One Bone To Fix Them All

What is the Atlas Bone & How does It Affect Neck Pain Relief

Many chiropractic patients seek or are referred to chiropractors to treat, rehabilitate and heal neck injuries. Often the referral begins with a patient complaining of neck or back pain. Once referred, the doctor thoroughly evaluates the patient by gathering information regarding their medical history including previous neck injuries and then they prepare an accurate diagnosis by asking questions as follows:

  • How the injury occurred
  • What symptoms the patient is currently experiencing,
  • What if any difficulty in mobility or range of motion issues have they noticed
  • How often or how long the symptoms have accrued

During this evaluation the chiropractor then performs a physical, orthopedic, neurological and postural assessment of any imbalance of the spine. X-rays of the spine may be ordered to determine the exact cause or location of the problem area. This is performed in order to diagnose and devise the best treatment plan for the neck injury to relieve patient’s symptoms and neck pain. Often the symptoms are reflective of improper alignment of the spine caused by bone displacement. The misalignment of the atlas bone, otherwise medically named the, ‘atlas vertebra’ could often be the cause of the neck pain. Precise measurements of the angle of the atlas are the basis to determine the degree in which the atlas is misaligned as well as the best treatment option for you.

What is The Atlas Vertebra

The atlas vertebra is the first cervical bone in the neck located directly under the head. Without it we would not have the functional ability to think, stand or walk. We would not posses the ability to use of our limbs. Its purpose in anatomy is to support the head and connect it to the rest of the spine. The atlas bone insures an efficient functioning cervical system that keeps the body balanced and well supported. The atlas vertebra weighs two ounces while carrying the weight of a human head typically weighing between nine to seventeen pounds. The atlas inherits its clinical name ‘the atlas vertebra’ likened to the Greek mythical figure ‘Atlas,’ known to have carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Medical research has clinically proven that in most cases, misalignment of the spine, its symptoms and health consequences are associated with the atlas vertebra. When the atlas bone is misaligned it causes the head to tilt in turn promoting stress to the spine. This forces misalignment of the spine in order to support the head. If the atlas vertebra is in its neutral position, the remaining spinal vertebra come into proper spinal alignment allowing the body to heal and relieve itself of the neck pain patients often suffer due to a neck injury.

How The Atlas Affects your Overall Health

The alignment of the atlas plays a significant role in spinal health. If the atlas is not in its correct precise position it can also cause pain and severe conditions connected to the central nervous system.

Some of the symptoms and conditions disrupted by a displaced atlas connected to the central nervous system are:

  • Scoliosis
  • Neve pressure
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Facial Pain

The reasoning for this is as simple as understanding the importance of balance within the spinal column. When the spinal column is misaligned, the nervous system is unable to function. The spinal column is the means of which interconnected bones or vertebra, protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord, being an extension of the brain, together forming the central nervous system. There are nerve fibers that are located between the vertebra that protect the spinal cord and are also connected to the spinal cord. Theses fibers supply and connect the entirety of the human anatomy. Therefore, if there is an imbalance within the spinal column this directly affects the central nervous system which in turn regulates and affects all bodily functions.

Treatment For A Displaced Atlas

Atlas orthogonal is a term used in chiropractic practice to describe a method of treating a displaced atlas founded by Dr. Roy Sweat. Dr. Sweat, a world renown authority in cervical spine care and treatment designed an instrument called the percussion wave. The percussion wave entails a vibration used to re-position the atlas into its proper orthogonal degree. Atlas orthogonal also refers to the proper positioning of the atlas being ninety degrees to the head and neck. Dr, Sweat provided chiropractic practices with a non-abrasive method of maintaining a healthy functioning atlas. A specifically aligned atlas helps to provide overall relief of pain prevent poor posture and promote spinal and central nervous system health.