Better Together: Upper Cervical Chiropractic, Massage, & Stretching
Upper cervical chiropractic care, massage therapy, and stretching are three modalities of healthcare that can work synergistically together to promote overall health and wellness. Each of these modalities addresses different aspects of musculoskeletal health, and when combined, they can provide a comprehensive approach to promoting optimal health and wellness.
What does upper cervical chiropractic help with?
Upper cervical chiropractic care is a specialized form of chiropractic care that focuses on the alignment of the upper cervical spine (atlas/C1), which is located at the base of the skull. At HealthWorks Family Chiropractic, the technique we use is called Orthospinology. This area of the spine is particularly important because it surrounds the brainstem, which controls many of the body’s vital functions, including breathing, cardiovascular function, postural muscles, and even digestion. Misalignments or what we call Subluxations in the upper cervical spine can lead to various health problems, including headaches, neck pain, poor posture, and even an overall sense of poor health.
So, for optimal spinal/nervous system health, the foundation for proper posture and muscle control lies at the brain stem. As an upper cervical specific practice, HealthWorks Family Chiropractic first makes sure that the atlas/C1 is in proper alignment. Without proper alignment at this region, it’s impossible to have proper posture and the muscles of the body become imbalanced and drawn up on one side: essentially a chronic muscle spasm!
Take a look at this picture and tell me if this wouldn’t produce some pain should your posture look like this!
Once the atlas is in proper alignment, these muscles can then become more balanced which ultimately improves spinal alignment and in turn, also helps to improve posture. The atlas alignment, and more importantly, holding the atlas alignment for an extended period of time, will improve posture, reduce inflammation, and increase range of motion, but in many cases, more comprehensive care is also necessary.
So, the longer the atlas has been out of alignment, the more these muscles will need help to regain their proper strength as well as a reduction in inflammation and tension. Once we see stability in holding the atlas alignment, we move on to neuromuscular re-education which involves massage therapy and specific exercises and stretches that are unique to your posture pattern.
Why is massage an important part of a wellness program?
Massage therapy is a manual therapeutic approach to healthcare that involves kneading and manipulating soft tissues in the body to improve circulation, reduce tension, and promote relaxation. Massage therapists use a variety of techniques, including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point therapy, to address a wide range of health concerns.
One of the key benefits of massage therapy is its ability to reduce muscle tension. When muscles are tense, they can cause pain and discomfort, limiting the range of motion and affecting the overall quality of life. Massage therapists use a variety of techniques to release tension in the muscles, promoting relaxation and improving overall muscle function.
Massage therapy is also effective at improving circulation. By manipulating the soft tissues, massage therapists can increase blood flow to the affected area, promoting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues.
Massage therapy can also be an effective tool for managing stress that finds its way into the muscles. When the body is under stress, it releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can contribute to a variety of health problems, specifically inflammation, which causes pain. Massage therapy has been shown to reduce the levels of these stress hormones, promoting relaxation and reducing muscle tension and pain. Stress definitely creates a vicious cycle!
As a chiropractic office, this therapy is vital in some circumstances where a patient has reached a plateau in their care, and in many cases, massage will help them reach their healthcare goals.
At HealthWorks Family Chiropractic, Tyshae performs a comprehensive evaluation to determine the level of care that your body needs to best achieve your healthcare goals. To get started, get scheduled for her massage evaluation. This is a complimentary 30-minute appointment in which she will evaluate your muscles, get your feedback, and also work on a key area during the session.
This is a great opportunity to get to know Tyshae and be confident that her recommendations are based on a comprehensive medical massage approach.
How does stretching reduce the risk of injury?
Stretching is a simple yet effective approach to healthcare that involves lengthening the muscles and soft tissues in the body to improve flexibility, reduce tension, and prevent injury. Stretching can be done on its own or as part of a larger exercise routine and can be adapted to meet the needs of individuals of all ages and fitness levels. At HealthWorks Family Chiropractic, after your initial exam as well as your progress exams, we fine tune the stretching exercises to target the muscle groups that need the most support.
One of the key benefits of stretching is its ability to improve flexibility. As we age, our muscles and joints can become stiffer and less flexible, limiting our range of motion and increasing our risk of injury. By incorporating stretching into our daily routine, we can improve flexibility and reduce our risk of injury.
Just like massage therapy, stretching can also be an effective tool for reducing tension and promoting relaxation. When muscles are tense, they can contribute to a variety of health problems, including headaches, neck and back pain, and poor sleep. By incorporating stretching into our daily routine, we can release tension that gets locked up in muscles and joints from our daily stresses from sitting too long to the emotional and physical stress that comes from, well, life!
At HealthWorks Family Chiropractic, we create a personalized stretching and exercise program that is based on your pre and post-posture changes after your first atlas adjustment. Once the brain stem is able to “talk” to your posture muscles because the atlas is no longer impinging on the region, we are able to determine what muscles are on board with that new information and what muscles need more help—this is called neuromuscular re-education.
Attending our THRIVE workshop is the very best way to receive your exercises. Most of the exercises that are assigned are easy for most to perform and no gym is necessary to do them, however, we want to make sure you do them properly to gain the very best benefit. They are designed to do during the course of the day to keep you moving and productive, especially for those that sit at a desk all day, or for those that have mobility issues and have difficulty doing other forms of exercise.
Together, upper cervical chiropractic care, massage therapy, and stretching can provide a comprehensive approach to promoting overall health and wellness. By addressing different aspects of musculoskeletal and nervous system health, these modalities can work together to reduce pain and discomfort, improve range of motion, and promote better posture. By incorporating these modalities into a daily routine, individuals can improve their overall health and wellbeing, leading to a better quality of life.
Our promise to you
HealthWorks Family Chiropractic is dedicated to a comprehensive and specific approach to taking care of spinal and nervous system needs. Let us help you find out how taking care of the most important system in the body will create optimal health that will last a lifetime!
If we find we’re not the best to help with your condition, we promise to refer you to someone who is.