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  • Dr. Mark Freund

Healing Time After Atlas Adjustment

after atlas adjustment treatment plan

Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic is a specialty within the chiropractic field. The Atlas Orthogonal system is a painless and safe spinal correction that restores body balance and reactivates the body's natural healing abilities. If you're considering receiving this treatment, you're likely performing research on what to expect and how long it'll take to recover. We'll cover everything about the procedure and how to ensure you maximize the benefits of the correction.

After Your First Atlas Adjustment

The atlas adjustment is a safe and precise procedure that helps to realign the atlas bone to ensure your neck is realigned. However, it's important to learn about what to expect from the procedure.

Will My Atlas Adjustment Hold After the First Adjustment?

The accuracy of the procedure affords the patient longer-lasting effects. Thus, one or two adjustments in many cases are usually all that is needed to get proven results. And while the Atlas can again lose its proper adjustment, for most patients, the procedure results in far fewer visits than most other procedures.

The result is that Atlas Orthogonal provides simple, gentle, and dramatic results. And that translates into greater relief, better health, fewer office visits, and less money spent.

The accuracy of the atlas chiropractic approach provides the patient with longer-lasting effects. In some cases, only one or two adjustments are required to achieve optimal results; other patients may require more extensive programs in order for the initial adjustments to hold and stabilize.

After the initial adjustment is made and the spine is returned to a balanced position, the symptoms will frequently be alleviated, and the body will then begin the recovery cycle where it starts to stabilize into a healthy, balanced position.

As soon as the body is stabilized and starts to hold the alignment, it will take about a month to recover for every year that the spine has been out of alignment, as long as the alignment is maintained. The end result of this gentle approach is pain relief, better health, fewer visits to the doctor's office, and less money spent.

What Can I Expect After the First Adjustment?

Immediate results differ from patient to patient. Thus, many patients experience significant improvements, while some patients report complete disappearance of their pain or symptoms after their first adjustment. Still, other individuals, particularly those with long-standing injuries or severe problems, go through a sequence of healing phases. Some of those stages may also involve some discomfort as the body becomes more accustomed to its new and correct alignment.

spinal correction

Patients should not be surprised if they experience any of the following:

  • Soreness or stiffness in various muscles groups

  • Alleviation of pain or a few unwanted symptoms

  • Wanting to rest or sleep more often

The body's healing process takes time. It also depends on the length of time your body was in a state of imbalance or misalignment. However, if you experience pain coming from new areas of your body, please contact your Atlas orthogonal chiropractor. There are two possible reasons for this: First, the pain may be related to the body's return to proper function. Second, it may be another problem that is only now surfacing. Do not worry because your chiropractor can help you. Having an aligned atlas ensures that the body's healing potential is at its best.

Factors That Affect Stability

How fast a person recovers and achieves stability depends on the severity of their misalignment along with other outside factors, including fatigue, stress, and even their ongoing care. This affects how the patient recovers and whether or not the spine will revert back to that unstable position.


Being fatigued and wearing yourself out can contribute to instability in your spine. When the spine is corrected, the ligaments will begin to heal. Until the ligaments have healed enough to hold the spine in place, the spine is held in the corrected position by the muscles around the spine. It is important to note that muscle was not originally designed to hold the spine in place; the primary tissues for that job are ligaments.

Muscles, unlike ligaments, can get fatigued. For example, if a person holds a bowling ball straight in front of them, they could hold it until the muscles reach their fatigue point, and then they will have to drop the ball. A similar thing happens with your spine; when the muscles reach their fatigue point, the correction will be lost because the body cannot hold it in place anymore. So how does a patient overcome this?

They first need to recognize the signs that they are fatigued and respond by taking a 15-20 minute break, allowing time for the fatigue to pass, and then they can resume what they were doing. The most common signs of fatigue are feeling weakness, tension, or tightness in the muscles in the neck and spine. The reason the muscles tense up is that they are straining to hold on to the alignment.

Patients must learn to resist the temptation to just keep working and ignore the "stop sign" their body is giving them. If caught before it is too late, the patient will hold on to the correction, and with time, their fatigue point will move out-meaning they will soon be able to go longer before they reach that fatigue point. It is important not to be discouraged if you have to take frequent breaks in the beginning. The more disciplined you become, the more endurance you will get as your body heals. It is also important to note any activity can fatigue the spine if done long enough.

suffering from atlas misalignment

Working in the garden, sitting at a computer, or even going for a walk can bring you to your fatigue point. Depending on a patient's type of injuries and what activity they are doing, they will fatigue at different rates. Some days you may be able to work for hours before you get tired, and other days, it may only take 10 minutes.

Consistent Care

One of the most important factors in stabilizing a patient is consistency of care. If a person has been out of alignment for 30, 40, 50, or 60 years, their body is not going to heal instantly. Although their symptoms may feel better quickly, the tissues of their body will require some time to heal.

