Specialized Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

by | Jun 29, 2020

Our doctors customize each visit to meet your body’s specific needs that day, while still working towards the correction of underlying issues.  We use a number of effective adjusting approaches to help improve spinal biomechanics and reduce nervous system inflammation.  It’s not uncommon for our patients to “turn back the hands of time” and actually heal their spines while using these techniques.

For our older children and adult patients, we start your healing process with the Grostic Orthospinology Upper Cervical Technique (read more below).  ​

Watch an Upper Cervical chiropractic adjustment done here at HealthWorks.

This is a highly specialized technique that aligns the body from top to bottom, removing the primary source of nerve inflammation.  Once the atlas is stable we will begin working on the rest of the spine to bring lasting correction.  The correction process is key in stopping health issues and preventing new issues.

For younger children and pregnant moms, our techniques vary according to the age and needs of the patient.  All of our techniques are very gentle and easy for even the most sensitive patients. 

The truth is, we don’t “fix” you – it’s a partnership between doctor and patient.  Our doctor’s job is to teach and to adjust; it’s your job to follow through.  And, not surprisingly, those who follow through with home recommendations get the best results. A simple recipe for success!

Chiropractors have been helping people of all ages get and stay well for over a century without the use of drugs or surgery.  Continued results over time have made chiropractic the number one choice in America for natural health care. 

Chiropractors get proven results with all kinds of health conditions by taking a strategic step-by-step approach to your health. Your body is run by a central nervous system, similar the CPU of a computer. This central nervous system controls every process that happens in your body and the quality of information it shares with your body will determine your health.  Chiropractic begins by adjusting this system, removing stress, and reducing inflammation so that your body’s own healing ability can work at 100% efficiency.  

The clinical philosophy at HealthWorks is based on the following simple, common-sense principles. They serve as a guide as we assess your health, explain what we’ve found, and make our specific care recommendations:

  • Being healthy is your normal state.
  • Your nervous system controls everything.
  • Stress can overload your nervous system causing inflammation and poor health.
  • Spinal joint dysfunction is a coping strategy that leads to long-term structural issues.
  • The goal of care is to reduce nerve inflammation and joint dysfunction so your body can return to its normal, healthy state.
  • The addition of nutrition, stress management techniques, and lifestyle changes support and accelerate your return to health.

The very top of your neck, right below the base of your skull, is called the “Upper Cervical” region.  It includes the top two vertebrae, C1 (“Atlas) and C2 (“Axis”).  This area is the weakest area of the entire spine.  This is because half of all the movement of our head happens right at these two joints. ​

Try this: nod your head “Yes”. That’s your Atlas/ C1 vertebra moving! 

Now, nod your head “no”. That’s your Axis/C2 vertebra moving!

Unfortunately, because this area has so much movement, it’s also vulnerable to injury.  Injury in this area will buckle the spine in very profound and complex ways.  An injury can tear loose connective tissue, sprain ligaments, and strain muscles responsible for maintaining normal posture and head alignment.  The result can be catastrophic for the entire body, from the top down. ​

In fact, if there is a shift in the Atlas/C1 from its normal position we will find stress and altered nerve flow to and from the brain which creates posture distortion and body imbalance as the spine shifts off-center. 


Upper cervical doctors use a precise system of analysis and adjustment that we developed based on both math and physics.  The technique used by the HealthWorks doctors is called Orthospinology and was developed and refined by Dr. John F. Grostic in the 1930s and has been perfected by computer algorithms and digital imaging available to us today. We are now able to calculate with absolute precision the angle needed to reduce the amount of misalignment and bring the head, neck, and atlas back into alignment with very little force.  Most patients get up from their first adjustment and pleasantly say, “I can’t believe how little force it took to correct that!” In fact, our techniques do not require any “twisting” or “popping” that’s so often associated with chiropractic. 

As the correction of the upper neck is achieved then the entire body is brought back into balance as stress on the postural nerves feeding information in the brain is relieved.  This is why people with problems throughout their body respond very well to the Upper Cervical adjustment. 

