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  • What is Retracing?

    In the simplest of explanations, the Oxford Dictionary defines retracing as going back over the same route one has just taken or tracing something back to its source or beginning. In the context of Upper Cervical Care, retracing is a phenomenon that is sometimes seen during the natural healing process. This experience is a normal part of the Upper Cervical Journey. However, without an understanding of what you are going through, it can cause unnecessary concern or distress. This article will explain why it happens, what it means, and how to recognize retracing. What is Retracing? Retracing is the process by which your body re-experiences old symptoms, including pain, memories, and even emotions. As your body rewinds, re-visits, and repairs previously unresolved injuries, you will begin to experience a more complete healing. However, to truly understand retracing, we first have to understand the healing process. Imagine your healing journey as a walk in the woods. Picture yourself walking along a path, perhaps following a winding trail down a hill and past a majestic ponderosa pine. An hour later, you cross a footbridge over a stream with a pond on the other side. Another hour passes, and you come upon a field of wildflowers when you decide to turn around and come back. As you make your way back, you again pass the pond, cross the bridge, see the ponderosa pine, and follow the winding path back out of the woods. During your journey, keep in mind that having walked two hours into the woods, you cannot logically expect to walk back out in 15 minutes. When it comes to retracing and healing, the question of time is essential. If an issue in the body has been in process for years, patients should not expect to regain their normal state or level of function within a few days. It took time for the condition to change from healthy to unbalanced, and it will take time to retrace from an unbalanced state back to health. Why Does Retracing Occur? Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the term “muscle memory,” but did you know that all body tissue has a “memory”? When you experience a trauma, accident, illness, or injury, your body will record the feelings of pain, panic, shock, anger, and even the anxiety that often accompany such injuries. During retracing, it’s common to re-experience these feelings as they “leave” and balance begins to be restored. Retracing is a 100% natural phenomenon often occurring in holistic healing disciplines when body balance and homeostasis are re-established. Conversely, retracing is almost unheard of and little understood in traditional Western medicine. Drugs inhibit or stimulate bodily functions while masking symptoms as opposed to restoring health. As a result, most people, including M.D.s, tend to be unfamiliar with retracing. Points to Remember Retracing is not always dramatic, but anyone undergoing Upper Cervical care may experience retracing to one degree or another. Sometimes, it may simply be the urge to take deep breaths or the sensation of a “weight” being lifted from you. Other patients may experience pain, symptoms, or emotions that have not manifested for months or years. Even though these experiences are a natural part of the healing process, it can be easy to mistake them for worsening your current state of health. Upper Cervical Care patients experiencing retracing may begin to feel that they are getting worse instead of better. However, nothing could be further from the truth. What they are actually experiencing is a revisiting of symptoms they experienced while their injury or illness was in the making. Patients who discontinue their Upper Cervical Care prematurely as a result of retracing could be denying themselves the opportunity to experience complete healing. Retracing: The Road to True Healing When you begin your Upper Cervical journey and receive your first corrections, remember that tissues that have assumed an abnormal position for years must be given time to return to their balanced position. During your treatment, the nervous system, muscles, tendons, and ligaments will begin to adapt to the change, and tissues must often be rebuilt for the vertebrae to hold their normal position. As these changes to your spine happen, you will begin to notice changes in both body balance and function. Posture, balance, pain, sleep, organ function, and much more can improve. This initial phase of care can be very rewarding, but it can also be uncomfortable at times. Just as it took time to develop pain or sickness, it also takes time to regain health. If you’re ready to start your Upper Cervical healing journey, contact us today by clicking the link below to schedule an appointment with Atlas Specific in Durango, CO. You can also stop by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108 or give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803. Notice of Disclaimer We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only and 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 to substitute for 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.

