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  • Dr. Mark Freund

How The Atlas Orthogonal Instrument Works

atlas orthogonal instrument

When it comes to nagging neck pain or headaches, most people never seek a definitive cause for their pain and resort to medications to relieve their pain. Unfortunately, that can only mask the symptom and, in some cases, make it worse.

If you're experiencing symptoms like neck pain, headaches, dizziness, migraines, and back pain, you might be suffering from an atlas misalignment. This ring-like bone in the upper cervical area is responsible for holding your head. Even the slightest misalignment can cause a wide variety of issues. An atlas orthogonal treatment is specifically designed to correct the positioning of an individual's spine. It offers a gentle and precise correction to place the bone back into position and realign the spine. The chiropractor uses a special tool called the Atlas orthogonal instrument to apply gentle force, which corrects the upper cervical spine. In this article, we'll cover how the atlas orthogonal chiropractic technique works and when it's most commonly used.

The Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Technique

Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Technique is an upper-cervical corrective spinal procedure intended to restore the body's balance and reactivate the body's natural healing capabilities. The procedure itself is safe, painless, and gentle. Unlike traditional chiropractic procedures, there's no cracking or twisting involved. Besides correcting spinal issues, the Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic technique can improve a wide range of other conditions such as fibromyalgia, asthma, headaches, migraines, and arthritis. Some practitioners even claim that the technique is beneficial to the development and healthy growth of children.

Typically, the technique is performed by an Atlas Orthogonist, a licensed chiropractor who is trained and certified with the Atlas Orthogonal percussion instrument. To be eligible to perform this procedure, the chiropractic must obtain a minimum of six years of regular chiropractic training along with specific training on correcting misaligned spines.

How The Atlas Orthogonal Instrument Works

Before the procedure is performed, your chiropractor will examine your neck by pressing on the tissue over the never roots and feel the tense knots within the neck and upper back muscles.

how atlas orthogonal instrument works

During this adjustment, the trained chiropractor will apply a precisely directed split-second sound vibration on a small spot on the side of your neck just below the ear. This remarkable technology enables us to gently move the misaligned bones into a better position and instantly decrease nerve compression. Inside the instrument, the chamber is a mechanical and magnetic device called a solenoid. The spring-loaded cylinder is the stylus, which is the metal attached to the instrument used to apply gentle force.

The vibration transfers to the end in contact with the skin surface, and the force generated is about three pounds. This mechanical energy transfer from the solenoid makes the Atlas adjust back to its original position. Your chiropractor will conduct x-rays, which give the orthogonal instrument the exact degrees to set the stylus and directly target the Atlas. The x-rays also help the chiropractor clearly see the areas that need correction. As a result, it enables a pinpoint Atlas adjustment custom-made for each person. The instrument lets the doctor adjust the atlas misalignment by applying minimal physical pressure with a very high degree of precision.

To further understand how the orthogonal technique works, we'll have to explain the concept of percussion. This idea comes from a famous theory called Newton's Cradle. Newton demonstrates by using five tiny marble balls attached to a string. If you pull the outer ball back and release it, the balls in the center stay put. However, the ball on end bounces away. This concept is also applicable in the game of Billiards, where the cue stick hits one ball and the subsequent balls at the end are moved. Similarly, the Atlas Orthogonal Percussion adjusting instrument utilizes the same percussion principle that Newton's Cradle illustrates.

After the procedure, most patients will feel a noticeable difference in how they feel. Often, the tenderness within the neck will be greatly reduced. Sometimes patients may cycle through feeling better, tired, or having sore or stiff muscles. Some people heal slower or quicker depending on the severity of the condition and misalignment. However, it's normal to go through cycles of repair for your body to recover.

How is the Atlas Determined for Adjustment?

The Atlas orthogonal chiropractic technique is typically used with atlas misalignment. You may be a candidate for this technique if you suffer from the following:

explaining atlas orthogonal treatment

  • Stiff neck

  • Limited head rotation

  • Neck pain

  • Headaches

  • Vertigo

  • Migraines

  • Back pain

  • Falls

  • Whiplash

  • Other trauma or stress

Often if you're experiencing these symptoms, it's a sign that you may have an atlas misalignment. In this case, your doctor will perform an extensive evaluation of the condition and symptoms on the first visit. A thorough and complete history is crucial in helping the doctor diagnose the issue. This history may include asking questions about the symptoms, injuries, and any past correlations.

The exam will also include a postural, neurologic, and orthopedic assessment of imbalances in the spine that could lead to spinal health problems. These assessments, along with an x-ray, will determine the degree to which the Atlas is misaligned. Very accurate x-rays are taken to demonstrate how the Atlas is displaced. The x-rays taken are an invaluable tool for making accurate atlas corrections unique to each patient. Following the chiropractor's diagnosis, a specific treatment protocol is developed to realign the Atlas into the correct position.

It's important to correct an atlas misalignment since it can block the communication between your body and brain, which causes a lot of pain, tension, and stress.

