Waimea, HI (Kamuela) Upper Cervical Chiropractor
The cervicocranial junction (CCJ) is a very unique and vitally important area of the body. It is composed of the occiput, atlas, and axis. Often times, this area of the spine is neglected. Neurologists and Psychiatrists look above the CCJ to see what is wrong with the brain. Orthopedists and Physical Therapists look below the CCJ to see what is wrong with the musculoskeletal system.
Although this is an extremely complex area, the one thing we want to focus on in this blog is the anatomical structure of the upper cervical spine.
- Unlike any other vertebra in the spine, the atlanto-occipital joint and the atlanto-axial joint have no locking mechanism. Although, this junction houses the majority of rotation of the head and neck, it also sets the stage for a very unstable area susceptible to injury.
- Known causes of trauma that could cause asymptomatic problems of the upper cervical spine are the birth process, whiplash injury, falls, etc.
- The major functional stabilizer of the craniocervical junction are ligaments and muscles. According to the journal Neurology India, the muscles that attach to the occiput, atlas, and axis have the greatest density of muscle spindles per gram of muscle tissue in the body.
What does this mean?
This area of the spine has the most sensitive proprioceptive input for postural control and knowing where our body is in space. This influences one of the strongest reflexes of the body which keeps your eyes level to the horizon.
- Disturbances in the proprioceptive input of the upper cervical spine can result in problems with dizziness, vision, gait, migraines, headaches, loss of balance, ataxia, etc.
Drs. Tate & Kate Gentile focus on the upper cervical spine and craniocervical junction. Utilizing state of the art technology and 3 dimensional digital x rays they are able to determine the status of your upper cervical spine and if it is related to the underlying cause of your health concern. Give our Waimea chiropractic office a call to see if we can help you. We always offer a free 15 minute health consultation.