  • Tips to a Healthy Heart

    February is all about matters of the heart, be it love or heart health. It is also American Heart Health Month, making it the perfect time to focus on cardiovascular health! While some factors that contribute to heart disease, such as age, gender, and family history, are unavoidable, fortunately, several controllable factors will help you to proactively keep your cardiovascular system in check. Why Heart Health is Important Your heart will beat approximately 2.5 billion times during your lifetime, pumping millions of gallons of blood to every part of your body. This steady flow of blood carries oxygen, nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, fuel, hormones, and other compounds, and a host of essential cells. Poor lifestyle, diet, and sleep habits can all have an effect on the heart, leading to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. How Can You Support Your Heart Naturally? Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart Your choices at meal and snack times can go a long way in preventing heart disease. When it comes to food, choose heart-healthy options that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Prioritize foods high in omega-3s, such as fish like salmon, tuna, or trout, or opt for nuts and seeds like flax, chia, and walnuts. Add color to your plate with heart-healthy veggies like tomatoes, cabbage, okra, edamame, and carrots, and don’t forget to pile on the leafy greens like Romaine lettuce, spinach, bok choy, and kale. Plant Partners for Heart Health When it comes to heart health, Mother Nature has kindly provided us with a variety of plant partners and herbs to support the heart. A few heart-healthy herbs that have long been recognized for supporting, nourishing, and protecting our hearts include dandelion, turmeric, rosemary, garlic, motherwort, and even the iconic rose. Consider adding the spices to your next dish, add motherwort or rose to your next cup of tea, and before you banish the dandelions this spring, harvest some of the young leaves to add to a fresh salad. Get Moving You don’t need to run a marathon to keep your heart healthy. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Hit the Animas River Trail for a nature walk, take a jog, or head to one of Durango’s many trails for a hike. Choose activities you find enjoyable and make time for them each day. Remember that your heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised! Avoid Tobacco & Excessive Alcohol Smoking and excessive alcohol use are two of the top controllable factors that lead to heart disease. One of the best ways to embrace heart health is to remove tobacco products from your daily routine. When it comes to alcohol, while a single glass of red wine has been shown to increase antioxidants and help the heart, excessive alcohol can have the opposite effect. Manage Stress Wisely While stress is unavoidable in daily life, left unchecked, daily stress and anxiety can increase blood pressure, leading to heart issues down the road. Find proactive ways to quiet your thoughts and focus on your breathing throughout the day. Taking the time for self-care each day can help you to reduce and manage stress more efficiently. Prioritize Quality Sleep Lack of sleep, or even poor quality sleep, can affect just about every aspect of our daily lives, from emotional well-being to cognitive function and, you guessed it, heart health. Evaluate your evening routine to ensure you are achieving quality sleep each night. Tuck in early, limit screen time and blue light use before bed, and avoid caffeine in the evenings to help you achieve restful sleep each night. Upper Cervical Care For a Healthy Heart Did you know that Upper Cervical Care can promote a healthy heart? Upper Cervical Care focuses on correcting misalignments in the upper cervical spine, and you may be wondering, how does my neck affect my heart? High blood pressure is among the top causes of heart disease in the U.S. Upper cervical care has been shown to reduce blood pressure and enhance circulation. Improved circulation is critical in delivering essential nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, including the heart. It also ensures that the heart muscles receive the oxygen and nutrients they need, thus reducing the risk of heart-related issues. Take Control of Your Heart Health There’s no time like the present to take control of your heart health. The tips we’ve listed above, combined with Upper Cervical Care, can provide you with a natural, drug-free, pain-free way to improve body function and promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Show yourself and your heart some love this Valentine’s Day, and click the link below to schedule an appointment with Atlas Specific in Durango, CO. You can also stop by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108 or give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803. You could be a gentle correction away from a healthier heart. Notice of Disclaimer We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but NOT necessarily YOUR doctors. All content and information on this website are for informational and educational purposes only and 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 to 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.