Atlas orthogonal care can benefit anyone looking to improve their health. The main reason the treatment is so effective is that it addresses the underlying cause of the issues rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Conditions that Atlas Orthogonal Treats

Atlas orthogonal treatments can help with more than simply neck pain. That's because realignment in the Atlas or upper cervical spine can heal many areas of the body affected by the misalignment.

Neck and Lower Back Pain

The most common reason that people experience neck and lower back pain is due to spinal misalignment. When the Atlas bone is out of place, the spine will curve unnaturally. This causes the hips to become uneven, and thus the back and neck must strain to compensate for this lack of alignment. Using the Atlas Orthogonal Percussion instrument can realign the spine and allow the muscles to return to their original position, relieving the tension and pain in your neck and back.

Poor Balance and Dizziness

When the nerves are pinched or compressed, it causes discomfort, pain, and other health problems. Also, if the spine is tilted or nerves high in the spine (such as C1) are blocked, it can cause dizziness and other neck problems that can cause imbalance. In addition, nerve compression can affect the nerves that run throughout the spine and reduce blood flow to the body and brain. This nerve pressure and impaired blood flow often cause tingling in the extremities (hands, arms, feet, and legs).

By relieving pressure from the pinched nerve, Atlas Orthogonal corrects malposition, relieves dizziness, and relieves pressure on the pinched nerve. Treatment can also help relieve pain associated with a herniated disc by aligning the Atlas with the spine and decreasing pressure on the pinched nerves.

Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorder

atlas orthogonal treatment for jaw pain and other conditions

A common problem with jaw pain is that the nerves become blocked or compressed, causing the pain. A TMJ disorder can be described as having a limited range of motion in the jaw. Some of the symptoms may include jaw tenderness and stiff jaw muscles. That's because the Atlas sits near the TMJ, so a misalignment in the Atlas can cause pressure and irritation in the surrounding areas, including the TMJ. One study in 2012 found that upper cervical care can significantly reduce TMJ pain. If TMJ is a symptom due to the atlas misalignment, the orthogonal treatment help to help any joint, tissue, or nerve damage caused by the initial alignment.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

The most common musculoskeletal disorders include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and osteoarthritis. Musculoskeletal disorders result from injury and pain in the nerves, tendons, joints, muscles, and ligaments.

The Atlas Orthogonal Technique can relieve pain and cure these conditions. Many other specific ailments can be reduced by aligning the spine and supporting the nervous system.

Pinched Nerves and Sciatica

Sciatica is a severe pain that runs from the lower back to the legs. This is a very beneficial treatment for sciatica because it aligns the spine and prevents nerves from being pinched. When the nerves are pinched, an Atlas Orthogonal treatment can restore proper function of the nerve and relieve the pain caused by sciatica.

Spinal Compression and Herniated Disc

The orthogonal Atlas is effective in treating the pain associated with intervertebral disc compression. It can also help relieve the pain associated with a herniated disc by properly aligning the Atlas with the spine and applying pressure to pinched nerves. When the spine is tilted or the nerves are blocked at the top, blood flow through the spinal cord can be disrupted, which can cause severe pain. The atlas orthogonal treatment corrects these misalignments by relieving pressure from pinched nerves, relieving dizziness, and restoring blood supply to these pinched nerves that often cause nausea and vomiting.

how does atlas orthogonal technique work


Neck subluxations, especially those that occur in the C1 vertebrae, can lead to nerve compression and interfere with how the nervous system functions. Our procedures eliminate these subluxations and correct the spine's position, helping to reduce headaches significantly.

Mental Health Disorders

When you repair your nervous system, it can relieve many symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. By realigning your Atlas, your body systems can function properly and protect you from pain and disease.

Joint Movements

Improper spinal alignment often results in joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. A displaced spine puts pressure on the entire body due to the natural compensation. Likewise, misplaced vertebrae can affect the alignment of surrounding muscles, which in turn can place additional stress on other muscles and joints. This extra stress forces the joints to work harder than usual, increasing the likelihood of joint damage such as arthritis, tendonitis, and even spinal cord injury. By correcting the spine's position, Atlas Orthogonal treatment reduces or eliminates joint pain, resulting in healthier joints and better mobility.

Pregnancy Issues

Atlas orthogonal treatment is very useful for pregnant women. It prevents and solves various problems that may occur during pregnancy and childbirth. Proper build and alignment during pregnancy make the process more comfortable for the mother and ensure that the baby has as much room to develop and move as possible.

If you're struggling with any of the symptoms mentioned, it's important to see help right away. Prolonged symptoms can worsen over time and lead to other tissues in the body. At Natural Care Chiropractic, we offer Atlas orthogonal treatment to help provide a precise, safe, and painless upper cervical solution. Dr. Mark Freund is an expert practitioner trained and specialized in using the Atlas Orthogonal Percussion instrument. Book a consultation with Natural Care Chiropractic and let us help you feel better and enjoy your daily activities again.

1 Comment

May 20, 2023

Can it help people with burning mouth syndrome

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