Upper-cervical spine

Why is it important that the upper-cervical spine is checked first?

The upper-cervical spine is often referred to by various other names, such as the atlas and axis, the cranio-cervical junction, or more simply, the upper neck. These vertebrae are the first movable segments in the spine and the most moveable joints of the spine.

So not only is the upper-cervical area more prone to misalignment, but when it becomes misaligned can have a significant effect on your body’s function.

Affecting messages from the brain

Our nervous system is the body’s master control system, and all the messages from the nervous system to your body start at your brain. The nervous impulses pass through skull, though the atlas and into the spinal column. If the atlas is misaligned, it will potentially affect all the messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

Regulating the automatic functions of the body

The upper-cervical spine houses a part of the nervous system called the brainstem. The brainstem regulates the automatic functions of the body such as heart rate, respiration, digestion, and the function of the immune system. Therefore, when people start upper-cervical care, they often experience positive changes in these body systems.

Pain in the neck and lower-back

The upper-cervical spine, the atlas, is also the most neurologically populated area of the spine when it comes to joint receptors. If this area becomes misaligned, the information feeding back to the brain can become distorted. This can lead to muscular contraction locally or distally and can lead to pain and symptoms in the surrounding areas such as the neck and lower-back.

Effecting the flow of the Cerebral-spinal fluid

The final reason that the atlas has potentially the most significant impact on your health is to do with the hydrodynamics, the flow of blood and the fluid which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, the cerebral-spinal fluid (CSF).

When the upper-cervical spine becomes misaligned it influences the CSF flow around the brain and spinal cord. This can lead to stasis (pooling or lack of circulation), meaning that the waste products cannot be removed and disposed of. This is critical, as the waste products that are left around the brain can cause damage and have been linked to various neurodegenerative disorders such as MS, Parkinson’s, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Get your CSF In Flow – ing properly

If you have any questions about having your upper-cervical spine checked or what Chiropractic care is all about then please give us a call on 01202 618262.  We are always happy to answer your questions.

And whilst you are here, have a look at more of our website where you’ll find lots more information on what Chiropractic care is all about as well as other free health resources, that are invaluable at whatever stage you or your loved ones may be in your journey towards better health.


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