  • How the Upper Cervical Spine Affects Leg Pain

    Do you suffer from leg pain? If you’ve had an obvious injury from a sport or accident, the immediate source of pain may be easy to name. If you’ve stressed your body through repetitive motion or pinched a nerve by falling asleep in an awkward position, the source of your immediate pain may be harder to pinpoint. However, when leg pain develops slowly over time without the occurrence of an obvious source, things become perplexing. In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common issues that lead to leg pain and describe how Upper Cervical Chiropractic can help. Common Causes of Leg Pain Our legs are literally the structure on which we stand. They support the weight of our body, move us from place to place, and allow us to walk, jump, and run. Since they are one of the most used parts of the body, there are a number of possible sources of leg pain. The most common include: Accidents or injuries From sprains, breaks, and falls to overuse, sports injuries, as some of the most mobile and widely used parts of the body, injuries to the legs are common. Arthritis Arthritis is the inflammation and gradual degeneration of the protective cartilage in your joints. Bursitis The bursa is located between a tendon and skin or between a tendon and bone. It protects the joint and helps to create fluid movements. Bursitis is an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac or bursa. 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 prevent the nerve from working properly. Pinched nerves can be caused by injury, illness, poor sleeping positions, or even bad posture. Sciatica Sciatica is a condition characterized by compression, pinching, inflammation, or irritation of the sciatic nerves, which extend from the lower back down through the legs, resulting in leg pain. This condition is so common that it is estimated that 40% of people will experience sciatic pain at some point in their lives. Structural anomalies Structural anomalies of both the spin and the leg bones can result in chronic leg pain. Tendinitis 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. However, at the root of it all, misalignments of the vertebrae in the Upper Cervical spine, called subluxations, are responsible for a large percentage of chronic leg pain issues. How The Upper Cervical Spine Affects Leg Pain When we discuss the upper cervical spine, we refer to the uppermost bones of your spinal column, consisting of the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2). This is where your spine connects with your skull. If your Upper Cervical spine is misaligned, it throws the head and neck off-balance, putting pressure on the nerves that travel down your back. This misalignment causes your body to compensate by raising one shoulder and hip. In turn, this structural imbalance irritates the nerves in your lumbar spine, including the sciatic nerve. Treating the subluxation and ensuring the Upper Cervical spine is properly seated allows nerve signals to travel the length of your spine unimpeded, resulting in pain reduction and or elimination. Upper Cervical Chiropractic Treatment for Leg Pain Every body and every cause of leg pain is different. Due to the complexity of the joints and the vast number of possible causes of leg pain, it is important to get a professional evaluation to determine the root cause of your discomfort. Using a combination of a thorough review of your medical history, a physical examination, and advanced imaging techniques, Dr. Tim, your Durango Upper Cervical Chiropractor, can get a comprehensive, holistic picture that will lead to the root cause of your pain. Once the root cause of your leg pain is determined, a personalized treatment plan will be created for you. Then, using non-invasive and carefully applied adjustments, Dr. Tim will assist your body in gently re-positioning the vertebrae. Upper Cervical adjustments can restore your body's natural communication pathways and provide both instant and long-term, drug-free relief. The Benefits of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Leg Pain One of the main benefits of Upper Cervical chiropractic care is that it is a safe and non-invasive treatment option for chronic pain issues. Unlike conventional medical treatments, Upper Cervical chiropractic care doesn’t involve the use of drugs or invasive surgery, both of which can have adverse effects on the body. Moreover, rather than masking symptoms, Upper Cervical chiropractic focuses on finding and addressing the root cause of the problem. This approach ensures long-term relief and enhances the body's natural healing ability. Upper Cervical chiropractic care is a safe and effective all-natural alternative for leg and other forms of chronic pain. If you are struggling with leg pain, sciatica pain, migraine, or other debilitating chronic conditions, stop by our Durango office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, or, better yet, click the link below at any time to schedule a free consultation. You could be a gentle correction away from a happier, healthier, pain-free life! 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, 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 to 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.

  • Tips For Holding Your Upper Cervical Alignment

    One of the most amazing things about Upper Cervical Chiropractic is that holding is healing; the longer you hold your Upper Cervical adjustment, the more healing occurs. When the spine is stable, your adjustments can last for days, weeks, months, or even years. While holding an Upper Cervical correction may be easy for some patients, others can find it quite challenging. It’s important to remember that not every body is built the same. We all have different muscle tone and ligament strength. Each of us has experienced trauma or injury in different ways. Even our genetics affect how well our body responds to an adjustment. That being said, you can take a few actions to help you hold your Upper Cervical alignment better. Tips For Holding Your Upper Cervical Alignment Hydrate Our number one tip is always to drink plenty of water after an Upper Cervical adjustment. During your adjustment, your body shifts into proper alignment. This removes tension from the body, but it also releases toxins that have been gathered. Staying hydrated will help to flush these toxins more rapidly, but it also helps your spine. It’s common knowledge that the human body comprises about 70% water; a less well-known fact is that water is good for the spine. The spine is made up of vertebrae separated by discs. Regular water intake helps keep the discs hydrated, nourished, and functioning optimally. Take it Easy Following an Upper Cervical adjustment, taking it easy where physical activities are concerned is important. Fatigue is a top factor in the stability of your spine. Until your ligaments have healed enough to hold your spine in its corrected position, the spine is held in place by the muscles surrounding it. It is important to note that your muscles were not originally designed for this function. The primary tissues for that job are your ligaments. Your muscles, unlike ligaments, can get fatigued. After your adjustment, avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise, and try not to apply undue stress to the neck or shoulder region for 24 hours after your appointment. Get Proper Rest You spend ⅓ of your life sleeping, and proper rest is essential for any type of healing, but along with adequate rest, you’ll want to focus on good sleep habits that support your spine. Don’t sleep with your head propped forward or fall asleep on the sofa. This position can strain your spine, muscles, and nervous system. Don’t sleep on your stomach. Opt for a side or back sleeping position. When sleeping on your side, keep your legs bent slightly. When sleeping on your back, don’t sleep with your arms above your head. Avoid Excess Stress Another thing that can cause you to lose your alignment is stress. Whether physical or emotional, the tension from stress can tighten muscles in the neck and shoulders to pull you out of alignment. Furthermore, during high-stress events, your body secretes adrenaline and other stress chemicals into your body. One side effect of these chemicals is that they weaken your ligaments. As a result, your body cannot hold your alignments. Maintain Consistency By far, the most crucial factor in stabilizing your spine is the consistency of your care. If your spine has been out of alignment or subluxated for years, your body isn’t going to heal instantly. Although your symptoms may improve rapidly, your tissues will still require time to heal. In order to stabilize, your spine must spend more time in alignment than out of alignment. Your Upper Cervical Chiropractor will work with you to determine a consistent care schedule to help you achieve optimal healing. Holding is Healing Upper Cervical Chiropractic care aims to find and correct subluxations in the Upper Cervical Spine to improve brain-body communication and help your body heal itself naturally. Following these tips will help you hold your adjustments longer and help your body thrive sooner. We can’t wait to see you holding your alignment and give you a gold star for your visit! To schedule your next appointment or to get a free consultation at Atlas Specific, your Durango upper cervical chiropractor, give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, drop by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, or, better yet, click the link below at any time. You could be a gentle correction away from a happier, healthier you! 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, 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 to 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.

