrowing the focus to a particular part of the body or a set of symptoms. This holistic approach is one of the key reasons to seek out Upper Cervical Chiropractic care as it aims to treat the patient as a whole, addressing the root cause of pain rather than simply chasing, treating, or medicating symptoms. #2 Personalized Adjustments The personalized nature of Upper Cervical Care is another one of the advantages of being treated by an Upper Cervical Chiropractor. Before any treatment, or adjustment begins, your Upper Cervical Chiropractor will take a scan to determine if an adjustment is needed. No two patients receive the same adjustment because each treatment is based specifically on your unique upper cervical misalignment. #3 Gentle and Non-Invasive Treatment Many people associate Chiropractors with cracks and pops and sudden uncomfortable adjustments, but the upper cervical approach is nothing like this. Upper cervical procedures are gentle and subtle. You won’t be surprised by any sudden twisting or other movements. As you lie on the adjustment table, you won’t have to worry about experiencing pain or discomfort during your treatment. #4 Avoid Harmful Drugs and Their Side Effects Every year, approximately 4.5 million Americans visit their doctor’s office or the emergency room because of adverse prescription drug side effects. With Upper Cervical Care, you won’t be given potentially harmful medications to treat symptoms. Instead, you will find a gentle non-invasive approach to treating the root of your ailment naturally. At Atlas Specific Upper Cervical Care, we want you to feel your best, and live a healthier, happier life. We specialize in gentle holistic care for patients of every age in the Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, and Four Corners regions. If you’ve never been to an Upper Cervical Chiropractor before, why not take the first step to a healthier you? Contact us today by dropping by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, in Durango, giving us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or clicking the link below to schedule a free consultation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- Is Chiropractic Care on Your Back to School List?
Summer has quite literally flown by and the back to school season is already upon us. For parents, that means you’ve got a long to-do list ahead of you: school clothes, supplies and backpacks to buy, new teachers to meet, and classes to sign up for. But, is Chiropractic care on your back to school list? Not only are back-to-school jitters emotionally taxing, but the physical effects of exposure to germs, heavy backpacks, and high-impact sports are all factors that can affect your child’s overall health. Let’s take a look at some tips to help make this back to school season a healthy and happy one. Poor Posture Starts at an Early Age For many adults, when we look back on what school days looked like for us, we remember studying from textbooks and creating reports in notebooks. Then, when the school work was done, our free time was largely spent outdoors, in the park, riding bikes, playing ball, or other physical games. But, today’s children have a very different routine. Schoolwork is done on laptops or tablets and free time tends to be spent on smartphones and online games. What does this mean for the health of our children? It means that children these days begin developing posture problems and “tech neck” at alarmingly younger ages. Back to School Season and Your Child’s Immunity For many kids, this year will mark the first return to a full-time classroom setting since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago. That means this year’s back to school season will bring exposure to bacteria and pathogens they may not have been exposed to before so keeping your child’s immune system strong is of utmost importance. Making sure your little one has a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can go a long way toward adding immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. But did you know that Upper Cervical Chiropractic care has also been shown to help boost your child’s immune system by ensuring your child’s nervous system is functioning at 100%? Regular Chiropractic adjustments can help to keep your kiddo’s defense system working optimally so they can avoid any back to school health setbacks. Be Mindful About Backpacks Back pain in general is a common ailment in both adults and children, but many parents don’t realize the importance of their child’s backpack and how it is carried. The truth is that for years, Chiropractors and other pediatric healthcare professionals have warned that carrying too much weight on their backs can spell bad news for your child’s spinal health. During this new school year, it is important to take the time to make sure your child’s backpack correctly fits and is worn properly. Some good rules to follow: Choose a backpack with padded back support and padded straps Ensure that the straps are adjusted to the right size – the backpack should not sag below the child’s waist. It should fit close to the body with the straps as tight as possible while still being comfortable Do not choose a backpack that is longer or wider than your child’s back measured from the shoulders to the waist. The backpack should not weigh more than a maximum of 15% of the child’s own weight. Thus, a first