To understand how the upper cervical spine affects the lower back, you must first understand some anatomy and physiology. When the atlas misaligns, it causes the head to tilt one way or the other. The brain doesn’t like to be on a tilt so the righting reflex kicks in. This forces the rest of the spine to compensate, many times causing pinched nerves in the lower back, and sometimes on the sciatic nerve.
With an estimated 80% of the US population experiencing back pain at some point in their lives, and the prevalence of disability due to low back pain increasing 54% between 1990 and 2015, it is no wonder that many people are looking for a solution to their back pain. Unfortunately, many are told the only solution is a lifetime of medications, or even worse, surgery. If you have been unsuccessful with alleviating your low back pain, it may be due to an upper cervical misalignment. Schedule your complimentary consultation today to see if upper cervical chiropractic might be right for you.
The vast majority of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their life, and Sciatica is frequently seen occurring alongside. Ironically enough, the top two bones of your neck, called the atlas vertebrae, have a major part to play in the health and wellbeing of the lower back.
The average human neck weighs about 10-15 pounds, and the neck is constantly working to keep the head upright and level. Factors like a desk job, injury, improper posture, and a variety of other causes can lead to your body working in overtime to keep your head neutral. Over time, parts of the body will shift to accommodate the head- a shoulder will lower slightly, a hip will raise up, the spine will shift. Even the smallest misalignment in the neck can cause serious pain, and because the sciatic nerve causes pain along the buttocks and legs, the neck is frequently overlooked as the source of the issue.
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Eventually, the shifts that your body makes to keep the head level will cause pain, frequently manifesting in lower back pain and sciatica. When the sciatic nerve gets irritated, it can cause back pain, buttock pain, and pain in one of both of the legs. It can also lead to numbness and tingling, in one or both of the legs. Because the head is the main center of gravity, the body will do anything to keep the head neutral, and any uneven weight distribution caused as a result will eventually lead to chronic back pain.
Upper cervical chiropractic works by focusing on correcting the misalignment in the neck and atlas vertebrae, which allows your body to heal naturally, and move into proper posture position. A traditional chiropractor may be able to manipulate the spine and provide pain relief, but until the upper cervical region (where the brain stem meets the spinal cord) is corrected into alignment, the pain will generally come back.
At Athens Upper Cervical Chiropractic, our team works by using x-rays and imaging technology to view the areas of the neck and spine that are experiencing misalignment, and using that data to perform precise, gentle adjustments. Over time, patients have seen great reductions in pain levels, even after only a couple of visits. Because the nervous system has such an important role in the body, if the nerves are irritated, conditions like Sciatica will occur. By easing the upper cervical spine and neck back into alignment, the nervous system is better able to communicate with the body, and the pain caused by nerve irritation can be eliminated. Our Watkinsville office is located off Mars Hill Road, and is just a few minutes past Athens, GA.
If you’ve tried everything for your pain, and you’ve been recommended a long list of doctors, medications, surgeries, and invasive procedures, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with us to see if upper cervical chiropractic can help.