  • Making 2024 Your Healthiest Year Yet

    Christmas has passed, we’ve reached the winter solstice, and we’re heading swiftly into a new year. Each year tends to bring out  “new year, new you” mantras, and millions of Americans will make resolutions as the clock strikes midnight. In fact, 35% of people say they made a New Year’s Resolution for 2023. Some of the top resolutions each year include improving physical health, saving more money, exercising more, eating healthier, and losing weight. So, with all of the resolutions for better health and wellness, why are we not becoming a collectively healthier society? While statistics show that around 35% of people make resolutions each new year, 23% will quit within the first week, only 36% will still be working towards them by the end of February, and only around 9% of resolution makers will see it through to completion! We Mean Well, So Why Don’t Resolutions Don’t Stick? There’s no better time than the New Year to feel the endless possibilities for change and personal growth. It’s part of the tradition and the excitement of the celebration. But the problem is many people set resolutions with arbitrary goals and unrealistic timelines. During the new year, we are bombarded with marketing for fad diets and get-fit-quick programs that don’t follow through with their promises. But there’s a better way! In order to shift New Year’s Resolutions from vague dreams to realized goals, we must first see them as lifestyle changes. That is where you will find true and lasting change. This year, as you ponder your resolutions for making 2024 your healthiest year yet, focus on making SMART resolutions. SMART Resolutions, an Acronym for Success Making resolutions that stick requires making them SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Specific One of the reasons that many resolutions fail is that they’re too broad. To see success, it is important to be specific. For example, don’t simply resolve to “exercise more.”  This resolution is too broad. What is more exercise? How much more? Is it counting steps, or is it adding cardio? Give yourself specific goals or benchmarks that you wish to achieve. Measurable Resolutions are lost not only because they’re vague but also because they can’t be measured. “Lose weight” is a vague notion. What does weight loss look like for you? Do you have a goal weight? Is there a specific number of pounds you want to lose each month? Without measure, how do you know if you’ve reached your resolution goal? Attainable With a “new year, new you” mentality, it’s easy to get excited about a new year filled with new and lofty goals for health and fitness. But if your goal is to lose 50 pounds by February or compete in the Iron Horse Classic even though you haven’t ridden a bike since you were a kid, you may want to reconsider. One of the best ways to make a resolution stick is to make it attainable. Give yourself a reasonable goal with a reasonable timetable. Relevant If you hate running, but your New Year’s resolution is to run a marathon, you’ll probably abandon your goal before seeing it through. Give your resolution staying power by ensuring it is relevant to your likes, lifestyle, and dreams. Making your resolution relevant can help it to become a long-term investment instead of a fleeting dream. Time-bound One of the quickest ways to inspire action is to add a timetable or deadline to your resolution. For example, lose five pounds each month, exercise three times per week, save fifty dollars a month, or drink a gallon of water every 24 hours. By making your resolution time-specific, you create a motivator while also helping to determine the attainability of those goals. Avoiding Resolution Pitfalls Creating SMART resolutions is the first step in setting yourself up for a successful 2024. Avoid resolution pitfalls by remembering that it’s easy to allow perfectionistic tendencies to sabotage your success. Just because you didn’t hit your step goal today doesn’t mean you won’t do it tomorrow. Every step in the right direction is progress, so seek progress over perfection. The Foundation of Health and Wellness If a healthier, better version of yourself is on your New Year’s resolutions list, remember that good health starts with a solid foundation. Enter foundational medicine. Foundational medicine is a form of alternative medicine created by Dr. Todd Watts and Dr. Jay Davidson. Together, they formed CellCore Biosciences, an emerging industry leader that first introduced the concept of foundational medicine to the nutritional supplement industry. Today, the Cellcore Biosciences line of Protocols focuses on the "root causes" of ailments by addressing drainage, detoxification, mitochondrial health, gut terrain, and immune function. Almost everyone can benefit from this kind of detox. If you have ever taken an antibiotic, been exposed to a toxin, eaten a poor diet, used household chemicals, or relied on over-the-counter or prescription medications, then you are a great candidate for foundational medicine. This program is also suitable for those suffering from autoimmune conditions, chronic ailments, or long-term illnesses. How Do Foundational Medicine and the Cellcore Protocols Work? The foundational detox journey begins with Cellcore’s “Roadmap to Health.” The strategic order or “roadmap” that the Protocols follow is broken down for you into easy-to-follow steps or phases that properly prepare the body for detoxification. The process starts by supporting your body’s drainage pathways and ensuring the body has sufficient energy to properly detoxify before entering periods of deeper detoxification. This path ensures that patients build a strong foundation that supports the health of their gut microbiome and their body’s ability to repair cells and tissues, allowing them to experience sustainable, long-term wellness at the foundational level. How Long Does the Protocol Last? Everyone’s health challenges, detox journey, and symptoms are different.  Dr. Tim will help assess your individual needs to determine which protocol, kits, and/or individual supplements are best for you at each stage of your journey. That being said, below is a list of some of the options offered: The Jumpstart Kit For patients who are new to CellCore products, the Jumpstart Kit is an ideal starting point. It optimizes mitochondrial function, energy production, balanced gut microbiome, healthy digestion, and optimizes drainage function. - 1 Month The Foundational Protocol This Protocol is for you if you’re dealing with low levels of infections, toxicity, or chronic illness. It supports energy, drainage, detoxification, gut health, whole-body immune support, and systemic detox. -  4 Months The Comprehensive Protocol This is the Protocol for you if you are dealing with intense levels of chronic illness and are ready to dive all in. It supports energy, drainage, detoxification, gut health, systemic detox, and a deeper whole-body immune support. -  8 Months How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Can Impact Your Resolution Your upper cervical chiropractor works to correct misalignments in the upper cervical spine that may have been leading to pain and illness from miscommunication within your body. How does this impact resolutions? When the alignment is restored, the brain-body connection is restored. This means that your body can function as intended. As your body naturally heals itself from the inside out, the result is more energy, better sleep, less pain, and even relief from chronic health issues. Imagine embarking on your New Year’s Resolution journey healthier from the inside out, with fewer migraines, better digestion, less pain, more mobility, and so much more. Jumpstart your wellness journey, make 2024 your healthiest year yet, and join the many others who have improved their health and wellness through upper cervical care and a foundational detox journey! Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tim of Atlas Specific in Durango, CO, today to learn more about the CellCore protocols and upper cervical chiropractic care. Use the link below for a free consultation, call us at 970 – 259 – 6803, or drop by our Durango office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108. Notice of Disclaimer: We are doctors of upper cervical chiropractic, but 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 the patient-doctor relationship. Although we strive to provide accurate information, the information presented here is not intended to 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.

