Many people do not realize that one of the benefits of upper cervical chiropractic care can be the proper flow of blood and oxygen to and from the brain. Structural misalignments at the skull-neck junction can decrease blood flow and irritate the spinal cord. This compromised structure can have adverse effects on the Vertebral Artery, causing potential harmful effects on the bodies health. Precise neck manipulations can reposition the upper cervical spine increasing blood flow and increasing the potential of the central nervous system.
Your brain is supplied blood from two arterial sources: the internal carotid arteries and the paired vertebral arteries. The blood supply to the brain from the carotid arteries is called the anterior circulation to the brain, whereas the blood from the vertebral arteries is known as the posterior circulation. The Vertebral Artery is exceptionally unique: it ascends to the brain through an opening, known as a foramen, in the transverse process of the first cervical vertebrae(the atlas). This special opening, known as the foramen transversarium, helps the artery to enter the skull through the foramen magnum. Once it enters the skull, the Vertebral Artery merges to become the singular Basilar Artery.
As you can imagine, this is a very important artery for your body. If anything happens to it, it’s positioning, or its ability to deliver blood and oxygen properly, it can compromise the performance and health of your brain in a matter of seconds.
In recent years there has been an all-out attack on the chiropractic profession. Intimating that neck manipulations cause a stroke. A study published showed that upper cervical chiropractic care is extremely safe and effective in relieving musculoskeletal complaints. There are only 2 known incidents of stroke following neutral position upper cervical adjusting. With hundreds of thousands of upper cervical corrections made each year the incidents and chances of stroke following upper cervical correction is extremely rare. Temporal associations will always occur with stroke and any health care procedure. The fact of the matter is that upper cervical care is not only effective but extremely safe because of the precision and care were taken in the delivery of the correction.
If you fear that your Vertebral Artery is experiencing dissection, you might feel dizziness, vertigo, drop attacks, ataxia of gait, nausea, nystagmus, and numbness. The most telling cause of all is the sudden onset of neck pain with no explanation for it. Activities like childbirth, yoga, calisthenics, hanging, amusement park rides, protracted dental work, archery, and so forth can be a precipitating cause.
Upper Cervical Care
Upper cervical chiropractors take great care in determining where your neck is out of alignment. Precise digital x-ray or cbct is used to precisely determine which joint and how far it has misaligned. because upper cervical corrections use no rotation of the neck during a correction, the chances of vertebral artery dissection are remote. Any case that has vertebral artery dissection while under upper cervical care has a predisposed underlying structural problem that is most likely NOT related to upper neck corrections. If you or a friend has chronic neck pain or other chronic health problems make an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor today!