Upper Cervical Treatment

Posted in Chiropractic on Jul 25, 2022

What is an upper cervical treatment?

Upper cervical treatment is a special division of general chiropractic that focuses on the alignment, motion, and stability of the vertebrae in your upper neck: the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2). Unlike most bones in your spine, the atlas and axis do not have a disc between them in order to lock or limit their movement. Instead, this area is supported by muscles and ligaments, which provide a tremendous amount of flexibility so that you can move your head and your neck. 

Alas, what this means is that your upper neck area represents a potential weak point in your spine. Thus, if you suffer any variety of physical injuries, it can injure these muscles or ligaments, which in turn causes the atlas or axis to shift or misalign. Because of the integral relationship between the alignment of your upper neck and your spinal cord, misalignments even as slight as a couple of millimetres can have the potential to produce far-reaching consequences that affect the function and health of your body. So, upper cervical treatment is a natural approach to healthcare that works by restoring the alignment, motion, and stability in your upper neck so that your body is able to do what it is designed to do: heal itself from the inside out.

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Why do I need an upper cervical treatment?

In a perfect world, no one would ever need an upper cervical treatment in the same way that in a perfect world no one would ever have a cavity in their teeth where they need to see a dentist. Throughout life, we experience any number of physical bumps, knocks, jolts, and injuries. Some of the major ones may cause bleeding or broken bones. Some of the minor ones may cause nothing more than a little cut (“It’s just a flesh wound.”)

Somewhere in between are those types of injuries that can cause internal damage to the orientation of your muscles, ligaments, and vertebra that from the surface appear just fine. However, if that damage is allowed to accumulate like rust on a piece of machinery left out in the rain, it may not cause immediate damage but over a long enough period of time will cause some serious problems. One of the bits of advice we give in our practice is “Never make your healthcare advice from your government, your insurance company, or someone who is not qualified in that particular area of expertise.” 

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In terms of upper cervical treatment, when people experience injuries, they are often told that "There’s nothing wrong with them” or that “Everything is normal” when unfortunately things may not be normal at all. Nevertheless, some of the common symptoms that people experience when they receive upper cervical treatment are the following: 

  • neck pain or reduced mobility
  • headaches or migraines
  • vertigo or dizziness
  • shoulder or lower back pain
  • neck arthritis
  • chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • neuralgia (trigeminal, suboccipital, etc)

Certainly, we believe that prevention is better than cure; and we believe that it is better to address the cause than treat the symptoms. So when it comes to these types of things, upper cervical treatment may offer a different approach, and thus a different type of result.

How is upper cervical treatment different from general chiropractic?

First, there are over 40 different mainstream techniques within the chiropractic profession. Part of the reason for the diversity is that people’s bodies respond to different approaches (and the honest answer is that we don’t know why). What most people think of when it comes to general chiropractic is cracking, twisting, or stretching the spine for lower back pain or neck pain. An upper cervical treatment does not work like that at all. You see, when a vertebra may lock or misalign within its normal range of motion, it usually only shifts by a few millimetres. Now, don’t misunderstand me: a few millimetres is quite more than enough to cause major problems in your body. My point is simply that it often is not necessary to stretch the neck or twist the spine in order to release the vertebra.

Think of it like this. You have a key for the front door to your house. If you accidentally grab the wrong key, you may have to bash the door down because the key just won’t quite fit in the lock. However, if you have the right key, all you usually need to do is slide the key into the lock and give it a gentle turn in order to open your door. Similarly, the difference with upper cervical treatment is that it includes a series of specialises diagnostic tests that help us to identify the exact location, direction, and degree of misalignment of your upper neck so that we can be as gentle and precise as possible to unlock the vertebra. And when we have those details, we do not need to twist or crack anything

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Upper cervical treatment Brisbane

At Atlas Health, we have over 15 years of experience in upper cervical treatment. Our practice located in North Lakes (north Brisbane) is the premier upper cervical healthcare center in Australia taking care of people across Brisbane, Queensland, and interstate. We believe in the innate power of the human body, and that no matter what you may be experiencing that healing is possible. Our focus is on helping people get back to enjoying the things in life that matter most to them. 

Our principal, Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, is an advanced certified Blair upper cervical chiropractor. He has also studied and practiced the Atlas Orthogonal and QSM3 techniques (similar to NUCCA), which are other forms of upper cervical treatment. Dr. Hannah is an international lecturer, published author, and recognized leader in the field of upper cervical chiropractic treatment. Dr. Hannah offers an initial 15-minute phone consultation (no charge) so that you can discuss your individual needs and ask any questions you may have so that you can decide if upper cervical treatment is right for you.

Contact us at the link on this page, or call us at 07 3188 9329. 

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