  • Managing Holiday Stress

    The turkey has come and gone, and the holiday season is officially upon us. This season is a joyous time filled with overeating, hectic travel, and quality time with friends and family. But, while many of us look forward to the season all year long, others are less than enthusiastic. It’s not because we don’t enjoy it, but this particular season can wreak havoc on a person's mental and physical health. Many people report increased stress during the holidays as they strive to create the “perfect” holiday for families and friends. This often means balancing an already hectic schedule with work, social obligations, holiday shopping, decorating, cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping, and baking. Others are faced with financial stress, worrying over how to complete the gift list without breaking the bank. From shopping and hosting to gifting and traveling, there is no shortage of holiday stressors. But remember, this season is about enjoying time with family and friends, so we put together this list of ways to help you manage holiday stress. Take a Deep Breath When you find yourself getting caught up in anxious thoughts about how you’ll manage your to-do list, stop, count to ten, and take a deep breath. One of the simplest ways to calm your nerves as tensions rise is to practice more mindful breathing. Deep breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for the body's rest, digestion, and relaxation response. There are many different breathing practices, but the one below is simple for anyone to master. Four, Seven, Eight The key to this exercise is to remember the numbers 4, 7, and 8. Here’s how to do it: Place the tip of your tongue up against the back of your front teeth. (You will hold this tongue position for the entire breathing process.) Breathe in silently through your nose to the count of FOUR Hold your breath to the count of SEVEN Exhale through your mouth to the count of EIGHT, making an audible “woosh” sound as you exhale. That’s it. These four steps complete one full breath. Repeat the above breathing cycle for a total of three times. You can do the 4-7-8 exercise as frequently as you want or need throughout the day. The benefits of this simple breathing practice can go a long way to calming your nervous system anytime you’re feeling stressed. Have a Cup of Tea There’s nothing quite as soothing as a warm cup of tea, but if you make the right selection, you can help support your nervous system with every sip. Chamomile, for instance, is well-known for calming the spirit. As a “nervine,” it specifically helps support the nervous system and regulates anxiety. Other great choices would be any blend that contains rose, lavender, or Holy basil (Tulsi.) Each of these herbs has adaptogen, nervine, and immunomodulating qualities to help restore a state of calm when stress is high. Get Physical Between travel and friends and time spent visiting, for many, the holiday season can mean less opportunity for movement and exercise. This can be bad not only for your waistline but for your stress levels as well. Take time each day throughout the season to get physical. Try doing simple stretches in the morning, or encourage visiting family and friends to take daily walks on the river trail. Research shows that exercise helps to modulate dopamine and serotonin, brain chemicals linked with treating depression, and it also improves mood while reducing stress and anxiety. Add Upper Cervical Chiropractic to Your Routine Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the topmost bones in the spine, the atlas, and the axis. This area houses most of the body’s reflex centers, the spinal cord, the brainstem, and the central nervous system. The nervous system is the master control panel of our body. Optimal communication between the body and the brain via the nervous system helps with not only stress management but stress reduction as well. An injured, damaged, or less-than-optimally functioning nervous system can increase the effects of stress on the body. Upper cervical chiropractic can help resolve some of the stress you may have already experienced and prepare you to manage the rest of the upcoming holiday season like a champ. Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Care Upper cervical care is the gift that keeps on giving with benefits like pain reduction, better sleep, improved mood, and increased immune function. Put your health and wellness at the top of the gift list this holiday season. To schedule a free consultation with your Durango upper cervical chiropractor, give us a call at 970 – 259 – 6803, drop by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108, or, better yet, click the link below at any time. You could be a gentle correction away from a happier, healthier holiday season! 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.

  • Can Upper Cervical Care Help With Upper Back Pain?

