What is Atlas and how is it adjusted?

The first two vertebrae - the atlas vertebra and the axis, i.e., C1 and C2, have a very important role of connecting the skull with the spine. What’s interesting is that the atlas vertebra was named after the Greek god Atlas, who held the whole world on his shoulders, while the atlas in your body holds the world that lives in your head. The atlas vertebra is in the shape of a ring with two arches that allow the second vertebra, to create an axis thanks to which the head can nod and rotate.

The cervical part of the human spine consists of seven segments of bone with cartilaginous intervertebral discs between each body of the spine - the vertebrae, which we call C1 to C7.

This is our neck that supports the weight of our head and at the same time protects the nerves that transmit sensory and motor information from the brain to the rest of the body. The neck is extremely flexible and allows the head to turn and tilt in all directions.

The first two vertebrae (C1 and C2, or atlas and axis) are the most deserving for this flexibility, which, when in imbalance, can lead to problems in the whole organism.

People whose atlas is not aligned most often have problems with migraines, dizziness, headaches, neck, muscle and lower back pain, mood swings, anxiety and many other problems, which we will explain in more detail below.

Atlas and axis vertebrae (C1 and C2 vertebrae)

The first two vertebrae - the atlas vertebrae and the axis, i.e., C1 and C2, have a very important role of connecting the skull with the spine. What’s interesting is that the atlas vertebra was named after the Greek god Atlas, who held the whole world on his shoulders, while the atlas in your body holds to the world that lives in your head.

The atlas vertebra is in the shape of a ring with two arches that allow the second vertebra to create an axis thanks to which nodding and rotation of the head are made possible.

These two vertebrae are very important because of the connection they have with the brain stem. Trillions of nerve fibers from the brain stem pass through an opening in the atlas and descend into the spinal column. Since the opening through the atlas is so small, any movement out of position, even a fraction of a degree, can restrict the nerves and distort the messages that travel from the brain to different body parts. The result is body imbalance, nerve dysfunction, disease and pain.

Atlas vertebra adjustment at Fizionova

When the atlas is not aligned, the whole body can experience problems. Medications can help repair the consequences, but until the atlas is aligned, the condition will not go away on its own. Because, in order for the organs and cells of the body to function properly, they must receive continuous signals from the brain. The path of the nervous system in the spine is crucial for your well-being and it starts from the top, that is, from the atlas.

Although you can find Internet ads of many "experts" who can adjust the atlas and solve your problems in just a few minutes, it is very important to approach this problem professionally and carefully.

At our Center, you can be sure that the diagnosis and treatment will be performed by experts who will effectively solve your atlas misalignment problem. Depending on your specific condition, our doctors will recommend the best type of treatment, exercises and mode of functioning after the procedure to make sure that the problem does not recur.

To get more information and to schedule an examination, call us at: 011/21-00-58
Our operators will find the first available appointment that suits you and will provide you with all the necessary information related to questions and concerns that you may have regarding treatment in our Center.

Atlas misalignment - causes

The C1 to C2 vertebrae are the only ones in the body that do not have a disc and that are not firmly connected like other vertebrae. Therefore, it happens that the atlas is "dislocated", that its position is incorrect, and the causes can be:

  • bad sleeping positions

  • blows to the head and neck

  • traffic accidents

  • bad posture

  • weak muscles

  • in rare cases, sneezing can also cause atlas misalignment

Why is adjusting the atlas key to the well-being of the whole organism?

There are many important structures that are directly affected by the position of the atlas and because of which adjusting the atlas is crucial for the proper functioning of the whole organism. These are the structures in question:

  • The nerve roots C-1 and C-2, right at the back at the base of the skull, which are located directly above and below the atlas. These roots become extremely sensitive and swell when the atlas moves from its normal position, which leads to the so-called cervicogenic headache.

  • The spinal arteries on each side of the atlas pass at an angle of more than 90 degrees before entering the skull. These arteries are responsible for the flow of blood in most of the brain. Atlas misalignment can press or stretch those arteries and affect blood flow to the brain. (It is said that this may result in severe and frequent migraine headaches.)

  • Atlas misalignment can affect the muscles in the back of the head, neck, shoulders, and even in the lower back. Through postural reflexes, these muscles can become tense and sore in an attempt to compensate for the atlas misalignment, causing all sorts of problems from tension headaches and lower back pain to sciatica.

  • The dura mater, the hard layer surrounding the brain and spinal cord, is attached to the skull, as are the atlas and axis vertebrae. If the atlas is not aligned, tension on the dura can potentially be created. The consequence of this can be a problem in the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (brain "blood"), which results in pressure changes in and around the brain and spinal cord. It is assumed that this can be the cause of numerous conditions, from all types of headaches, sinus problems, and even lower back pain. After adjusting the atlas and returning to a normal position, this tension can be alleviated and thus enable healing and relief of problems.

  • TMJ i.e., jaw joint, is located very close to the atlas and is attached by soft tissue. Due to the misalignment of the atlas, pressure or tension can occur on the TMJ, which then changes its normal movement, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms in the jaw area.

Eustachian tube, that is, the ear canals, may close due to the pressure in the upper part of the neck when the atlas is misaligned. This leads to accumulation of fluid in the ear, which results in ear pain and potential infections. Adjusting the atlas can facilitate drainage and proper flow in the ear canals.

Atlas vertebrae misalignment - symptoms

Here follows a list of some of the most common signs and symptoms that the atlas is misaligned - however, you should keep in mind that an average case has at least 3 of these signs and symptoms:

  • neck pain, stiffness, muscle pain
  • a headache that often affects the base of the skull and usually dominates on one side of the head
  • a migraine that not only produces pulsing pain but can also cause vision problems, nausea or vomiting
  • dizziness, fainting, tinnitus, and some forms of hearing loss
  • pain or paralysis of the face
  • cracking sounds in the neck or at the base of the skull when turning the head or neck
  • inability to fully turn or tilt the head to one side or the other (loss of range of motion)
  • shoulder pain which is common between the shoulder blades but can also occur between the neck and shoulders
  • jaw pain
  • distortions such as head tilt, shoulder tilt, pelvis, short leg...
  • chest or rib pain
  • irritation of the nerve roots can occur at the points of stress along the spine
  • radiating pain in the arms, shoulders and legs (sciatica) can develop through tension and irritation of the nerve roots
  • lower back pain and spinal disc damage occur over time due to disbalanced posture
  • pain and dysfunction of the hip, knee, or ankle usually on the side of the short leg
  • high blood pressure (of neurological origin)
  • vagus nerve rupture that can manifest as a problem of the heart, lungs, stomach, or other digestive organs
  • dysautonomy due to a disbalance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, leading to a state of chronic stress
  • difficulty sleeping, insomnia and some cases of bruxism

It is crucial to note that misalignment in the atlas will slowly cause health problems, and the average time until the onset of symptoms is 10-15 years.


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