The spine must spend more time in alignment than out of alignment; otherwise, it will likely not stabilize as it should. We have found that for most patients, this is best achieved by checking and correcting the spine two times per week until it is consistently stable for one week. For many adults, this phase lasts 6-8 weeks. (Children usually require less time).

Once the spine holds the correction consistently for one week, then we begin checking them 1/week for 6-8 weeks. When the patient stabilizes at that level, we move them to 1 visit every two weeks for 6-8 weeks. In our experience, by the time this protocol of treatments is finished, the majority of patients are able to hold an alignment for one month. At this point, if patients can hold for a month, we check them in a month. If they can hold two months, we move them out to 2 months.

As the patient continues to stabilize, they are moved out to a maximum length of 3 months. Once a patient reaches this level of stability (being checked once every three months), they are typically asymptomatic (have no symptoms), but the majority of the time are out of alignment at the 3-month mark.

This is most likely due to the various stresses of living in the world. Typically patients should see a chiropractor once per week to ensure they receive relief, but it often requires years to achieve what can be accomplished in months if people are seen twice a week at the beginning of care.


The number one thing that causes a person to come out of alignment sooner than they would otherwise is stress. Stress is a horribly destructive force that works negatively against the mind, will, emotions, and ultimately the body of the person experiencing the stress. Essentially, stress will overwhelm the mind, and when it reaches a certain threshold will overwhelm the body's ability to hold the spinal correction.

One reason for this is that stress will lead to abnormal tension in the muscles because of an overexcited nervous system which in turn pulls on the spine, making it harder to maintain the correction. There will always be things that cause stress; it is how we handle it when it comes that determines whether it will knock us out of alignment.

How to Maintain Your Atlas Orthogonal Spinal Correction

Even after the Atlas, orthogonal spinal correction is performed, it's important for the patient to seek advice and ask their chiropractor for advice on how to hold the spinal correction. If the atlas misalignment was caused by poor posture, repetitive movements, or other common occurrences, it's easy for the patient to suffer from the same misalignment in the future. As a result, it's important to learn about how to hold the correction to ensure you maintain an aligned atlas.

How to hold your atlas adjustment

There are a number of things you can do to keep your Atlas aligned, such as maintaining good posture, stretches, and body positioning that looks out for your spine. Take note of these simple tips:


Some devices also help to maintain alignments, such as an orthopedic footrest or a pair of high-quality, low-cost orthotics.

Watch Your Head

One way to maintain atlas alignment is to watch your head and pay attention to your posture at all times. You should also avoid tilting the head to the other side during adjustment because if you tilt the head so that the Atlas is higher, the setting is reversed, and you press it to the higher side.

Consider Physical Therapy

Few sessions with a physiotherapist to teach you strengthening exercises and plan out a physical activity program is also beneficial.

Improve Your Work Environment

Look at the ergonomics of your desk and improve your work environment. Ensure your work area is not only a workspace but also a setup that considers your spine health. It's also good to stretch from time to time or take breaks to go for walks, especially if you're sitting at your desk all day.

Good Nutrition

You need the right vitamins and minerals to strengthen your ligaments and cartilage.

Tips to help upper cervical adjustment hold

Once you have had your first upper cervical adjustment, you will understand that the key to care is not simply getting adjusted regularly but holding your adjustment between visits and getting checked to ensure you are holding and healing. How often you visit the office is your choice, and some people like to get checked regularly for peace of mind. However, following our recommendations will ensure the best results.

how to hold atlas alignment

Here are tips to help you hold the upper cervical adjustment longer:

  • Follow the schedule of appointments that we have set up for you. There is no substitute for carefully timed upper cervical adjustments.

  • Avoid physical and mental stress before and after each adjustment. The more relaxed you are, the better your upper cervical adjustment will hold.

  • Avoid excessive physical exertion, especially in the early stages of your care. Many people are in a rush to get back to normal, but this can be detrimental to holding their adjustments.

  • Resting (similar to what we do before and after your adjustments in the office) in-between visits allows your body to stabilize.

  • Sleep on your back or on your side. Ideally, you should have your neck supported while you sleep so your head is in a neutral position. To lessen the stress on your lower back, place a pillow under your knees (whilst on your back) or between your knees (whilst on your side).

  • Sit straight while in a chair, making sure that the lower back is supported. Do not sit with anything in your back pocket.

  • Lift properly. Bend at the knees whilst keeping the back straight.

  • Avoid movements that cause discomfort.

Ready to find an atlas chiropractic adjustment near you? If you suspect that you may have an atlas misalignment, Natural Care Chiropractic is here to help. Our chiropractors are licensed, educated, and highly trained in atlas corrections. We can quickly realign your Atlas and improve your chances of alleviating the symptoms. Schedule an appointment to learn if you're a good fit for this treatment option.

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