Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Subluxation?

Subluxations are spinal misalignments which cause distrubances of the nerves and blood supply in the body. When subluxations are present, the nerve supply is diminished leading to improper function.

Think of a subluxation as the cause behind the traffic light's malfunction (in the traffic light example, see "what is the atlas"?), leading to back-ups and changes in the way information is routed in the body.



What are the effects of subluxations?

Subluxations are misalignments found in the spine which can alter the way information is received by the joints, muscles, and organs, affecting communication between the nervous system and body. The spine can be thought of like a series of connected chains. If the first link in the chain is twisted or turned, each link in the chain will also turn, distrubing the alignment of the entire chain.

The atlas bone is the first and most important link in the chain--a misalignment of the altas can lead to changes felt anywhere in the body, even low back and leg pain are affected due to the "chain effect". In essence, if your head is not properly aligned with the atlas, then the spine cannot be straight, so a subluxation in the atlas can affect the entire spine! 



What is the Atlas?

Atlas" is the name given to the first bone in the cervical spine. The atlas bone is located at the base of the skull and acts as a support for the head. It also serves as protection for the spinal cord which is connected to the brain and linked with every nerve in your body. As much as 40% of the blood supply to your brain is delivered through arteries which traverse the atlas bone, so as you can see, misalignments of the atlas bone can have a profound effect on your body!

A good non-medical example of the atlas is a major traffic light at a 4-way intersection. When the traffic light works properly, traffic flows smoothly. However, when that light (the atlas) is not working right, traffic backs up and there are problems not just at the intersection but in all directions behind the 4-way intersection.

A proper analogy for how the atlas bone functions in the body is to think of a traffic light. The traffic light sends information to drivers and when working properly, all traffic can be routed in the proper direction. However, when the traffic light malfunctions, information is routed incorrectly and can cause back-ups at the source and in every direction in-between. When the atlas bone is misaligned, information is being routed incorrectly and can cause changes throughout the body as both blood supply to the brain and nerve supply to the body is altered.    



How do we adjust the Atlas?

Orthogonal adjusting treats subluxations of the Atlas bone, the first bone in the cervical spine, by using a safe and gentle correction without any cracking, twisting, or popping. X-rays are taken with this technique to measure where the Atlas bone is situated in three distinct planes: from the top, the front, and sides views. With this information, the doctor knows exactly where to treat the patient using the Atlas Orthogonal Precision Adjusting Instrument and is able to make a correction that is specifically tailored to the patient. The instrument works on the principle of percussive force and uses only six pounds of pressure, a minute level of force, to deliver a correction.  

The treatment begins as the patient lies on one side. The doctor then places the tip of the instrument slightly below the patient’s earlobe, barely contacting the patient’s skin. The instrument, through percussive force, generates an energy wave through the tip, which supplies the force necessary to place the atlas bone in its ideal position. Throughout the course of treatment the patient feels absolutely no level of discomfort, yet often experiences results immediately. By using this precise instrument, the patient is able to achieve pain-relief and restoration of the body’s innate ability to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery, effectively eliminating stress to the neurological system.    




What is the "Orthogonal position"?

Although the word “orthogonal” may sound complex, it simply refers to intersecting lines which form 90 degree angles. The orthogonal position in Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic refers to having the skull and cervical (neck) spine at exactly 90 degrees, achieving optimal alignment.

 Achieving optimal alignment means resting the head on the spine in its most ideal position. With optimal alignment we have found that other areas of discomfort not directly related to the neck, such as mid and low back pain or arm and leg pain, can be resolved by placing the atlas in the orthogonal position.