Dr Drew Hall

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What is An Upper Cervical Specialist?

Posted in Upper Cervical Specialist on Sep 13, 2017

Why Does an Upper Cervical Specialist Only Correct the Neck and Not the Rest of the Spine?

An upper cervical specialist is a chiropractor who specializes in the correction of spinal misalignments in the upper neck region. All chiropractors make spinal corrections in the neck, however, the upper cervical specialist has a unique and precise way to analyze the neck through precise x-rays and the correction methods are done without twisting, cracking or pulling. 

As you will see in the following article, upper cervical specialists take great care in determining exactly how the neck is misaligned and take great care in the delivery of the correction. 

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Philosophically speaking, the goal and rationale of the upper cervical chiropractic procedure are to locate, analyze, and correct spinal subluxation (misalignment) in the upper neck. It is well documented that the brain-stem, located inside of the atlas (c-1) and axis (c-2), is responsible for postural muscle tone throughout the spine.

Therefore, when the body sustains an injury, and the upper neck is misaligned, this causes irritation to the brain-stem and affects the entire posture of the body. The upper cervical specialist views the lower spine as a symptom, because of this and would rather let the bodywork the imbalance out itself if the upper neck brain-stem irritation remains clear. 

The upper cervical specialist finds that by following objective criteria that determine whether the neck is subluxated or not, allows for a more complete correction which is under the body’s own control.

While nothing in life is black and white most upper cervical chiropractors find that low back pain, knee pain, mid back pain, shoulder pain, and other pains in the body are nothing more than musculoskeletal adaptions to a primary interference in the upper neck.

Many feel that correcting the lower spine will “speed up” the spine's recovery process. However, if the primary cause of postural imbalance is in the neck, and the lower spine adapts to it over time, there is a sequential adaptation that takes place. 

The body knows in what order this adaptation takes place and therefore when the upper neck misalignment has cleared the body under its own control and own time will restore the structure to the best of its ability. 

Making corrections in the lower spine will only interfere with the body's recovery. This is one of the HALLMARKS of upper cervical: Let the body do the healing with as little intervention as possible. Holding the adjustment allows for healing. The adjustment isn’t a treatment but a method to restore normal neurological function.

What Types of Cases do Upper Cervical Specialists See in Their Offices?

Upper Cervical chiropractors tend to see difficult chronic cases that have been failed by conventional and alternative care. The top ten conditions that most upper cervical chiropractic offices see are the following:

  • Migraine headache

  • Meniere’s Disease

  • Vertigo

  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue

  • Chronic neck pain that has been unresponsive to traditional care

  • Chronic Insomnia

  • Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Autoimmune Conditions

  • Chronic Pain Syndromes

Many view the chiropractic profession as a “treatment” for pain, numbness, and tingling. And while the profession does quite a good job of helping those conditions, the upper cervical spine and brain stem are paramount in the bodies healing and wellness process.

When you sleep at night you do not think about respiration, cardiac function, body temperature regulation, and internal organ function. These “automatic” processes are all governed in the brain-stem. THEREFORE, when an upper cervical specialist precisely corrects spinal misalignment in the neck it can have wide-ranging positive effects on human physiology. It is common to see the above conditions respond favorably and in many of these conditions listed above either remit completely or drastically improve.

Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic-Upper Cervical Specialists That Understand Bone Asymmetry

Blair upper cervical chiropractic is one of the upper cervical chiropractic procedures. What makes it unique not only within upper cervical work but the chiropractic profession at large is its fundamental premise. Blair recognizes that our bodies are asymmetrical.

The bone structure on one side usually does NOT match on the other side. BECAUSE of this truth, Blair does not use asymmetric or orthogonal premise for its analysis system in determining how your atlas (c-1) or axis (c-2) misaligns. 

The Blair Procedure looks at corresponding joints and how they fit to determine spinal misalignment. This works even if there are asymmetries in the spinal segments. For example, some people’s bones have larger structures on one side compared to the other.

 If you were to feel someone’s neck or take an x-ray you might think that imbalance is due to a spinal misalignment but rather it is the only asymmetry in their structure. Blair gets around this asymmetry by looking at how spinal joints match. This eliminates errors in the analysis due to spinal asymmetry.