Upper cervical chiropractic care consists of the analysis and correction of the misalignments at the craniocervical junction, or the upper neck. This region of the spine as one of the most complex set of joints and joint movements. The movements are small, but due to it's close proximity to the brain stem and multiple dural attachments, or attachments to the tissue connected to the spinal cord, minor distortions in the positioning of these bones have the potential for a resounding effect on the body both structurally and functionally. Every misalignment is unique to the individual and should be taken into consideration. Through special imaging we will be able to tell exactly what your joint structures look like to specifically tailor the adjustment to you!
Studies have shown global effects on the body as a result of a misalignment, or subluxation, to the upper cervical spine. When the upper cervical bones misalign it causes massive amounts of proprioceptive information to be taken to the brain letting it know where the head is positioned on the neck in space and time. If this information being taken to the brain about where these bones ARE (misalignment) contradicts where the brain says they SHOULD be (joints that line up in a neutral position), then the brain will send a correct response in an attempt to correct for the malpositioning. Unfortunately, this corrective response is commonly demonstrated by an activation of the large muscle groups causing global distortions in order to correct for the positioning of the head commonly producing pain and discomfort in the shoulders, low back, and many other areas of the body as the forces are redistributed. By correcting the upper cervical misalignment the rest of the distortions and compensations will begin to relax and unwind and will continue to do so as long as there is no misalignment and the body continues to adapt, heal, and re-educate.
Although this helps answer the questions about musculoskeletal issues, a chiropractic adjustment can have additional, resounding effects on the nervous system which orchestrates and communicates all bodily functions. Studies show that as the bones misalign there can be direct stress on the spinal cord itself and/or spinal fluid flow, which bathes and washes the brain from waste products as well as many other functions, altering overall daily function from digestion, brain fog, etc. all the way to neurodegenerative processes such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Although these corrections of the subluxations can have positive impacts regarding these conditions and overall well-being, it DOES NOT serve as a cure but rather supports the system as a whole to better position you for a better life experience.
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