What Is The Atlas In The Human Body?

The technique that we use here at HealthWorks Family Chiropractic is Orthospinology. The Orthospinology chiropractic technique is a specialty within chiropractic that focuses on the upper cervical region. Misalignments in the atlas bone can cause chronic pain, stress, and tension in the head and neck. 

What is the Atlas?


The atlas C1 is at the very top of your spine and it encases your brainstem. The atlas also connects your skull to your spine, and with the support of the axis (C2) just below, it gives your head its range of motion.

What are the symptoms of a misaligned atlas? 

If this area is out of alignment, it creates all kinds of issues all the way up and down your spine from a tight neck, headache, shoulder pain, low back issues, and even a short leg.

A misaligned atlas may also cause:

  • Hearing problems, tinnitus, hearing loss, inner ear conditions
  • Restricted movement, including limited movements of the head
  • Dizziness, including vertigo
  • Balance problems
  • Difficulties with coordination and concentration
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pelvic and hip misalignment
  • Migraines
  • Difficulty sleeping, insomnia


To learn what to expect with an atlas adjustment, click here.

To watch all the different instruments we use to adjust at HealthWorks Family Chiropractic, click here.