The Gardner Clinic of Chiropractic
Charles H. Gardner, D.C.
418 - 94th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Florida 33702
Phone: (727) 577-0988 • Fax: (727) 576-7994
Bone misalignment does not "just happen"
The causes of spinal misalignment are many and varied. Some are more obvious than others, such as those caused by injury to the back from car accidents, sports injuries, home and work mishaps, etc. Trauma of this kind frequently demands immediate attention because of the pain and immobility which usually accompany it.
Other causes can be far less visible. They tend to happen slowly, and since the onset of symptoms is equally slow, we tend to get used to the discomfort or even learn to ignore it until its effects become so painful or disabling that we are driven to find relief.
Poor posture, bad sleeping habits or improper lifting and carrying of heavy loads are only a few of the many causes of spinal misalignment. The causes may vary but the results are the same... gradual displacement of the cervical vertebrae and the resulting dysfunction of the back, and quite often the entire body.
Definitions: A misalignment of the vertebrae is known as a "subluxation" (pronounced: sub-lux-a-shun). "Orthogonal" means having to do with or involving right angles. The "atlas" is the top vertebra of the spinal column and is the bone on which the head rests. Therefore the "Atlas Orthogonal" chiropractic technique works to align the top vertebra so as to allow the rest of the backbones to be able to move into alignment.
Normal "Orthogonal" Alignment of the Head, Neck and Spine
Illustrated at right is the proper alignment of the head on the vertebrae of the spinal column. The weight of the head is centered and balanced correctly over the supporting vertebrae. The spinal vertebrae are correctly positioned in relationship to each other, and the path of the spinal nerves is clear and unobstructed permitting natural function and health. When this alignment is off, blood flow and nerves can become pinched or obstructed causing pain and immobility.
Correcting Subluxations... the Atlas Orthogonists Key to Renewed Health
The spinal vertebrae can become misaligned in such a way as to bring pressure and irritation to the nerves which travel through their openings. Since these nerves serve all parts of the body, providing a vital pathway to and from the brain, any subluxation which hinders or disrupts their function endangers the wellbeing of the entire body. These subluxations can cause sudden painful symptoms or may result in long-term, painful degeneration and physical impairment.
The Effects of Spinal Misalignment
Subluxations are often deceiving since the symptoms may appear at a point in the body far from the cause. Simple treatment of the symptom alone is generally fruitless. The longer the cause of the problem is allowed to exist, the longer and more difficult it is to correct. Care must be based on the doctor's findings, not on symptoms alone, therefore it is important to follow your chiropractor's recommendations.
Once the source of subluxation has been relieved and the pressure on the nerves eliminated, the body generally responds quickly and returns to normal, maximum health.
Restoring the body's healthful functions through expertly applied, painless adjustments to the spine, has for years been the philosophy and method of care of the Atlas Orthogonist.
Even though symptomatic pain may appear in the lower back, shoulders, arms or any other part of the body, their cause is very often located in the cervical spine. It is in this area that expert Chiropractic adjustment can effectively improve the health of the entire body.
Examination and Treatment
A careful examination is an important first step. After a thorough evaluation of the patient's health history and symptoms, the doctor begins a series of tests which help him locate the exact position of the subluxation. The doctor uses his experienced hands to feel the area of the cervical spine, in order to detect the slightest external indication of spinal misalignment. Since any shortness (contraction) in one leg, or loss of strength in a limb can indicate subluxation in the cervical spine, the doctor makes careful measurements of the legs and tests for muscle tone.
Scanning palpation is a valuable examination used to find the cause of present and possible future health problems. Patients are often amazed to have an area that they did not know was painful (potential problems), and that these same areas are often less painful or completely pain free after care!
The Chiropractor knows that nerve pressure and nerve interferences is harmful, and that the nerves act as transmitters to allow the body to stay healthy or get well. The doctor's duty is to keep the lines of communication open so you may stay well and, by the severity of the case and experience of the doctor, to determine the necessity of your next appointment.
X-raying the affected areas is a vital second step. It permits the doctor to first verify his findings and then make precision measurements, which will help determine exactly where to make the adjustment and how much adjustment will be needed to return the affected vertebrae toward their normal position. These X-rays are compared with subsequent X-rays in order to verify the progress of the treatments.
Gentle adjustment is made after a thorough evaluation of the patient's examination and test results. It is performed while the patient is comfortably positioned on a specially-designed, adjustable table. The Chiropractor then uses Atlas Orthogonal techniques to realign the vertebrae with gentle but precise mechanical adjustment of the cervical spine.
Verifying the adjustment is a vital after-treatment step. It may involve taking an additional X-ray to determine how much correction has been made and if additional correction is necessary. In cases where there is a particularly difficult or long-term misalignment, it is not uncommon for a number of adjustments to be required to achieve complete relief. Check-up visits are recommended for prevention and early detection of future problems. Your doctor will decide when you should come in for future visits based on your individual needs and the doctor's experience in cases similar to yours.
Set up an appointment by calling us at (727) 577-0988
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