What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Upper Cervical Chiropractic is a specialty focus within the larger field of chiropractic, evaluating what is referred to anatomically as the Craniocervical Junction (CCJ).
Simply put, it’s the upper portion of the human neck where it meets and supports the head.
The spinal segments at this junction, Atlas & Axis, have unique characteristics that make them the “weakest link” in the spine and as such, susceptible to injury.
Slips and falls, poor posture, sports injuries, whiplash, and car accidents are just a few of many factors that can contribute to structural instability in the upper neck region.
How is the Upper Cervical Spine Unique?
When viewing the spine from a neurostructural perspective, the upper cervical spine is unique in many aspects.
The brain stem, also known as the bodies master control area, receives signals and commands from the brain above.
The lower part of the brain stem is housed and protected by your top 2 neck bones, your Atlas and your Axis.
It is here that your brain stem becomes your spinal cord and nerves that travel down the spine and continue to every muscle, organ, and tissue in your entire body.
If this area becomes irritated, structurally or neurologically, it has the potential to disrupt communication between the brain and the rest of the body and from the body to the brain, as well as blood flow and cerebral spinal flow!
The vertebrae that make up the upper cervical spine are structurally unique.
The Atlas and Axis (C1 &C2) are the only spinal segments in the body that do not have a disc, or shock absorber, between them.
The absence of the intervertebral disc allows for maximum movement in this area.
The Ligaments of the upper cervical spine are the only means of limiting the motion.