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Home | Evidence | Anatomy | Upper Cervical Animations


These animations and the following ones, which have been downloaded from the now defunct Life University Research site, are valuable in explaining the mechanisms of injury and of the corrective adjustment to the upper cervical spine. Hopefully, I can give you my layperson’s interpretation to make it easy for you to understand what you are viewing.


This animation is of an upper cervical adjustment. This adjustment shows how the head and neck are re-aligned after an upper cervical (atlas) adjustment is performed by an upper cervical chiropractor. The headpiece serves to allow the head to drop and for the relationship between the skull and atlas to be restored. This type of dropping head piece is typically used in toggle recoil adjustments to the atlas.






This animation emphasizes what I consider to be quite a common injury to the upper cervical spine. In playing the movie you will note the how the skull, when receiving a force to one side, glides up the occipital condyles on the atlas (C1) vertebra and ‘jams’ the atlas in a subluxated position. Use the slider in the Media Player to view this mechanism of injury. Now envisage the tension, which must be placed on the spinal cord and lower brainstem, as well as on critical structures, neurological and vascular exiting the skull.





This animation is known as the ‘Grostic Kink Subluxation’ and shows the effects of an upper cervical subluxation on head and neck alignment. Use the Media Player slider to view the animation frame by frame. Note the pronounced misalignment and angle of the neck in relation to the skull. This is one of the hallmarks of someone who has sustained an atlas subluxation and if you are alert you will spot people with this problem, daily.






This is an animation that gives a 360° panoramic view of the skull atop the cervical spine. If you stop the animation halfway through, you can view the atlas in the open mouth position in its position at the back of the throat.








This is an animation of the cervical spine in rotation. Note how the vertebrae move as a ‘global’ unit with the atlas exhibiting the greatest amount of rotation, and the base of the cervical spine (C7) rotating the least. Subluxations in the upper cervical region can and do interfere with the biomechanical integrity of the whole cervical spine and affect its ability to work as a complete and contiguous unit.






This is a file from the Society of Orthospinology website www.orthospinology.org and shows the amazing reabsorption of the L4 disc which had herniated into the spinal canal. The upper cervical chiropractic technique employed was ‘Atlas Orthogonal’ described elsewhere on my website, and the period of care and adjustment for this person was 8 months. This morph of sagittal MRI taken over that period clearly serves to highlight how adjustments made to the upper cervical spine (atlas) and re-positioning of the skull so that it is placed directly over the spinal column and pelvis below it, results in complete biomechanical changes, resulting in re-alignment all the way to the base of the spine.









Again, this is a file from the Society of Orthospinology website www.orthospinology.org and shows the change in cervical lordosis which is achieved when the skull is re-positioned, by atlas adjustment, to its rightful position. This position requires having the centre of gravity over the C7 vertebra.


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