The upper cervical misalignment is the most complex and difficult region of the spine to align, but once the correction is achieved the results can be absolutely astounding. 

Patients notice changes throughout their entire body after correction.  When you receive your first Upper Cervical correction we want you to monitor your body for changes.  We’ll ask you to pay close attention to three categories: 

  1. How does your body feel?  Do you feel less tension, less pain, more range, and ease of motion?
  2. How is your digestion?  After an Upper Cervical adjustment, your body will have a

decrease in internal stress.  This means that your organs and tissues will have the opportunity to begin working at a higher and more cohesive level.

  1. How do you sleep?  As your brain is able to speak to your body in a clearer way you will often find that rest comes easier.  For the first few nights after an Upper Cervical adjustment, you may need more sleep as your body heals and regenerates.

Over time, as your body continues to heal, and our doctors continue to bring stabilization and healing to your upper cervical spine, we will find that your body begins to heal in a number of different ways.  This is because the neurological function has been restored.  The closest end of the brain to the spinal cord, the brainstem, is often called “Grand Central Station” as it descends into the spinal ford.  This is because every nerve that travels down the spinal cord has to pass through the brainstem into the Atlas/C1.  This area controls a number of critical life processes.  Misalignment and stress in this area of the neck cause malfunction in many areas throughout the body:​​

Posture and Balance:  with misalignment, the muscles along each side of the spine pull unevenly and shift the entire body off-center.

  • Blood Pressure, Respiration, and Heart Rate:  The neurological centers that control these vital functions are located in the lower brainstem and can be adversely affected by Upper Cervical misalignment.  Research has proven that the Upper Cervical adjustment correction helps people with high blood pressure.  (Google “Orthospinology + blood pressure” to read awesome research and hear stories of patients who have been helped!)
  • Sleep & Mood:  Your “happy, feel-good” chemical, serotonin, is produced in the brainstem.  Serotonin influences various function including regulation of mood, sleep, appetite, muscle contraction, and cognitive functions like memory and learning.  Upper Cervical misalignment causing stress in the lower brainstem can have a negative effect on both energy and learning as we see in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and many learning difficulties. 
  • Immune Function:  A portion of our nerve system, called the Autonomic Nerve System, is responsible for controlling all of our body functions that we don’t need to think about.  If this system is under stress it will activate the Sympathetic Nerve System which has been nicknamed the “fight or flight” response.  Upper neck misalignment creates long-term activation of this system which in turn downregulates the Immune system.  We can either be in stress/”fight or flight” mode or we can be in healing and regeneration mode- never both at the same time. 
  • Digestion:  The Vagus nerve is very influential in regulating digestion and elimination.  This important nerve is affected by misalignment of the Upper Cervical vertebra as it passes next to the Atlas/ C1 vertebra as it leaves the brain.  Stress to this vital nerve creates digestive irregularities and distress.
  • Head and Facial Problems:  Cranial Nerve dysfunction can cause some of the most painful diseases known.  Trigeminal Neuralgia, Bell’s Palsy, Meniere’s Disease among them.  Other less painful but still serious diseases such as chronic sinusitis, headaches, ear pressure, recurrent ear infections, dizziness, and vertigo can all be caused by Upper Cervical misalignment.  Patients with these problems often respond to the Orthospinology correction since cranial nerves have tracts that descend into the upper neck. Most recent research is beginning to show how upper neck misalignment impedes cerebral spinal fluid flow and blood flow in and out of the brain!


Your nervous system controls and regulates every cell of your body. When your nervous system doesn’t work right, you don’t work right. And when you don’t work right, you’re sick! Simple as that.

We’d like an opportunity to meet you and help you decide if this approach is right for you.  

Get started today by calling us at (972) 612-1800 or emailing us at ,care@healthworkstx.com

HealthWorks: A Family Wellness Center is a chiropractic and wellness center located in Plano, Texas. Our chiropractors, Dr. Christy Flick, Dr. Jennifer Taylor, and Dr. Aanchal Mendoza have been helping patients function better since starting private practice in 2005. For information about this article or other chiropractic questions, please contact our office at 972-612-1800.