Physical Injuries and the Atlas Misalignment

This weeks Topic of the Week

The atlas bone is the first bone in the neck. It is directly beneath the skull and is tiny, weighing only 2-4 ounces. It is called the atlas, because like Atlas in Greek mythology, it holds an incredible weight on its shoulder (the skull weighs 8 to 12 lbs.). Out of all the spinal bones it does not have any bony locks to keep it in place and is the most vulnerable segment to injuries.


Ligaments are the connective tissue that connects bones to each other, keeping them in their proper position. When we have a physical injury, a force comes into our bodies and tears loose the ligaments. This weakness allows the bones to shift out of position irritating the spinal cord, causing pain, discomfort, muscle spasms, pressure on discs and postural distortion. The effect on our health can range from being annoying to devastating.

Our nervous system controls all of our bodily functions, if our nervous system is not working properly, our health will suffer. One main cause of our nervous system not working properly is an atlas misalignment.

The initial cause for a misalignment of the atlas bone is a physical injury. It can be a car accident, slip, fall, hit to the head, or even a birth trauma.

Using specific Upper Cervical Chiropractic procedures (I use an offshoot of NUCCA and Orthospinology called QSM3), we are able to reduce or eliminate the misalignment, taking stress off of the nervous system allowing our bodies to heal. Upper cervical chiropractors know that healing comes from within ourselves. Our goal is to remove the irritation of the nervous system allowing that healing to happen.

When we have a misaligned atlas, the ligaments are in a stretched position. When the atlas is putted back into place, the ligaments are still injured and take time to heal. Because of this we can go back out of alignment. During the first adjustment visit, I give tips on how to keep your alignment.

Causes of us going back out of alignment are another physical injury, physical stress, chemical stress, emotional stress, and lack of sleep. In future topics, I will go into more detail with each one.


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About Dr. Michael Polsinelli, DC

I really enjoy my work. It is a combination of listening, analyzing, and the skill of performing my craft. I love the expression on my patients faces when I puzzle out a long standing problem of theirs, or when their pain leaves after gently adjusting them. Read more about me

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