    Does the thought of bending over to pick something up leave you with a feeling of dread? If so, you’re not alone. Upper back pain has become a widespread issue affecting people of all ages. A study done by Oxford Academic shows that 1 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women suffer from upper back pain. Chronic back pain can limit one’s daily activity level and decrease their ability to perform everyday tasks. Conventional treatments may offer temporary relief but often fall short of addressing the root cause, and they can come with a list of harmful side effects. But upper cervical care may be able to offer you lasting drug-free relief. Read on to discover how upper cervical care can help with upper back pain. Anatomy 101: Your Spine The spine is divided into three sections: The lower back The lower back, also called the lumbar region, is the area of the spine that starts below the ribcage. This region consists of five vertebrae, L1 to L5, and they are the largest vertebrae of your entire spine. Your lumbar spine is the center of your body’s balance, and this region supports the weight of your whole body. Your lumbar spine together with the muscles and ligaments that attach to it allow you to run, walk, sit, lift, and experience a range of motion. Your lumbar spine protects your spinal cord as well as the cauda equina (the nerves that descend from the end of your spinal cord). It also supports the upper two sections of your spine and the weight of your head. The mid to upper back Your middle and upper back, also called the thoracic spine, consists of twelve vertebrae that run between the base of the neck and the lower back region. The thoracic region makes up the longest portion of your spine and serves as an anchor for the rib cage. Because this region attaches to the ribcage, it has a smaller range of motion than other parts of your spine, meaning that upper back problems are less common than lower back or neck issues. The neck The neck region, or the cervical spine, consists of the first seven vertebrae at the top of your spinal column, near your neck. It is their job to house and protect your spinal cord. They are also responsible for our wide range of motion in the head and neck area. The top bone, named after the Greek God Atlas (C1), is where the head attaches to the neck. The second bone (C2) is called the axis, upon which the head and atlas rotate. These two bones comprise the upper cervical spine and are among the most vulnerable bones in the human body. Any misalignment in this region can have a cascade effect on the entire body. What Causes Upper Back Pain? The thoracic spine has a lot going on. This region is crucial for a variety of functions related to neural tissue health, organ protection, optimal arm function, breathing mechanics, trunk support, and more. With the numerous vertebrae, joints, muscles, ligaments, and nerves that make up the mid and upper back region, there is a lot of potential for issues and imbalances to pop up and leave you feeling sore. Some of the top underlying reasons for experiencing upper back pain can include: Poor posture Too much repetition Muscle overuse or heavy lifting Poor core or shoulder mechanics Your sleep positions Sprains and strains Pinched nerves Torn ligaments or muscles Joint damage Injury Disk problems Certain degenerative conditions Vertebral subluxations The Science of Spine Alignment Upper Cervical chiropractic care isn't just about cracking your back. In fact, because it is so gentle, you may not hear any cracking at all. This non-invasive treatment is about ensuring the entire spine, especially the upper cervical area, is in perfect alignment. Upper cervical care focuses on the vital connection between your neck, brainstem, and central nervous system. Misaligned vertebrae in the upper cervical area can cause a domino effect of problems, including back pain. Conversely, realigning the spine can have a domino effect on your health as well as your back pain. Beyond the Spine: A Holistic Perspective Remember, your back pain may not exist in isolation. It could be the symptom of a broader issue. At Altas Specific, you can expect your doctor to treat you like a whole person and work with you to find the root cause of your back pain. Doctor Tim’s focus is on the body as a whole system; his goal is your overall well-being and wellness. Our approach to health won’t start with pharmaceuticals to mask symptoms or invasive and costly surgeries, and you won’t walk out of the office with a handful of prescriptions or a surgery date. But you can rest assured that our goal is to help your body heal itself. Is It Time to See an Upper Cervical Chiropractor? The holistic approach of Atlas Specific can help you get on track with your health and reduce your pain without resorting to medications that only provide short-term relief. Upper cervical chiropractic may be right for you if you seek long-term benefits without the side effects. Particularly if you or someone you love is experiencing chronic upper back pain, has recently suffered an injury, or has symptoms that keep coming back despite the use of medication. If you’re ready to find lasting relief, schedule a free consultation by clicking the link below, dropping by our office at 1800 E 3rd Ave #108 in Durango, or calling us at 970 – 259 – 6803. 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 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.