grader who weighs around 51 lb should not carry a backpack that exceeds 7.65 lb. It’s not uncommon to see symptoms like headaches, shoulder pain, and lower back discomfort resulting from improper backpack safety. If you can’t lighten the load, then opt for a trolley-style pack, to minimize the risk of placing extreme pressure on your child’s back. Teach Children to Maintain Correct Posture No matter the age, yours or your child’s, sitting at a desk for hours can cause serious posture problems. To make matters worse, when children get bored, they tend to slouch and when they are actively involved in study they tend to bend their heads forward over the book, notebook, tablet, or laptop. Both of these postures can have an adverse effect on your child’s growing spine. The 90-90-90 rule is an easy-to-remember way for your child to know if they are sitting correctly. Your child’s knees should be at a 90-degree angle to the floor, with their feet flat on the ground. The hips should be at a 90-degree angle Their elbows should rest comfortably at a 90-degree angle on their desk. Of course, it’s not likely that your child will be able to maintain this posture all day, kids are prone to fidgeting, slouching, and sitting in odd positions. But if you coach them to be mindful of their posture, they can adjust themselves when they notice they are sitting incorrectly. The simple act of maintaining a healthy posture will significantly reduce your child’s risk of developing neck and back problems down the road. Prioritize a Consistent Sleep Schedule It’s no surprise that consistent sleep and Chiropractic health go hand in hand. Although this is an important tip for your whole family all the time, it’s especially important during the school year. With packed school and after-school schedules, it can be easy to let sleep schedules take the back seat. Sleep is our body’s time to heal and repair from the stresses of daily life. We recommend: Sticking to a consistent bedtime every night so there is less trouble waking up early for school during the week. Limiting before-bed screen time beginning a minimum of 2 hours before bed can help your child naturally produce enough melatonin, for a deeper sleep. Reducing the temperature of your home during sleeping hours (preferably 70 degrees or cooler) helps promote the body’s preparation for restful sleep. If your child is not getting enough quality sleep both their body and brain function will ultimately suffer. Set a consistent bedtime and stick to it each night. Try not to vary too much if at all on the weekends. Get Active Sitting still for six to eight hours isn’t healthy for kids or adults. Prolonged sitting has been shown to have adverse effects not only on skeletal health but on cardiovascular health as well. Additionally, weight gain is a common side effect of a sedentary lifestyle and extra pounds can put additional strain on joints and on hearts. It’s important to encourage your child to stay active even after school starts. If your child doesn’t play a sport or participate in some other organized physical activity, encourage them to be active at home. Playing in the backyard or a local park after their homework is done is a great way for kids to get exercise and destress from their school day. Staying active is one of the most critical factors in maintaining overall good health. It also helps to keep kids and adults limber and prevent back and neck pain. Spinal Health Is Critical to Your Child’s Development Throughout our lives, our spines comprise 40% of our entire height. At birth, a baby’s spine is, on average, just 9.6 inches long. In our first year of life, our spinal columns grow another 50% and by age five our spines will have grown roughly another 20 inches. From age 5-10 our spines will add nearly another 4 inches to their length and then by the time puberty ends our spines will have grown an additional 15 to 20 inches. This amazing growth rate accommodates and helps govern all of the other changes in our bodies while we are growing. It, therefore, stands to reason that the health of your child’s spinal column is a critical factor in your child’s overall health. While most of us think of severe injuries when spine damage comes to mind, Chiropractors know that even tiny misalignments between vertebrae can affect a person’s overall health and wellbeing. Adding Upper Cervical Chiropractic to Your Back to School List As you head into this new school season, we encourage you to add Upper Cervical Chiropractic care to your back to school list. During your visits, Dr. Tim of Atlas Specific can evaluate and/or correct your child’s posture and spinal alignment with gentle effective treatments to solve misalignments and inflammation giving your child the best possible start to the new school year. Make this back to school season a stress-free and healthy one with Chiropractic care for the whole family. Upper Cervical Care is gentle enough for all ages and Dr. Tim always offers free consultations to answer any questions you may have. Checking your child’s spine now can help avoid common school-related symptoms like headaches, upper back pain, and even stress-related issues. Contact us today at 970.259.6803, visit our Durango office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, or click the link below to schedule a free initial consultation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.
