If you are a back pain sufferer, what are you searching for? Do you need a little hope that the debilitating pain won’t be there forever? Would you like the freedom to be able to do the things you once were able to but now have to sit out in order to muster the strength for the next day’s necessities? Would you like to get back to a normal work schedule and social life without perpetual pain?
If these questions resonate with you, then we would like to introduce you to a natural therapy that has helped many back pain suffers to escape the frustration, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation that often accompany constant pain conditions.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Back Pain
Before we discuss the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic care for back pain, we need to explain two things. First of all, we want to let you know the differences between upper cervical chiropractic and chiropractic in general. Second, we need to explain what upper cervical chiropractic has to do with back pain because the practitioner isn’t going to be touching your back (more on that in a minute). So let’s get started.
What Is Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
This subspecialty of chiropractic is based on a few common principles even though there are several different ways that practitioners will perform adjustments.
The focus is on the top two bones of the spine, the C1 and C2, which is the upper cervical area. This part of the neck performs a number of vital features including balancing the skull, protecting the area where the brainstem meets the spinal cord, and facilitating blood flow by means of the vertebral foramen (the blood flow part is true of the entire neck).
Even when you go to a general chiropractor, you may get x-rays taken, but there is something even more precise about the diagnostic imaging used by upper cervical chiropractors. The measurements taken of the C1 and C2 can show misalignments down to a millimeter. While a subluxation that small may not cause issues at just any point in the spine, because of the unique location and function of the upper cervical spine, precise placement matters.
Upper cervical adjustments are low-force. That basically means that there is none of the popping or twisting of general chiropractic. Adjustment methods vary from practitioner to practitioner. The doctor may apply gentle pressure with his or her hands. An adjusting instrument may be involved. Other forms of upper cervical chiropractic use a specialized table to create the adjustment. Regardless of the method used, low-force corrections are safe and gentle. It’s why you can see an upper cervical chiropractor at any age or in just about any health condition.
One nice thing about the C1 and C2 is that they have a tendency to hold gentle adjustments for a long time. While your initial visits may need to be close together until the soft tissue surrounding the spine can heal and stabilize the vertebrae, after a period of time you should be able to space your appointments out. The longer your adjustments hold, the more cost-effective your care will become. And many practitioners offer suggestions on how to make your adjustment hold as long as possible.
But now that you know we focus only on the neck, you probably want to know how this can help a wide range of back problems from upper back pain to sciatica.
The Link Between the Cervical Spine and Back Health
It all goes back to one of the primary responsibilities of the top bones in the neck: to balance the head. When the atlas (C1) suffers a misalignment down to mere hundredths of a degree, the rest of the spine, all the way down to the lower back, may have to shift and make adjustments to keep the head straight. You may not even have any neck pain, but pushing where it hurts can only get you relief for a few days at a time until the spine goes back into the position it needs to for balancing the head. Without correcting the atlas misalignment, spinal alignment won’t hold for long.
A slight atlas misalignment can cause a shift down through the neck, making one shoulder higher than the other. Changes continue down the spine until the hips are uneven. Then you may begin to notice that one leg is slightly shorter than the other. But it all started in the upper neck. If a lumbar vertebra moves out of position just enough to press somewhere on the sciatic nerve, that can create pain, numbness, and tingling that goes all the way down to your feet. However, correcting the problem has to start at the top.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic for Back Pain
For this reason, it just makes sense for anyone suffering from back pain to see an upper cervical chiropractor. You may find that your back pain is gradually relieved as your atlas stays in place longer and longer. There may even be other related health issues that you never connected to your neck. So why not schedule a consultation with a practitioner near you today? You may be a few gentle adjustments away from saying goodbye to anti-inflammatory pain meds as pain relief empowers and energizes you to get back to your regular work and social schedule.