If you have ever been in a car accident (and here in SWFL who hasn’t been…) you know how it usually goes. The instant it happens, first you get your bearings, and then you do a mental checklist of injuries, and evaluate if you are ok. If the accident is severe enough, you go to the ER to get checked out. They shoot some x-rays and do some other tests. Sometimes whiplash is given as a diagnosis, but often you are checked out, told all is well, and sent home.
The ER does a great job if you are injured, and a great job at making sure there are no fractures or serious injuries. What they are not looking for is something we call an Atlas subluxation, and it might be the most significant factor that can affect your short, and even long term health.
What is an Atlas?
Remember Atlas from Greek mythology? The poor Titan, whose punishment was to hold up the heavens for eternity? The top bone in your neck is named the Atlas after this Greek myth. It holds up our brain, the most important part of our body. While Atlas the Titan is strong and powerful, our Atlas is a bit different.
The average head weighs about 10 lbs. The average Atlas vertebrae weighs 2 oz. Imagine that head whipping around when your car gets hit, and the force that gets applied to that little bone at the base of your skull. Crash tests have shown that a rear impact of even 8mph can generate a 5g force on the upper neck. More than enough force to injure the soft tissue there.
Very often, once the trauma is over, this small area becomes a big issue. You can develop lingering headaches that don’t seem to go away, lower back pain, “brain fog” where you just can’t seem to think clearly, insomnia, etc… the list can go on and on as the symptoms seem to pile up over the months or even years following the accident.
One of the first questions I ask new patients is, “have you ever been in a car accident?” The answer isn’t always yes (there are certainly other ways to injure that area), but very often we can trace their current condition back to the moment of, or shortly after, the accident.
What is an Atlas subluxation?
In medicine, a subluxation is an incomplete or partial dislocation of a joint.
The Atlas is in close proximity to a part of your central nervous system called the brain stem. The brain stem controls and coordinates virtually all of your body's vital functions. When damage to the connective tissues occurs due to accidents and injuries, the Atlas can misalign and get stuck into an abnormal position, resulting in pressure, tension, irritation, and disruption to blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid circulation. An Atlas subluxation will also result in a postural distortion. Those distortions can lead to headaches, neck pain, upper/lower back pain, sciatica and even hip, knee, or ankle pain.
Very often the Atlas is stuck for years and slowly health problems develop due to the pressure and irritation it causes. In our office we see these cases daily. Many are people who have searched for years for an answer to their health problems. Usually they have been to multiple medical providers with little to no answers.
Upper cervical chiropractors are experts at analyzing the Atlas subluxation, and restoring it to its normal position (without cracking or twisting the neck). Once the Atlas is returned to the right position, the body is able to start healing itself, and we see some incredible results. Best of all, we often provide an answer to the question “what is wrong with me?” that was often asked for years, even decades. Contact us for more details or use the link below to book a free consultation.
Dr. Lee Angle
Dr. Lee Angle is originally from southern West Virginia. After having his life changed through Upper Cervical Care he chose to pursue it as a career. He has been practicing Upper Cervical Chiropractic for over nine years. Dr. Angle previously worked as a certified personal trainer. This background allows him to educate his patients on proper movement and exercises to speed their recovery and enhance their Upper Cervical Care.