Chiropractors employ a number of techniques to help patients attain pain relief, wellness, improved mobility, and enhanced flexibility. Among those techniques is something known as the atlas orthogonal technique. Developed by Dr. Roy Sweat during the 1960s, this technique uses waves to produce better alignment within the body. It was developed around the principle that the spine and body cannot be straight if the head is not aligned properly at the tip of the spine. We know that misalignment impacting this area of the spine can have repercussions throughout the shoulders, hips, ankles, pelvis, and more.
The atlas orthogonal technique is considered to be an ultra-gentle procedure for correcting a misalignment at the point where the head meets the spine that does not require extensive manipulation. The intended result is an optimal bodily function that allows the body to heal naturally. If you’re trying to get to the bottom of bodily pain or discomfort, take a look at how a popular technique for correcting a misaligned atlas is used in modern chiropractic care to assist with a variety of pain issues.
All About the Atlas
The head rests on a particular vertebra located at the top of the spine that is known as the atlas. As you can imagine, this area endures a lot of pressure due to the fact that it holds up the weight of the head. That’s no small feat when you consider that the average head can weigh between 10 and 15 sounds. Adding to the pressure is the fact that the spinal column is incredibly narrow. What’s more, it is constantly being placed under strain from head movements and turns that occur both while we’re awake and during sleep. This is why many people experience symptoms resulting from a slipped atlas without ever recognizing the underlying cause of the pain, discomfort or loss of mobility being experienced.
Comparing a Normally Functioning Atlas With a Malfunctioning Atlas
Under normal circumstances, your atlas should be in square alignment with your spine and skull. Unfortunately, a subluxation that throws the atlas out of place is common. When your atlas shifts, your head, and spine will actually also shift and tilt to try to compensate for the distortion. This throws your body off balance in the truest sense. The compensation is performed by your head and spine also puts pressure and strain on your muscles in a way that can cause severe pain and injury over time. Additionally, an atlas that has slipped out of place can cause blockages and inflammation that radiate throughout the central nervous system.
Signs That There Is An Issue With Your Atlas
One of the telltale signs of an issue with the atlas is a discrepancy in leg length. Many patients are shocked when it seems that they wake up one day to discover that one leg is shorter than the other. In reality, the imbalance is the result of an untreated atlas subluxation that has been altering the way they walk and move for months or years. Another telltale sign of an issue with the atlas is a misalignment between the shoulders and pelvis. A person may appear like they are “tilting” to one side at all times. Again, this is something that people often notice “all of the sudden” even though it has slowly been occurring over a period lasting years. Issues like neck curvatures and scoliosis are also signs that the atlas is out of balance. Of course, a misaligned atlas doesn’t always manifest quite so dramatically. You may simply experience pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility early on. Seeking treatment earlier can be beneficial for preventing some of the more noticeable and alarming symptoms of an atlas misalignment.
A misalignment in the atlas can affect essentially all parts of the body because of its very precarious location near the brain stem. The pressure created can potentially cut off communication with the brain and the rest of the central nervous system to create misdirected pain signals. One of the trickier aspects of diagnosing a misaligned atlas is that this problem can create both physical and cognitive difficulties. Generally, care providers and doctors who are unfamiliar with atlas-related symptoms and injuries may not be able to help you get to the true root of the problem. As a result, people may try to use antidepressants, pain medication, or surgeries on other parts of the body to try to fix the physical or cognitive symptoms that leave them overwhelmed.
Correcting a Subluxation or Misalignment With the Atlas Orthogonal Technique
The atlas orthogonal technique has grown popular over the years due to its effectiveness for correcting misalignments and associated discomfort without the need for surgery, medications, or invasive measures. Unlike some other techniques, the atlas orthogonal technique does not utilize any type of forceful or abrupt rotation in the affected area. This is a very subtle, gentle treatment.
The process begins with a full assessment and diagnosis of the problem. Your chiropractor will very carefully and thoroughly look for misalignment signs in your atlas. This is often done by measuring the legs to check for imbalances and looking for curvatures in the spine before beginning manipulation. Your chiropractor may also recommend that you undergo imaging to get a full picture. During treatment, a special atlas orthogonal adjustment instrument is used. This instrument uses a completely painless process to strategically address the subluxation or misalignment affecting your atlas. Energy waves are directed at the specific force level needed for your blockage to push your atlas back into place. This will then trigger your spine to straighten back into its proper setting, Ultimately, your nervous system will begin functionally normally again.
What to Expect During and After an Atlas Orthogonal Treatment
Correction of an atlas issue does not require any type of forceful manipulation involving twisting or cracking. The atlas orthogonal technique instead uses the application of light touch to the area where the misalignment is present. In fact, most patients are so untouched by pain or discomfort during the process that it is over before they realize it has even started! However, some patients do report a slight sensation of “tickling” during the procedure.
Some patients notice changes in their bodies immediately following treatment. Generally, this is caused by the natural healing cycle within your body that has been triggered. You can look at it like your body’s natural healing mechanisms finally being unleashed after months or years of being “gated” by a blockage at the atlas. For some patients, the changes are completely positive because they bring about a full reversal of pain. Others experience tiredness or soreness as their body resumes normal blood flow and circulation. The length of time it takes to see positive results can often depend on the severity and duration of an atlas obstruction. Your chiropractor will walk you through all of the potential experiences you may have on the path to healing once you begin treatment.
Deciding If the Atlas Orthogonal Technique Is for You
Patients suffering from a wide variety of pains and limitations throughout their bodies have found success with this technique. The list includes whiplash injuries, scoliosis, allergies, dizziness, migraines, arthritis, seizures, sciatica, sinus issues, and more. However, it is not the most effective solution for every type of pain and discomfort. This is why treatment is always preceded by a full evaluation from a chiropractor.