The atlas (or C1 vertebra) is the top bone in the neck that supports your skull and protects your brainstem. Head neck and whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) are all types of injuries that affect the function of this vital part of the body and can be associated with a number of health conditions from concussion to chronic fatigue.
The question is, “Is an atlas problem something to be treated with physio or chiropractic?”
When it comes to atlas treatment, there are a variety of physio and chiropractic methods ranging from generic mobilisation and soft tissue work to precise, advanced corrections.
In chiropractic, as an example, there are actually 40 different mainstream techniques. And surely just as many in physiotherapy. The reason being is that different people respond to different methods.
Some people respond best with very firm treatment. Other people very light.
So everyone is different with different needs. So in reality, the answer to the question is that an atlas misalignment is something that can be treated with either physio or chiropractic. The difference is, which approach do you actually need.
When you need physio for atlas treatment instead of chiropractic
As a quick disclaimer, this article is not a recommendation for what you should or should not do if you need atlas treatment with chiropractic or physio. This article is simply for educational purposes for your consideration so that you can choose whether physio or chiropractic is right for your atlas treatment.
The purpose of physiotherapy is to rehabilitate injured muscles and soft tissues that can affect the function of your body and/or nervous system. There are many approaches, but when it comes to physio for at atlas problem, in lieu of spinal adjustments that may happen with general chiropractic), treatment typically involves mobilisation, trigger point release therapy through the upper neck (such as the Watson technique), or stretching and strengthening activities like tucking the chin in or pressing your head against a wall.
So the benefit of physio treatment instead of chiropractic treatment for an atlas problem is when the joint mechanics or muscles may be only a little bit tight, and your body essentially is able to fix the problem on its own without much extra assistance.
When you need chiropractic for atlas treatment instead of physio
But what if things are actually quite stuck or misalignment in a certain direction or degree where no matter how much mobilisation, soft tissue work, or exercises you do the atlas problem is simply not able to fix itself on its own.
This is the time when chiropractic may be preferable to physio for an atlas treatment. Does this mean that you need aggressive spinal manipulation to make the joint “crack” by twisting the neck? Absolutely not!
It is actually VERY possible to correct the alignment of the atlas without twisting or cracking the neck. The key is specificity.
Because the atlas is the only vertebra in the spine that is not locked in place by an intervertebral disc, it is our experience that the lighter and more precise, the better an atlas correction typically works for people.
This is where we have our specific area of expertise in what is known as the Blair upper cervical procedure.
Atlas chiropractic - Blair procedure
The Blair procedure is one of 6 forms of “upper cervical specific” care alongside other methods including Atlas Orthogonal and NUCCA. What makes the Blair procedure different is that we take an individualised approach by measuring the exact location, direction, and degree of misalignment between the atlas and the base of the skull based on each person’s individual anatomy.
All human beings and different on the outside and also the inside. It is by taking these individual differences into account that we are able to identify the exact type of atlas problem that you may have, and as a result have a much better chance of success in helping people achieve relief.
Some of the common conditions that people experience who seek the Blair atlas treatment include migraines headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, suboccipital neuralgia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, post-concussion syndrome and whiplash, dizziness, and vertigo plus a host of other conditions where people have been to doctors and specialists but haven’t been able to make much progress.
While the Blair procedure is not a treatment or cure for any specific condition, it is a natural approach that is founded on the principle that it is the body that heals itself naturally, and by proving the necessary assistance at the base of the skull which is the master control centre of the nervous system, we are able to make a positive difference in helping improve the quality of people’s lives.
Atlas chiropractic treatment Brisbane
Dr. Jeffrey Hannah is an advanced certified practitioner with the Blair chiropractic technique. He is a published author, speaker, and recognised leader in the field of upper cervical healthcare in Australia and internationally.
We hope that this article has been able to assist you realise a bit of the difference between photos and chiropractic approaches to atlas treatment, and also how the Blair procedure may be the very approach that makes the difference.
If you would like more information, Dr Hannah offers a complementary 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your individual condition and to answer any questions so that you can decide if care may be right for you.
Call us 07 3188 9329 or email us through the Contact Us link on this page.
We look forward to hearing from you, and it is our privilege to assist you.
“Atlas Health Australia - Hope, healing and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”