Being Health Smart

Neck/Low Back Pain
The Atlas/C1 Subluxation is one of the most common causes of neck as well as lower back pain. Due to the close proximity of the spine and central nervous system, misaligned upper cervical neck vertebrae often result in architectural/mechanical  stress to the entire spine and pelvis, applying tension to the brain stem, spinal cord and spinal nerves, and triggering postural muscle imbalance that can lead to pelvic imbalance, as well as pain and dysfunction in the lower back or pelvis, functional short leg syndrome, as well as anywhere in the neuromusculoskeletal system. Resulting compensatory muscle spasm further perpetuates these strained spinal patterns, leading to chronic dysfunction, inflammation, pain and impaired bodily function in a cyclical pattern that continues unless the original cause is corrected.  Pain killing drugs which often have toxic side effects, often merely mask symtoms. And while exercise, stretching and massage are often helpful in lessening symptoms, the Atlas Orthogonal upper cervical adjustment focuses on correcting the original cause.

80% of headaches originate from the neck. Injury to the upper cervical spine region, whether recent or chronic in nature and resulting from old injuries, compromise normal function in the brain stem, affecting branches from the cervical or brachial plexuses that travel to the head, and causing associated muscles to become hypertonic or spastic.  Conversely, an increased amount of stress and tension held in the shoulders causes contractions of all of the surrounding neck muscles that often attach on the skull.  When these muscles contract, vertebrae can become misaligned causing pressure on spinal nerves, and ultimately pain. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually experiencing pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead.
There may be several other causes of headaches, so a proper history and examination is needed to consider these additional possibilities. 

Disc problems
The intervertebral disc (IVD) is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jellylike center (nucleus) is contained by layers of fibrous tissues (annulus fibrosis). Each disc serves as spacers, and shock absorbers for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal bending and turning
Since spinal discs have a very poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily. This is how many disc problems begin.

Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, an injured  disc does not 'slip' as is commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, interfering with their function.

By addressing the fundamantal cause of global structural imbalance and repositioning the skull over the spine and pelvis, the weight rebalances over the center of the discal structures which facilitates healing. This shortens recovery time and allows for maximum healing of a degenerative condition.

The sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body,  is a long nerve originating in the lower back and extending through the buttock, thigh and down the back of the leg. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or other symptoms in the lower back and down the leg. There are several possible causes of this condition. An imbalanced spine caused by a misaligned Atlas vertebra or pelvic structure  can cause inflammation of the joints and resulting in irritation to the nerve. Bulging or herniated intervertebral discs and muscle spasms can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Several other conditions may cause this symptom, so a complete evaluation would be needed to correctly asses the exact cause.

Millions of people who suffer from a wide variety of conditions, allergies included, have benefited from Atlas Orthogonal care even though spinal care is not an allergy treatment per se.  Why? Because specific upper cervical spinal care is a  method of healthcare which, by reducing stress to the nervous system, permits your body to function at its best. That is especially important if you suffer from allergies or other autoimmune conditions.
A healthy immune system means improved resistance to disease and infection, better ability to adapt to stress and greater overall health and well-being. Recent understandings in psychoneuroimmunology reveal that when the nervous system functions better the immune system benefits. Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic care corrects a major source of body malfunction to improve the function of your immune system.

Whiplash  spinal injuries most commonly occur  when riding in a car that is struck by another vehicle or collides with another object, even at relatively slow speeds. As the head and neck are whipped back and forth beyond their normal limits, the brainstem, spinal cord, spinal nerves, as well as muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn, resulting in significant pain, inflammation and impaired neurological function. The Atlas Vertebrae can be forced out of its normal position, altering normal range of motion.

The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even lower back symptoms.  As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months  after the initial injury. Our approach to these types of injuries is to use specific upper cervical spinal correction or adjustment to help restore optimal spinal function. After a thorough examination and case history, the doctor will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of the spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.

Following a motor vehicle injury, consult with Dr. Dolan before enduring constant headaches, neck and spine pain, depending upon addictive pain medication, or submitting to surgery.

Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage in response to mechanical stress,  most commonly occurring  in the weight bearing joints of the body such as the spine, hips and knees, and also commonly in the wrists and hands. As the joint surfaces deteriorate, normal motion is reduced, resulting in joint stiffness and increased strain and irritation to nearby nerves and strain on the supporting muscles.  Additionally, joint function changes can lead to compensatory abnormal movement patterns and place functional strain on other areas of the body as well. Although degenerative changes are common with uncorrected structural distortions they do not always initially result in pain until they compromise normal joint and neurological function.  In an effort to prevent osteoarthritic conditions from developing, we focus on restoration and maintenance of optimal joint function by restoring normal spinal alignment and additionally through rehabilitative techniques training muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints. In addition, we assess how the body as a whole is functioning to uncover any other movement abnormalities that may be affecting the degenerated area(s).

Joint Dysfunction
Joints of the body need to move. When this movement becomes restricted and normal motion is altered several problems arise. Most commonly joint dysfunction results in pain, stiffness, muscle tightness, cartilage breakdown/degeneration, and movement compensation leading to undue stress on other areas of the body. Joint dysfunction are common in the spine and the extremities and can commonly occur with injury, poor posture, muscles tightness, scar tissue, or muscles imbalance.
Dr. Dolan will assess movement of the joints to feel for areas of altered or restricted movements. Whenever possible simple home exercises are demonstrated to facilitate and maintain proper motion in key areas. Underlying factors such as poor posture and muscle imbalance often need to be addressed in cases of chronic or recurrent joint dysfunction.

Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve is just that. It is a severely compressed nerve, usually caused by a misaligned vertebra. When nerves get pinched they become severely inflamed and muscles may spasm, causing even more discomfort. The pain is usually so severe that you can't move that part of the body and it can cause other symptoms as well.
There can be several causes of the pinched nerve; a proper examination is needed to determine the exact cause.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
These days millions of Americans have jobs which can have damaging effects on the hands and arms. Repetitive movements which are not performed with good ergonomics in mind can cause micro-trauma to the hands and wrists. This trauma combined with joint dysfunction and spinal problems may result in a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve which is affected travels from the tips of the fingers through the wrist up the arm and into the neck connecting to the spinal cord. If one or more of these structures are affected, symptoms of wrist pain, numbness, weakness, burning and loss of muscle function can occur.
Dr. Dolan can support all of the joints and muscles along the path of the nerve are free of obstruction and functioning normally, thus reducing nerve irritation.

Sustainable Health Care
What many people don't know is that you don't have to be injured to benefit from Atlas Orthogonal spinal care. By staying well adjusted with maintenance spinal care you can help prevent injury. Some other possible benefits of maintenance care are: optimal nerve output for optimal physical performance, improved posture, arthritis prevention, decreased stiffness, increased mobility, energy, strength, circulation, and improved immune function just to name a few.

Everybody benefits from spinal care a little differently, but one thing everybody has in common is that they just feel better when in adjustment and performing the prescribed daily exercises. 

Fibromyalgia is a controversial and complicated condition to understand. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including "head-to-toe" joint and muscle function, nutrition, and lifestyle issues. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing, as well as other specialized tests, will help to determine the exact causes of your symptoms and your individualized treatment plan. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.

Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Other treatment options may include ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy & myofascial release techniques. These procedures, combined with nutritional & herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy constitute a comprehensive, holistic approach. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a "cure" for fibromyalgia, upper cervical care has demonstrated being very successful in the effective management of this condition. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral will be made.

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