Upper Cervical Terms Defined

Anatometer: Postural instrument that measures distortion of the spine from the Atlas Subluxation Complex

Atlas: (Bone) The first bone in your neck. It is named after the Greek god Atlas, case who holds the globe on it’s shoulders. This 2-4 oz bone holds the skull which weighs 8-12 lbs on its shoulders. Also called C-1 or the first cervical vertebraeatlas-axis.jpgAtlas Subluxation Complex: The results of when an atlas is misaligned from the vertical axis, discount causing postural distortion, see twist in the hips, a short leg, muscular weakness, and disrupts the proper communication between your brain and body.

Axis: (Bone) The second bone in the neck. It is called the axis because it is the pivot point where most of the turning of the head occurs. Also called C-2 or second cervical vertebrae.

Brain: The master control center of the nervous system. Located inside the skull, it regulates and controls body function. It receives and interprets information from the body and sends information back to the body. It is also where our consciousness is, and it processes our thoughts, memory, and emotions.

brain.gif Brain stem: The part of the central nervous system that connects the brain to the spinal cord. It is responsible for regulating your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and breathing. It also regulates when you sleep and wake. There is some evidence that the bottom portion of the brain stem can descend into the center of the atlas bone and can be directly affected by the Atlas Subluxation Complex.

Coccyx: The tail bone. Consists of four tiny bony segments.

Decompression: a release of compressing forces (see tensegrity).

Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD): A wear and tear of the joint surface between bones. It is characterized by the decrease in cartilage, bone spurs, decrease in joint space, deformity in joints, and loss of movement. It can lead to narrowing of disc space, severe bone remodeling, and ultimately fusion in the spine. The Atlas Subluxation Complex, through the twist in the dura, is a major cause of DJD in the spine. note DJD has also been known as Osteoarthritis. Cervical Degeneration.gif

Dura or Dura Mater: (Tough Mother) The tough outer portion of the meninges, the sack that holds the liquid that the brain, brain stem, and spinal cord float in. The meninges attach to the different bones in the skull, the sacrum and coccyx, and the atlas bone (via the rectus posterior minor muscle). The dura is very protective, does not stretch, but can twist. When the atlas twists the dura, this can cause the twisting in the lower spine as well as an increase in force on the joints and discs in the back and neck increasing wear causing degenerative joint disease.

Fascia: a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ.

Misalignment: See Spinal Misalignment.

Myofascial Envelope: the continuous connection of fascia surrounding all of the muscles in the body.

NUCCA or N.U.C.C.A.: 1.The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association 2. The procedure developed by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association to address the Atlas Subluxation Complex.

Osteoarthritis: Not a true arthritis (‘itis’ means inflammation), now known as Degenerative Joint Disease, or the effects of wear and tear on cartilage, joints, and bones.

QSM3: Quantum Spinal Mechanics 3. An Upper Cervical Chiropractic Procedure that builds on traditional upper cervical procedures, incorporating ideas of tensegrity, myofacial envelope, decompression, and multiple traumas.

Sacrum: V shaped bone that attaches to your pelvic bones. It is comprised of 5 fused bony segments (or vertebrae).

Short Leg.JPGShort leg syndrome: Most commonly an effect of the Atlas Subluxation Complex. It comes from a twist in the hips and spine which originates in the upper neck. Less than 4% of short legs are caused by fractures, surgeries, or being born that way. Spinal Cord: the bundle of nerves that comes from you brain stem. It is the superhighway of communication between the brain and body. It is encased and protected by the bones (vertebrae) in the back. Spinal Misalignment: One result of the Atlas Subluxation Complex, indicated by a twist in the pelvis a short leg, and a spastic contracture of the paraspinal muscles.

Tensegrity: the property of skeleton structures that employ continuous tension members and discontinuous compression members in such a way that each member operates with the maximum efficiency and economy.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A group of techniques within chiropractic that reduce and correct spinal misalignments via the upper neck.

Subluxation: Less than a luxation or dislocation. A misalignment of a vertebra in relationship with the bones above and/or below it, that interferes with proper communication between your brain and body.

Vertebrae: One of the back bones. Their purpose is for muscle attachment, movement, and protection of the spinal cord and nerves. Can refer to one of the fused bony segments located in the sacrum or coccyx.

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