  • Natural Treatment for Depression and Anxiety With Lasting Change

    People suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders may have a lot of things on their minds, but their neck probably isn’t one of them. When mood disorders become too much to bear, most people head to the doctor's office, only to leave with a prescription for a medication that could come with harmful side effects. While these medications may help mask the symptoms that are being suffered, they do nothing to address the underlying cause of the problem. At Atlas Specific, we can provide natural relief from depression and anxiety by treating a common root cause—a misalignment of the uppermost spinal bones (vertebrae) in the neck. Read on to learn more. What is Depression? Depression is a medical condition associated with feelings such as melancholy, loss of pleasure, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts. It is considered a mind-brain disorder because it affects both the brain and the state of mind. The umbrella term of depression encompasses Major Depressive Disorder and its related mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and generalized anxiety disorder. There are some differences between the various forms of depression. Each form will have some of its own specific symptoms, but most major depressive disorders are characterized by the following: Changes in appetite, eating more or less than normal Difficulty concentrating Fatigue and low energy Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness Feelings of worthlessness or guilt Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed Oversleeping or undersleeping Psychosomatic symptoms, such as a headache, stomach problems Unexplained weight loss or weight gain Thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts What is Anxiety? Simply put, anxiety is an intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. But physiologically, it’s much more than that—anxiety, whether acute or long-term, triggers the body’s automatic fight-or-flight response, calling the HPA axis into action. The Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal axis, more commonly called the HPA axis, is the interaction between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands that manage our stress response. This response is based on survival instincts honed at the dawn of the human race. Unfortunately, while your brain knows the difference, your body can’t distinguish between the stress of meeting a work deadline and the stress of running from a burning building, and the HPA axis response is the same in either situation. A cocktail of stress hormones—cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline) floods your bloodstream, causing several things to occur in the body: Digestive function becomes limited Heart rate increases, pushing blood to the muscles Airways become dilated to increase oxygen intake Senses of sight, smell, and sound become heightened Glucose increases the bloodstream In an emergency situation, all of this is designed to give us the strength and focus to react quickly to threats. However, when we face long-term anxiety, the HPA axis stays activated, keeping those stress hormones pumping through our system, decreasing the effectiveness of other body functions, and leaving us in a chronic state of hypervigilance that can wear our body down. How the Upper Cervical Spine Affects Depression and Anxiety As mind-brain disorders, depression, and anxiety can have many different causes, from genetic factors to severe life stressors. But, one of the more overlooked causes of mood disorders can be found in the upper cervical spine. This area at the top of the neck houses most of the body’s reflex centers, the spinal cord, and the brainstem. Poorly aligned vertebrae in the upper cervical spine, specifically the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2), can pressure and irritate the brainstem and the spinal cord and cause nerve impairment, leading to depression and anxiety issues. The atlas is the most vulnerable bone in your body, and it can lose correct alignment with the most minor of bumps or falls. It can even be shifted when stress causes neck tension for extended periods of time. Misalignment, or subluxations in this area can negatively affect the spinal cord and brain in three main ways: The brainstem affects and manages the entire nervous system of the body. When it is not aligned correctly, nervous function in the body can be impaired, resulting in anxiety issues. Poor upper cervical alignment can prevent proper blood flow and drainage from the brain. Impaired blood drainage can contribute to anxiety, depression, and more. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows to the brain through the upper cervical spine. When CSF is insufficient, vital nutrients and electrolytes don’t reach the brain. Consequently, the brain cannot function at full capacity. Anxiety is one of the many possible results of a brain lacking proper CSF flow. How Upper Cervical Treatment Helps With Depression and Anxiety It’s important to note that anxiety and depression are complex conditions with varying root causes. Before we begin adjusting the upper cervical spine, we must determine whether a prospective patient has a vertebral misalignment (subluxation) in their upper cervical spine. During your free consultation, we will discuss the varying factors contributing to your health concerns. On your first visit, we’ll use state-of-the-art imaging to determine if there is a subluxation to be corrected. If a subluxation is found, we work with our patients to correct the misalignment, restoring the body’s natural healing mechanisms to improve mood and over-optimal health. Our gentle, non-invasive, drug-free treatments can offer lasting change for patients suffering from mood, depression, and anxiety disorders. If you’re interested in learning how Dr. Tim and the Atlas Specific team can help you find lasting relief from anxiety and depression, contact us 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 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.

