Can Research on the Atlas Change Healthcare?
This past weekend, I got to spend time in Minneapolis for the semi-annual conference of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). It was really a pleasure getting to spend time and share experiences with some of the best in the world at structural correction.
Two things about this group always stood out to me about the doctors in this group. First is the level of commitment this group of chiropractors has toward improving their ability and skills to correcting atlas. Second is the devotion towards publishing research that shows how truly injurious atlas displacement complex can be to the function of the human body. Due to my passion for performing clinical research, I was actually invited to present some of the work I’ve done in practice over the past 3 years.
This year’s conference displayed some very eye-opening findings on the potential damage that atlas misalignments can have on degenerative neurological diseases. Currently, studies are being done out of Canada and New Jersey that show that injuries to the head can and will have affects on the alignment of the neck. These neck misalignments can cause:
1. Decreased blood flow out of the head
2. Decreased flow of a substance called cerebrospinal fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid is a substance produced by parts of your brain that help protect the brain from injury and is a very important for transporting nutrients and waste out of the brain.
Now this might not sound like a big deal, but let’s think about the brain for one moment. The brain is an organ that is extremely sensitive to pressure and chemical changes. Just ask anyone who has ever had a concussion or a wine induced headache for proof of that.
So now you have a brain with blood flow going into the head, but it’s blocked going out.
The first bad effect is that you have a traffic jam of liquid in the head. In the case of a child where the head is moldable, the head can expand until it leaves. However, as a fully grown adult, our heads are SOLID and can’t expand. That means that the soft brain gets compressed.
The second effect is that blood and cerebral spinal fluid leaving the brain is usually filled with metabolic by products of the body. In other words, it is full of cellular poop, the stuff that the body wants to get rid of. Now there is a back up of waste products into the brain which can change the pH or change the temperature/chemical make up of the spinal fluid.
Now you have a recipe for a brain surrounded by toxicity and chronically compressed by fluid. It’s a recipe for disaster in the long term. Research has been linking this state of brain inflammation and toxicity to things like chronic migraines, post concussion syndrome, and dementia. Together, these health problems cost the health care industry several billions of dollars per year in treatment.
The good news is this, correction of the atlas has been showing a great deal of promise in reversing many of these effects and alleviating the secondary conditions associated with it.
Here’s what’s even more important in my eyes. What about all of the people who have had various traumas to their head, lost the structural integrity of their neck, but feel no symptoms what so ever? This is how most people have presented into my office for help. Usually, the history of the first accident or trauma came several years before the symptoms began to show. This is a problem that grows slowly and insidiously over time.
As a society, we have to start paying less mind to symptoms and effects, and start focusing on primary causes.