Subluxation of the Week: 1CThe first spinal vertebra under the skull is called the Atlas or the first cervical. The Atlas is a single, 2 oz. doughnut-shaped vertebra at the top of the spine. Trillions of nerve fibers from the brainstem travel through the small opening in atlas and flow down into the spinal column. Because of the smallness of the opening and because of the atlas’ close proximity to the brain stem, if the atlas has moved out of position even a fraction of a degree, very serious things can result.
The atlas (C1), according to our Neuro-Anatomy chart, is involved with providing the primary nerve supply from the control centers in the brain to the head, face, brain, pituitary gland, eyes and ears. It is commonly found to be an area that is subluxated (misaligned producing abnormal nerve system transmission of information) leading to such common health complaints as headache, migraine, earache, colds/flu and sore throat.
Atlas (C1) subluxation can be caused by physical, chemical, emotional and/or environmental stress or a combination of these stressors beyond the body’s ability to cope. Common stressors affecting this part of the spine and nervous system include: caffeine withdrawal, alcohol abuse, unmanaged stress, anger, confusion, despair, exhaustion and ergonomic stress like repetitive motion or long periods of inactivity.
Perhaps of greater importance than these local affects of subluxation of 1C, are the global affects of subluxation of this area because this is the one area where the entire spinal cord and brain stem may be affected by spinal misalignment. This can cause effects throughout the body ranging from remote problems like low back pain to impairment of the immune system of the person. In fact, research conducted with HIV positive patients found that those adjusted in this exact area enjoyed a 48% improvement in immune system function over time while the non-adjusted group experienced an 8% decrease in immune system function over the same period of time.
Dr. Stephanie Maj has a thriving family practice in the heart of Chicago. Her clinic is located at 1442 W. Belmont Ave., 1E, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.528.8485. www.communitychiropractic.net