  • Addressing Chronic Fatigue with Upper Cervical Care

    Are you tired of constantly feeling tired? It's unfortunate that many people avoid going to the doctor if their only complaint is feeling tired all the time. Many people fear their doctor may tell them it is all in their head or simply instruct them to get more sleep. Or, worse yet, they could be prescribed medication to help them sleep or unnecessary anti-anxiety medications. However, this doesn't need to be the case. At Atlas Specific, we know the problem isn’t all in your head, but did you know it may all be in your neck? That’s right! Chronic fatigue often comes about as a result of past or present neck trauma. Neck trauma, regardless of the cause, can damage the soft tissue around the spine, causing the spine to lock in a stressed position. When this happens, slow degeneration ensues, resulting in a slowing of blood flow as well as cerebrospinal fluid. You may not even be aware of the trauma your upper cervical spine is experiencing, but that trauma can manifest itself as chronic conditions, including fatigue. What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes acute, ongoing fatigue that is not caused by other medical conditions or relieved by rest. CFS can negatively affect the quality of a person’s life as well as their state of mind. Though the primary complaint of CFS sufferers is fatigue that is not relieved by rest or sleep, symptoms often go beyond a feeling of being tired and can include: Muscle pain or weakness Chemical or odor sensitivity Widespread pain Fogginess or mental fatigue Sleep problems or irregular sleep patterns Abnormal headaches Concentration issues Short-term memory problems Although symptoms differ from person to person, the intense fatigue experienced can lead to trouble handling day-to-day activities, reduced quality of life, and even loss of work. What Causes Chronic Fatigue? While the actual cause of CFS is unknown, some theories point to viral infections, genetics, and hormonal imbalances. Another possible culprit is inflammation in the nervous system caused by a malfunctioning immune system. However, one of the more popular theories concerns an often-overlooked misalignment or subluxation in the upper cervical spine, specifically in the atlas and the axis bones. Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue For those suffering from chronic fatigue, it can be exhausting to get a proper diagnosis. There is no single test designed to confirm or deny CFS. Instead, patients must undergo a battery of tests to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms. Once diagnosed, the news isn’t much better. Medications are often prescribed to treat individual symptoms and may come with several unwanted side effects. But there is a better way. How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Help With Chronic Fatigue When discussing the causes of CFS, we discussed the nervous, immune system, and upper cervical spine. While CFS may be difficult for a medical doctor to diagnose, subluxations in the upper cervical spine are easily identified by the Upper Cervical Chiropractor. Upper Cervical care has been shown to positively affect the nervous system, the immune system, and, indeed, the overall spine. Subluxations in the Atlas and the Axis bones can put undue pressure on the brainstem, which connects the brain and spinal cord. This is a key part of the central nervous system (CNS), and even the most minor misalignment in this region can affect how you feel and how your body functions from head to toe. By correcting vertebral misalignments, your Upper Cervical Chiropractor can relieve the pressure that can develop on the delicate nerve tissues in the brainstem and upper spinal cord, a pressure on the nerves that experts believe contributes to chronic fatigue symptoms. Will Upper Cervical Chiropractic Help You? Dr. Tim can perform a simple pain-free assessment to determine if you have a head and neck misalignment and find out if Upper Cervical Care can help ease your chronic fatigue symptoms. If Upper Cervical Chiropractic is right for you, you could be a gentle correction away from finding lasting drug-free relief from chronic fatigue. At Atlas Specific, our methods are natural, non-invasive, and pain-free; with us, the only side effect you’ll experience is optimal health! Contact us today by dropping by the Durango office at 1800 E 3rd Ave, #108, calling us 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.

  • 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.

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