What is an upper cervical subluxation?

At our chiropractor’s office in Athens, GA, when we talk about subluxations in the spine, we’re referring to parts of the spine that are not positioned as they are meant to be, because they are not aligned properly, most likely due to a former injury, stress, or posture. The axis and atlas vertebrae, which is the neck position of the spine that we focus on, is what holds up your head, and surrounds the brain stem. If these vertebrae shift out of alignment,  the pressure on the nerves and brain stem can lead to improper functioning of the nerves, and decrease the function of various parts of the body that rely on the vital communication between the brain and nervous system. 

The upper cervical spine is a very fragile part of the body because of the movement of the head- the vertebrae that allow the head to move in so many directions is also what makes it so susceptible to moving out of place. For example, years of bad posture is enough to slowly shift the vertebrae out of alignment and cause back pain. So many people who deal with this type of back pain continue to see it get worse over the years, because they don’t see chiropractic treatment to fix the core issue (the misalignment) and instead only know to treat the pain (the symptom of the misalignment) with medication. 

Of course, injuries and wear and tear are also common causes of upper cervical subluxations. We frequently see car accidents and sports injuries as common contributors to spinal misalignment, which if left untreated can interfere with the body’s natural functioning, and  impede the healing process. 

One of the biggest issues with upper cervical subluxations is the way they can impinge on the nervous system, which when irritated can create a myriad of other health issues, that are seemingly unrelated to the upper cervical spine. Although as upper cervical chiropractors we know to look for this, a lot of our patients don’t and have gone for years, unknowingly treating symptoms without knowing to look for the root cause in the upper cervical area. 

At Athens Upper Cervical Chiropractic, the first step in diagnosing an upper cervical subluxation is getting a history of the patient’s health, and then taking x-rays and 3D imaging of the patient’s spine to see exactly what’s going on. This allows our chiropractor to be able to make adjustments exactly where the misalignment is happening, so we can correct the alignment of the spine gently and intentionally. 

Are you having symptoms like back pain, shooting sensations in the limbs, headaches, dizziness, or other issues? To find out if your symptoms are actually an upper cervical issue, give our office a call today to get an appointment scheduled! 

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