Dr. Erin Elster    

Your body is magnificent – a biomechanical structure capable of powerful and intricate movement yet resilient enough to endure impact and stress; a knowing organism designed to respond to the shifting external and internal stimuli. Athletes and dancers amaze us with their stunning expression of mastery, but no less remarkable is your simplest gesture casually made.

Shielded by the cranial dome, the brain orchestrates all of the complex, dynamic operations of the body. In the brain-body circuit, messages pass through trillions of nerve fibers, simultaneously prompting innumerable conscious and unconscious functions. The “wires” of this communication network are bundled tightly at the base of the brain (brainstem meets spinal cord), and are sheathed by the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae.

The point at which your head attaches to your neck - the upper cervical spine - is the most mobile part of your body. Bearing the weight of the skull, the atlas vertebra accepts the rounded protrusion of the axis vertebra, allowing rotation. Unlike a metal pivot, which can easily snap, this unique pair of bones is supported by stabilizing ligaments, but flexibility is impaired by trauma and is taxed by routine.

Given the centrality of the atlas and axis vertebrae, distress may be localized or misalignment may gradually extend to other areas. Significantly, when the upper cervical region is compromised, neurotransmission is impeded, leading to a breakdown of bodily systems. As the brain struggles to adjust, vitality fades in a cycle of dysfunction and chronic disease.

Your body seeks its own equilibrium. Upper cervical chiropractic helps you to recreate your natural symmetry and balance. This healing practice employs gentle correction to eliminate neurological irritation. Once neural pathways allow flow and tissues mend, wellness returns at the pace appropriate for your recovery.

Some misalignments occur from obvious injuries: auto or cycling accidents; falls; blows to the head and concussions; birth trauma; and sports injuries, including hits to the head or jolting impacts elsewhere (especially spine). It may not be the force but the angle that affects your stability. Maybe you dust yourself off and give thanks that nothing is broken, only to have a puzzling ailment later. Something as simple as hitting your head as you get out of your car or a little tumble on icy steps might be enough to do harm to your body’s integrity.

Other misalignments may develop from a sequence of events; so that you are not even aware that something is awry. Perhaps you notice that you have more colds than usual, or you hear ringing in your ear. Pain is one of the last signs that your atlas and axis vertebrae require attention. Discomfort can be a prelude to serious illnesses, which manifest according to the weakness and susceptibility.

Rather than a cure for any specific condition, upper cervical chiropractic centers around the source of affliction. Dr. Elster works in collaboration with the patient, integrating her care with each individual’s established medical treatment.

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