- By: Dr. John Stenberg
- Date: Jun 25, 2019
How to Find A Good Upper Cervical Chiropractor in Colorado Springs
Chiropractic care comes in many forms and fashion. From a provider’s perspective, this allows a wide range of practice styles to suit your skills, interests, community needs, etc. However, consumers are often confused by the lack of continuity from practice to practice. I engage with patients and community members all the time that think that most chiropractors practice the same way – and they are mostly correct.
If we were to categorize all the chiropractors in Colorado Springs, for example, the vast majority would fall into the category of conventional chiropractic. While there are a variety of technique approaches included here, the goals are essential the same: increase range of motion, decrease muscle spasm, and/or relieve pain. While these are all certainly noteworthy goals, the path to meeting those goals is often generalized, with the same treatment for everyone.
Now this is not to disparage my colleagues, because many people find relief this way. However, there are individuals who require a more focused approach, and understanding that there are other options in Colorado Springs is essential for their long-term health outcomes.
What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
The spine has three regions, the cervical (neck), thoracic (midback), and lumbar (low back). The upper cervical region is the top of the spine and the most mobile. Upper cervical chiropractors focus on identifying and correcting issues in this part of the spine. While these may seem limited in scope, there are several reasons why paying particular attention to this part of the spine is important.
- This is the most mobile part of the spine – it is commonly injured even though symptoms likely don’t show up for months to years.
- Every nerve fiber in the spinal cord goes into the brain through this region of the spine – irritation in this area is likely to have more widespread effects throughout the body.
- Shifts in this part of the spine decrease the integrity of the entire spinal system – resulting in a gradual breakdown of posture and the eventual onset of symptoms.
- The upper neck is the choke point for fluid and blood flow to and from the brain – nourishment needs to travel in, and waste needs to travel out through this area. Obstruction here can contribute to a host of other negative processes.
- Every other region of the spine can correct itself – expect the upper neck. This means that fixing this part of the spine can eliminate structural stress and allow the lower spine to fix itself.
Upper cervical chiropractors are very focused on doing the most benefit with the fewest amount of adjustments, providing corrective solutions rather than year-long treatment plans or open-ended memberships. We have goals and we want to see you progress to meet those goals.
What Do Upper Cervical Chiropractors do?
For the average new or prospective patient in Colorado Springs, things proceed as follows:
- Initial consultation – we first need to establish your needs, goals, and concerns to determine if upper cervical care is the right fit for you.
- Comprehensive examination – testing is essential for understanding how to proceed with each patient. Rather than take a “one-size-fits-all” approach, we use objective measurements to determine the appropriate course of care. Some of these tests may include:
- Advanced imaging to measure structural displacements.
- NeuroThermal Analysis to measure the effects of nerve irritation in the cervical spine.
- Structural Analysis to measure any imbalanced postures that your body has adopted.
- Balance and coordination testing to determine the functional effects of improper structure.
- Complete spinal exam to identify priorities and considerations for managing your case All of this testing serves as the baseline or starting point of your care.
- Individualized Care Plan – designed to take you from Point A to Point B. While it does take time to correct structure, if we are doing our job you should not NEED to be adjusted on a weekly basis to maintain a higher level of function.
- Complementary Recommendations – focused on the strategies that you can and should employ outside of the office to get the most out of your care.
- Retest – we always want to check back in and measure the progress that you’ve made as well as identify strategies for long-term results.
How Do You Know if You Should See and Upper Cervical Chiropractor in Colorado Springs?
Upper cervical chiropractic is focused on identifying and correcting Atlas Displacement Complex, also known as upper cervical subluxation. Candidates for upper cervical chiropractic in Colorado Springs are commonly experiencing secondary conditions that are related to an underlying shift at the top of the neck including:
- Neck and spinal pain
- Shoulder pain
- Migraine headaches
- Sensory processing issues
- Ringing in the ears
- Poor posture
Many of theses signs overlap with other conditions, and so many individuals live with undetected Atlas Displacement Complex. Consider the additional criteria that help us to identify good candidates for upper cervical chiropractic:
- History of whiplash/car accident
- History of concussion or sports injury
- Stiff neck with limited range of motion
If you meet 1-3 of these criteria minimum, you may be a great candidate for upper cervical chiropractic in Colorado Springs.
Common Questions and Concerns Regarding Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Colorado Springs
“I’m afraid to have my neck adjusted. I’ve heard it can cause a stroke, is this true?”
This is a common myth floating around social media, and one that is reasonable to consider. Upper cervical chiropractors to not perform generalized or aggressive neck manipulation that may potentially strain the blood vessels of the neck. In fact, upper cervical adjustments do not include any twisting, popping, or cracking of the neck. We always want to be targeted, low force, and conservative with adjusting the neck, and upper cervical chiropractic is a safe and effective approach for managing the neck.
“I’ve heard that if I go to the chiropractor I’ll have to keep going for the rest of my life.”
This is simply untrue. The goal of upper cervical chiropractic is to get the best results with the fewest adjustments. This means that once you achieve a reasonable level of stability, you will not need to be seen frequently to maintain your alignment and quality of life.
“Can’t I just get a massage instead?
While massage therapy is effective and certainly complementary, structural problems require structural solutions. This means that proper structural alignment and balance is important for getting the full benefit of your massage.
Is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Safe for Kids?
Atlas Displacement Complex is not an age-related condition, and it can also affect kids. Upper cervical chiropractic helps Colorado Springs kids to maintain their alignment and spinal health throughout development without the need frequent adjustments.