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Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care in Decatur

What is upper cervical care?

Xray consult with patientThere are general areas of your spine: the lumbar spine (low back), thoracic spine (mid-back), and the cervical spine (neck). The spine as a whole unit serves to protect the spinal cord as it gives rise to the nerves that travel to the rest of the body.

The very top of the neck or the “upper” cervical spine is tasked with protecting your brain stem as extends down from within the skull into your spine. This upper portion of your spine is one of the most sensitive, nerve-rich areas of your body, and it also many other features that make it unique.

The neck is the most mobile area of the entire spine. This mobility allows us to gaze up at the stars, check our blind spots, and enjoy the world around us. However, with this added mobility, it becomes more vulnerable to injury and joint misalignment.
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The Uppermost Spinal Bones

The uppermost spinal vertebrae, known as C1 (1st cervical), is also called the Atlas. The second, C2, is referred to as the Axis. These two vertebrae have a special relationship that allow for up to 70% of the rotation in the entire neck. However, unlike the rest of the spine, in order to allow for this rotation there is no thick disc of cartilage between C1 and C2. There are also no additional facet joints like we find throughout the rest of the spine helping to maintain the alignment of these joints.

Because of the unique anatomy of these bones, misalignments are common. And because of their close relationship to the brain and spinal cord, these misalignments cause dysfunction, both locally and throughout the body.


Much like checking a problem in a river ecosystem, it’s important that we check for any issues “upstream” before addressing any other areas. This is not to say there won’t be other areas that need to be addressed, but we also understand that our efforts will be for naught if we fail to look at the bigger picture.

Our exam helps us determine the presence or absence of spinal misalignments. If we don’t find any evidence of spinal dysfunction, we will find and refer you to the person best-suited for your case. Once one or more misalignments are confirmed however, it is important to know exactly where they are located, and how they are positioned.

Our adjustments utilize precise mathematical calculations, anatomical variances, and a thorough knowledge of spinal biomechanics. The more specific we can be, the longer that correction will stay in place. Naturally, having images of your spine is essential for us to understand the unique nature of your misalignment.

A specific, highly-controlled contact to the upper bone of your spine is the focus of an upper cervical correction. This correction uses a sound wave to deliver the force necessary to restore the position of this bone. Unlike traditional adjusting, there is no twisting or cracking with this correction. Much like the use of ultrasound, patients often don’t hear or feel the correction during the procedure. The results and changes in feeling happen in the minutes, days, and weeks following this correction.

Many people are surprised that we see results from correcting the upper area of the spine when the primary complaint is elsewhere. When the Atlas and Axis have lost their alignment, other areas of the spine and body begin to compensate. Much like ripples in a pond, these secondary compensations often lead to much more obvious symptoms further away from the cause. By helping restore this critical relationship, we often see these compensatory and secondary problems elsewhere in the spine resolve on their own.


Sports Chiropractic

When you’re an athlete, you have adrenaline running through your veins. You love the thrill of your sport. When you’re injured, the pain might take time to set in. All the muscles in the body are attached to the spine, making it essential that your spine is assessed. Atlanta Upper Cervical Chiropractic treats athletic and sports related injuries and pain to help keep you active.

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Contact Us To Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about how our gentle, specific, effective care at Atlanta Upper Cervical Chiropractic can help you, contact us today!
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Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Decatur GA | (470) 347-3737