Do you still have ongoing head, neck or shoulder pain?
Do you hurt while you drive and are you kept awake at night? Do you make your neck crack and a little while later rub at that sore hard spot that just does not want to go away?
When your head is not balanced on your neck properly the results are not just local neck and head pain but discomfort in many other places as well. An unbalanced head on neck can be the cause of low energy levels and reduce your sense of well being
Your atlas is the top neck bone and forms the foundation for your head to rest on. The Atlas is located behind your jaw, below the ear hole, under the earlobe and in front of the base of your head. In the right place the head and the atlas fit snugly one on top of the other. When your head does not rest on the first neck bone correctly, then your head gets shifted forwards, rotated and tilted off centre.
The result — your head is not on straight.
To use a car analogy; it is like not having your wheels aligned. You steer to go in one direction while the wheels and the rest of the car is set to go in another. When this happens in your car… you as the driver get tired because if you let go of the steering wheel the car veers off the road. Not only that… it causes wear and tear on tires, suspension and increases fuel consumption.
It is the same for the head except there are many more sensitive structures involved.
A mal-aligned head affects nerves to and from the brain; it also affects reflexes between your neck, eyes and balance system which can make you feel off balance, nauseous and sore.
Your unbalanced head / neck affect blood vessels to and from the brain and strain the muscles and ligaments that hold your 5kg head on top of your neck.
Your five kg head is literally balanced on two small surfaces the size of the pad of the tip of your little finger.
Your unbalanced head causes other vertebrae or spinal bones to compensate by twisting and turning. This twisting compensation is called a scoliosis and your compensatory scoliosis often gets blamed for the pain and discomfort you have.
Additionally your spinal muscles have to work hard so that your feet and head both go in the same direction. The scoliosis makes it difficult to line your head up with your feet.
Over time your muscles, ligaments and nerves become overworked and sore …causing discomfort in places other than close to the neck.
For example, there is one nerve called the vagus nerve, (vagus means wandering….. you guessed it the vagus nerve goes to many places). Your vagus nerve goes to the ears, the lungs, the heart, large intestine, small intestine and that is not all!
The vagus nerve passes just in front of the atlas bone.
In the mal aligned twisted position the atlas can put pressure or stretch the vagus nerve so it can’t work properly.
Can you now more clearly see why a small mal positioned bone under your head can cause a problem as far away as your large intestine?
The vagus nerve is just one nerve; there are more nerves, muscles and ligaments which connect to the head and atlas that have connections a long way away from your head.
There is evidence that not having your head on straight can affect your moods, your ability to concentrate, your sleep and energy levels.
So it is vital to have your high neck checked out particularly since many practitioners don’t do so even if they are allied health practitioners focusing on spinal problems.
No, it’s not a cure all but unless you get your head positioned straight, you will never know if your head, neck, shoulder and tummy pain are all linked to your unbalanced head and atlas.
First Get Assessed for your Head and Neck by a Certified and Trained Practitioner who knows Atlas work.
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A seasoned vestibular & neuro physiotherapist with close to 40 yrs clinical experience with a special focus on concussion, head, neck and upper spine pain.