Within the chiropractic profession there are chiropractors trained at higher certification levels that specialize in the upper neck area.  They are called Upper Cervical doctors.  One of the Upper Cervical procedures utilized for assessing and correcting the upper neck alignment is a cutting edge, state-of-the-art technique called Advanced Orthogonal.

Advanced Orthogonal chiropractic is unique in that it is gentle, objective, precise, and long-lasting.

When the top 2 vertebra of the spine, called the Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2), are out of position they can cause devastating full body effects. These damaging results include:

  • Altered nervous system function.  Brain-to-body communication can be disrupted by an unresolved misaligned upper neck. Since the nervous system controls the function of all organs, tissues, and cells, this disruption in communication can lead to various dysfunctions, diseases, and eventual symptoms. General health decline is imminent with an uncorrected upper cervical spine.
  • Altered cerebral blood flow.  Blood flow to the brain tissue can be dramatically diminished by an uncorrected upper cervical spine because the vertebral artery provides the primary blood supply to the middle of the brain.  Blood pressure can also be abnormally affected by upper neck misalignment.
  • Altered full spine alignment.  A misaligned Atlas/Axis can cause a postural head tilt and unbalanced spinal postural muscle tone that can begin to twist the spine into scoliosis curves.  The resulting lack of spinal vertical alignment will begin weakening discs and can cause secondary nerve decline in other areas of the body.

The term orthogonal is defined as a condition of right angles. The upper neck is considered orthogonal if the top vertebra, called the Atlas, is positioned at 90 degrees to both the vertical center of the skull and to the vertical center of the neck when viewed from the front. The upper neck is also considered to be orthogonal if the Atlas is positioned at 90 degrees to the center line of the skull when viewed from the top.

No. Many people have genetic variations that do not allow for them to be orthogonal. Although they do not cause the disruption of normal function in the body, these variations alter orthogonality and must be factored in when determining a patients “normal” position.

Following a consultation with an Advanced Orthogonal doctor, the patient is then put through a neuromuscular exam to determine if an Upper Cervical misalignment is present. The examination is performed in a way that both the doctor and the patient can determine the presence of an Upper Cervical problem.

Following this determination, precision upper cervical x-rays are taken from three different dimensions and are then analyzed to measure the misalignments of the upper neck joint relationships.  The patient’s genetic bone uniqueness is also measured.  Exact mathematical coordinates for correction are calculated within 0.25 degrees of accuracy.

The patient is placed on the table in a specific manner to influence the spinal joints to move effectively with the adjustment. The coordinates for correction from the x-rays are calibrated to match the patient’s position on the table.  The Advanced Orthogonal procedure uses and a table mounted instrument, which is then activated to send a percussion wave into the top vertebra called that Atlas. The vertebra slides away from the adjusting force, and the entire spine begins to change. A set of post adjustment x-rays are then taken, and is further analyzed to assess the adequacy of the correction.  Understanding this information on how the body responded to the correction allows for the adjustment to be not only fully customizable, but also optimally corrective.

Your alignment will need to be monitored for at least 3-4 weeks to determine stability of the correction as well as your body’s rate of recovery. You can expect to have your spinal alignment checked 3 times the first week, 2 times the second, and any further monitoring will be determined by your doctor based in the success of your initial 2 weeks of care.

Once a patient’s spine has been properly aligned, the nervous system will begin coordinating the healing of multiple locations of the body. As the tissues are healing, it is very common for symptoms to resolve; however, not all healing feels good initially. Patients may feel some stiffness and soreness as your muscles begin untwisting and getting rid of toxins. Some patients may experience tingling, temperature changes, and discomfort initially as the nerves begin transmitting energy through previously obstructed channels. These are common and to be expected. As patients continue to respond to care, their bodies will work through these transitional symptoms.