A story about two bones:
Human beings have two very important bones, the Atlas and the Axis, at the top of the spinal cord. The position of these two bones is critical, because the Atlas and the Axis not only support the head and protect the brain stem, the most vital part of the nervous system, they also allow for maximum movement in the neck.
Our true story begins like this,
(but it could happen to anyone).
Mary had a difficult birth. Her mother labored for hours before the doctor finally pulled her from the birth canal with forceps. Anyone observing Mary being born would see that the delivery placed a lot of stress on baby Mary’s upper neck, but the doctor assured Mary’s mother that it was a normal delivery, and the baby did appear to be doing fine. However, baby Mary did not do fine in the following months. She was colic, irritable and constantly crying. Once again, her mother was reassured, and Mary’s symptoms were categorized under the general heading of “fussy baby.”
A year went by and like most toddlers Mary fell many, many times learning how to walk. Although Mary’s Atlas and Axis are the smallest vertebrae (as they are for all of us), they hold the weight of her six-pound head. Because these are the only bones that aren’t “locked” into place like the other bones in the spine, the Atlas and the Axis take the brunt of the force when she falls. By age two, Mary was experiencing recurrent ear infections that antibiotics couldn’t “fix.”
At age seven, Mary fell off her bike. She got a few scrapes and bruises and complained of soreness for a couple days, but she bounced back pretty easily, and Mom thought she’d be just fine. Oddly enough, Mary seemed to “catch” every cold and flu bug that winter. By spring, she had developed an allergy to grass and pollen.
In high school, Mary played soccer which subjected her body to lots of tackles, not to mention the times Mary used her head to strike the ball. When she went to college, the academic work was emotionally stressful, and after graduation, Mary joined the “real world” where her stress continued.
At age 35, Mary had a fender-bender that whip-lashed her upper neck and caused her pain and difficulty in turning her head. Her medical doctor gave her some pain pills and muscle relaxers, and her pain slowly went away.
Over time, Mary noticed that her hips and legs felt a little “off,” although she couldn’t really explain it, and she sometimes felt she didn’t have enough energy to get through the day. Maybe this was just part of getting older, Mary reasoned, these things happen, right?
Then Mary noticed her headaches were getting more frequent and more painful. At times, they were downright debilitating, even when she took the medication she had been prescribed for them. Soon Mary was experiencing chronic fatigue with intermittent bouts of depression. Her doctor prescribed Imatrex for the headaches, Ambien to sleep and Prozac to help her “cope.” Yet nothing seemed to help.
By age 40, Mary had been diagnosed with migraines, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
This is one person’s true story, but it’s also the story of millions of others. Substitute the traumas (physical, emotional, chemical) and the symptoms, and in the end, you have a very common story that is repeated daily throughout the world.
The biggest epidemic on the plant
It’s all about the proper alignment of the Atlas and the Axis, the top two bones in your neck that allows for the optimal function of the brain stem. When a trauma, at any age, is introduced to the head or neck, one of those two bones can get misaligned–70% of newborns and 95% of the people over 45 have a misalignment at the top of the neck. The problem is most people don’t even know that a bone in their neck can have such an adverse effect on their health.
A misalignment at the Atlas-Axis area does two things: 1. Causes nerve pressure at the level of the brain stem. 2. Creates body imbalance through-out the body.
How does nerve pressure at the brain stem affect you?
The brain, brain stem and spinal cord do not have pain perception, so you could have a severe misalignment in the neck without having neck pain or headaches. But, that misalignment could be interfering with vital nerve messages going to your heart, stomach, colon, anywhere in your body that could cause that part of the body to not work the way it should. Over time, this can lead to a wide range of common and not-so-common conditions such as digestive problems like reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and Chron’s disease. It can lead to autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, and tension headaches. The misalignment can even cause your brain to not work as well as it could leading to mental and emotion problems such as ADD, ADHD, poor memory, learning problems, confusion, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia.
What is “body imbalance”?
Your brain has to be level with the ground at all times. It has its own reflex, called the Righting Reflex, to make sure that it always stays perpendicular to the ground. If one of the top bones in the neck gets even slightly out of its normal position, the head is off-balance. The brain, in response, sends messages throughout the body forcing the body to change or compensate for this misalignment to make the head level again. As a result, your body twists, turns, bends or rotates itself until the head is, once again, level. Now, however, you have a compensatory misalignment in your neck, upper back, lower back, even down into your hips, knees and feet. Over time and with the aid of gravity, these compensations can turn into weaknesses that cause neck pain, back pain, shoulder and arm pain, hip pain, leg, knee and foot pain.
Is an Upper Cervical misalignment affecting your health?
The only way to know if an injury you may have incurred years ago could be affecting your health today is to visit an Upper Cervical doctor.
An Upper Cervical chiropractor will spend time with you during your initial consultation to get a good history and listen to your health concerns. A thorough examination will be performed to find the root cause of your health problem(s). If it is determined that you do have an upper cervical misalignment, three x-rays will be taken from different angles to determine exactly how the top bones in your neck are out of position. Using information from the initial consultation, health history, upper cervical exam and x-ray, the doctor will prepare a report of findings and show you exactly what is going on in your body, give you an idea of how long it has been there and a recommendation for correcting the problem to restore health.
To find out if Upper Cervical Care can help you, call our office at 704-588-5560. We never charge for a consultation to determine your needs. Mention this article and receive a free copy of Dr. Drury’s best-selling book, The Best-Kept Secret in Health Care.
Upper Cervical Cancer
2550 W. Arrowood Road, Suite 104
Charlotte, NC 28273