- Upper Cervical Chiropractic Explained
Upper Cervical Chiropractic is a technique that focuses on rebalancing the body by correcting misalignments also known as subluxations in the upper cervical spine. If you’ve been wondering if Upper Cervical care is right for you, here’s what you need to know about Upper Cervical Chiropractic and how it works. About the Upper Cervical Spine The upper cervical spine is made up of the atlas or C1 and the axis or C2. The top bone, (C1) called the atlas, is named after the Greek God of the same designation. This bone is where the head attaches to the neck. The second bone (C2) called the axis is the bone upon which the head and atlas rotate. These are two bones that have the distinction of being two of the most important bones in your body since they protect your brain stem, which connects your brain to the rest of your central nervous system. They are also two of the most vulnerable bones in your body because unlike the other vertebrae in the spine, the Atlas bone is not connected to a disc; only a few ligaments hold it in place. This allows your head and neck a full range of motion, however, since it’s not fused to any discs, it’s the bone that is the most vulnerable to misalignment in the spine. Accidents, injuries, and even the stress of daily living can cause this bone to become misaligned. When misalignment occurs, it can inhibit the nerves in your neck, making it difficult for them to send signals to the rest of your body. Additionally, your muscles may overcompensate for the misalignment, causing muscular and structural imbalances throughout the body. These imbalances can lead to a variety of undesirable symptoms, ranging from headaches to hypertension. While the intent of Upper Cervical Chiropractic isn’t to treat these ailments directly, it can remedy the root of the problem: misalignment in the upper cervical spine. As a result, you’ll likely see a reduction in or even complete elimination of your other symptoms. The Upper Cervical Chiropractic Method The Upper Cervical Chiropractic method focuses on correcting the misalignment or subluxation, also called vertebral subluxation, of the upper cervical spine. The noninvasive technique involves using gentle pressure to manipulate the bones in the neck to eliminate any interference in your spinal column. With Upper Cervical Care gentle adjustments are combined with innovative technology like digital infrared paraspinal thermography to scan the upper cervical spine, ensuring precise analysis of any misalignment. Because Upper Cervical Chiropractic pinpoints the exact position and degree of misalignment, there is less need for repeated corrections. The body wants to heal itself. Thus, returning the bones of the neck to a normal position promotes proper function in the body as a whole. What to Expect at Your 1st Upper Cervical Chiropractic Appointment During your first Upper Cervical Chiropractic appointment, the majority of your doctor’s efforts will focus on reviewing your new patient intake form. It is important to go over a detailed health history and allow the doctor time to get to know you, your body, and any negative symptoms you are experiencing. This is also the time when the doctor will discuss your health and wellness goals, and help determine the root cause of your health challenges. A thorough Chiropractic evaluation and neurological diagnostic testing will be performed during this visit as well. This will help to further determine the exact cause of your current health challenges. This evaluation will include but is not limited to: Range of motion testing Muscle strength testing Manual muscle testing Static and motion palpation Orthopedic testing Basic neurological testing Postural analysis Infrared thermography of the brainstem to evaluate brainstem function Vital signs It is important to note that you will not receive an adjustment on your first visit. Because of the delicate nature of the atlas and axis, there can be no “guesswork” in your procedure and the doctors will need time to analyze your data to determine the best course of treatment for you specifically. Evaluating Your Initial Diagnostics After the initial diagnostics done on your first visit, the doctor will determine whether you are a candidate for Upper Cervical Chiropractic care. Although just about anyone can receive Upper Cervical Chiropractic treatments, they will be more effective in treating some conditions than others and the doctor can advise you as to whether Upper Cervical treatment makes sense for your particular health and wellness journey. Once it has been determined that the upper cervical is right for you the doctor will discuss the findings of your diagnostics and discuss your personal treatment plan. Once you have agreed to begin your treatment, your chiropractor will perform your first upper cervical adjustment. Your First Upper Cervical Chiropractic Adjustment For your initial adjustment, the chiropractor will select the adjustment positioning that is right for you and perform a gentle but powerful adjustment. In most cases, the adjustment will only take a few minutes to complete and you’ll be surprised by just how little the vertebrae have to be moved in order to alleviate pressure on your spinal nerves. After your adjustment, you’ll relax for 15 – 20 minutes in a zero gravity recliner in the resting room to allow your adjustment to integrate and hold correctly. Once you have finished relaxing and setting your adjustment the doctor will perform a second scan to see how your spine responded to the initial adjustment and determine if additional corrections are needed to get your neck into proper alignment. If your chiropractor concludes that you need additional adjustments to get your spine into proper alignment, you’ll be readjusted, then check again. Every person’s body is unique and heals in its own way, at its own pace. The goal of each follow-up appointment will be to evaluate how your body has responded to the adjustments. The longer your spine stays in proper alignment, the easier it will be for your body to recover. Any future adjustments you’ll need will be more minor than your initial adjustments as they are merely maintaining proper spinal alignment, not establishing it in the first place. With ongoing treatment, the ultimate goal is to get your spine so healthy that you no longer need adjustments at all! Who Can Receive Upper Cervical Chiropractic Treatments Because the Upper Cervical method is so gentle, this form of treatment is suitable for just about anyone, regardless of age and overall health. Getting regular Upper Cervical adjustments can enhance your body’s ability to keep itself as healthy as possible throughout your lifetime. Get Started With Upper Cervical Chiropractic Today At Atlas Specific Upper Cervical Care, we are proud to offer both the Upper Cervical method and the Traditional method in chiropractic care to our patients. If you are unsure whether Upper Cervical Chiropractic is right for you, we will be more than happy to answer all of your questions. Call us at 970.259.6803, visit our Durango office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, or click the link below to schedule a free initial consultation. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but we are NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and reading or interacting with this site does not establish any form of patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended as a substitute for any kind of professional advice and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in your particular area of need before making medical decisions.