By Michael J. Court, DC, Chippewa Valley Wellness
Just like Atlas from Greek mythology holds up the world, the Atlas bone (or Atlas/Axis at the C1/C2 junction) holds up and supports the head. Chiropractors in the early 1900’s believed that correction of this upper cervical area influenced the function of the entire spine. They believed that no adjustments to any segments below the C1/C2 area were necessary for healing to take place.
Upper cervical (UC) chiropractic techniques focus on correction of the spine via the first or top bone in the spine. UC chiropractic became best known through the work of BJ Palmer, the Son of DD Palmer, the founder of chiropractic in the late 1800’s. BJ developed and refined the correction of spinal subluxations throughout his lifetime. He even dubbed it as “HIO” for hole-in-one. He was a very dynamic individual and UC adjustments were his life’s work, believing this to be the only area of correction needed.
After BJ’s death in the 1960’s, many other chiropractors began modifying the UC technique. They sometimes put their own names to the technique when improvements could be found to deliver the “best” UC correction. Some of the names include: Grostic, Kale, NUCCA, Orthospinology, Atlas Orthogonal and Blair.
All UC chiropractic techniques have one thing in common: to correct the upper cervical subluxation via gentile adjustments for the restoration of structural and functional integrity of the spine and nervous system. Many of the UC techniques utilize x-ray analysis along with postural leg checks to evaluate the alignment of the C1/C2 area.
Sadly, many schools of chiropractic no longer teach the UC technique. Most doctors need to attend post-graduate training courses to master the C1/C2 adjustment correctly in order to yield the best results. I have been trained in several UC techniques including Atlas Orthogonal, Blair, Palmer UC and NUCCA, and have been using them for over 29 years. I believe that application of each of these areas of study have helped me become a proficient practitioner in correcting the UC region.
I have witnessed many patients with difficult conditions who experience results from UC adjustments when other therapies have failed. One study published in WebMD1demonstrated the correction of high blood pressure from an UC correction. I have seen people with lumbar disc protrusion and sciatica experience relief. UC chiropractic can also be very effective in handling the correction of acute and chronic injuries that occur after a motor vehicle accident or sports injury. Best of all, UC chiropractic is very gentle and safe.
If you suffer from acute or chronic musculoskeletal type problems, then maybe UC chiropractic is right for you. There may be hope and help for you or someone you know. For more information, call 715-514-1168.