Frequently Asked Questions

About Upper Cervical Care

Just what is Body Imbalance and how do I know if it has happened to me?

Body Imbalance occurs when the C1 or atlas, and/or the C2 or axis, the top two vertebrae in the neck, are misaligned and out of their proper position. This can occur as a result of an car accident, fall, sports injury, or other head or neck injury.

Childbirth itself can move the atlas out of position because of the massive amounts of pressure on the head and neck of the baby as it passes down the birth canal. Or childhood accidents like falling from a tree, bike or skates can misalign it.

In adulthood, the atlas can be shoved out of position during minor or major accidents such as sports accidents, automobile accidents or slips and falls. Some of the worst cases of atlas misalignment and resulting pain have been caused by minor car accidents such as being rear-ended.

One indication of body imbalance is having one leg slightly shorter than the other. You may also notice that when you stand in front of a mirror one shoulder is slightly higher than another, and one hip is higher than the other. Another indication your atlas may be out of position is by having different symptoms in your body that your medical doctor cannot explain or find the cause for on any tests.

How can Body Imbalance cause me to have physical problems?

The C1 or atlas is a donut-shaped bone that your skull rests on. Your spinal cord coming out of your brain and brain stem passes through the center of the donut shape. Your spinal cord at that point consists of trillions of nerve fibers (the nervous system) that “bottle-neck” through the small opening in the atlas.

These fibers eventually branch off carrying information to every part of your body. If the C1 is out of its proper position it can irritate, constrict or disrupt vital nerve signals to any portion of your body.

This can cause muscle or joint pain, organ dysfunction, lowered immune system and countless other conditions that you would not ordinarily relate to a problem originating in your neck.

Why do you call it Body Imbalance rather than a neck imbalance?

Because it effects the entire spine and body. Wherever your atlas moves, your head moves with it. If this top bone in your neck has shifted out of position ever so slightly, no more than the thickness of a fingernail, it can move your head off center of your body.

In an effort to keep the head over the center of the neck, the entire spine and pelvis will twist, pulling one hip up and one leg with it. You are now walking around on one leg that is shorter than the other. This places more weight on one side of your body than the other.

The wear and tear on your entire body is exactly like driving a car that is out of alignment. The result can be muscle and joint pain anywhere in the body. Without correcting the problem, which originated with a single bone (atlas) at the top of your neck moving out of position, your entire body is now imbalanced.

When this continues over time, something else starts to happen. Because nerve flow is disrupted or distorted, degeneration of cells in organs can occur, causing internal physical problems that may not show up for years

Is it painful to correct?

NO. The Upper Cervical Correction can be described as a slight pre-determined direction of pressure applied to the first bone (atlas) or second bone (axis) in the neck. Depending on the technique, it can feel like a brisk thrust, a light tap, or a massage on the side of the neck just below the earlobe.

That’s where the atlas is. Sometimes this is accompanied by a loud pop or series of tiny ticks as the bone moves back into place. There is NO twisting of the neck. This correction is engineered to re-position the weight of the head (10 to 14 pounds) over the center of the body in order to restore body balance and restore brain to body communication.

When the correction is made, muscles begin to relax, blood and oxygen circulation is increased, the brain is able to communicate with the affected area, and the body’s natural healing process begins.

The healing process continues as long as body balance is maintained and the brain can communicate with all parts of the body.

Does it have to be corrected often?

That depends on your own body. Some people can hold their correction for several months, even a year at a time. Others have to be corrected once or twice a week in the beginning, then once or twice a month. Everyone is different.

The Upper Cervical doctor’s objective is to make as precise an Upper Cervical correction as possible. Then they must help you maintain the correction with as few corrections as possible so that you may live pain free and enjoy a better quality of life.

Periodic Upper Cervical Care checkups, just like dental checkups and physicals, should be part of your personal preventive health care program. If you are maintaining your correction and body balance then your upper cervical doctor will not adjust you.

I am concerned about radiation from the x-rays. Are they completely necessary?

Yes, they are the cornerstone of the Upper Cervical doctor’s practice and are very specialized. Most chiropractic equipment today along with lead aprons keeps radiation down to a minimum.

Plus, any minimal danger from radiation, in our opinion, cannot be compared to the destruction that is going on in your body every minute your atlas obstructs brain to body communication.

Any shift the atlas makes can cause multiple health problems. But sometimes that shift in position is no greater than the thickness of a fingernail. The Upper Cervical Doctor has to rely on x-rays to determine the exact position your atlas/axis vertebrae have misaligned. The specific analysis of the x-rays will allow the doctor how to re-position your atlas to within a fraction of an inch back to the correct position it should be.

The Upper Cervical doctor will make the correction only after an intensive analysis of how far out of position your atlas is. After correcting the atlas, either a second series of x-rays are taken or a post heat reading is utilized to determine if the adjustment was done correctly.

These are referred to as pre and post x-rays and pre and post heat readings. The doctor will show you these “before and after” x-rays and/or heat readings so that you can see the difference the correction has made.

How soon should I get my children under this care?

As soon after birth as possible, and then have them checked periodically as they grow up. You could not possibly give your child a better gift than to make certain that the one organ of the body that controls all the other organs and body functions, the brain, is doing its job without interference from the tiny bone just below it.

If the Upper Cervical procedure is so good, why haven’t I heard about it before?

There are specific reasons why you have never heard about this before, and unfortunately, they are political.

First, everyone is aware of the war that has been going on between the medical profession and the chiropractic profession over the last 100 years. Whenever there is a war, there is always a black out of information to the public at large.

For example, 8 years ago when we tried to discuss Upper Cervical care with any medical doctor or nurse, the moment we mentioned the word “chiropractor”, a thick wall went up. We never were given the chance to describe how advanced chiropractic at large as become and there are phenomenal procedures like this one available to people today.

The medical prejudice we encountered prevented us from being able to share this information with doctors and nurses who work with people who desperately needed this information, the very information that would have helped their patients avoid surgery in many cases and avoid the consumption of drugs with dangerous side effects.

Because the doctors and nurses themselves did not know about this type of healthcare, and in some cases, they chose not to know, their patients have paid a high price for their medical doctor’s ignorance.

Fortunately, 8 years later, more and more medical doctors are discovering how beneficial Upper Cervical health care is and are referring more and more of their patients to Upper Cervical doctors.

These medical doctors acknowledge that constantly prescribing medication is ineffective and is actually creating additional problems. They realize they have found a safe, scientific alternative that is of extreme benefit to their patients.

Some of these progressive medical doctors are now becoming some of our greatest allies. One day we sincerely hope that the medical and chiropractic professions will work side-by-side for the benefit of public health. We need them both.

The second reason you’ve never heard about this procedure before is because certain laws in every state and in Canada prevent chiropractors of any particular procedure, whether Upper Cervical Chiropractic or otherwise, from freely advertising the procedure they have dedicated their lives to learning.

One law in particular forbids any chiropractor of any procedure to infer that his method is superior or more advanced than other chiropractic methods. If a chiropractor does this, he could be severely chastised by his state board of chiropractic examiners by being heavily fined and/or threatened with the loss of his license.

It is possible that this law was originally passed to protect the public from chiropractors making unrealistic claims about their procedure. The unfortunate result of this law, however, is that it has produced such fear in chiropractors who practice almost exclusively a specific type of chiropractic, that they simply are forced to remain silent about the benefits of their procedure.

A law meant to protect the public has actually created a moratorium on vital information that could be of tremendous benefit and cost savings to the public.

Source: National Awareness Campaign for Upper Cervical Care, Inc. Web site. Available at:

The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.