Friday, May 13, 2011

Your Balanced Baby- Part II “A 6 Week Old Infant Pre – Post Atlas Correction”

Little Kimberly entered the world 6 weeks ago through a relatively unremarkable birth process. She has not yet had a bowel movement on her own, and has struggled nursing—having more difficulty on one side, than the other.

Kimberly's mom had been a patient of mine, and Kimberly's older sister, Kristen (now 3) had needed an adjustment right after she was born. So, fortunately for Kimberly, her mom knew what signs and symptoms to look for. She brought Kimberly in several days ago, and I examined her, and determined that she was indeed subluxated—not all newborns or children are subluxated, some are just fine—but this wasn't the case with Kimberly. We decided it would be of benefit to do some imaging to help us determine the exact nature of the Atlas Subluxation.

In the x-rays above, the pre-correction x-ray (on the left) shows that the atlas bone is elevated on the left side 7.5 mm. Close examination also shows the collar bone on that same side is dislocated and elevated. Notice mothers loving hands supporting Kimberly's tiny head, stabilizing it for the x-ray. Everything is miniature in this X-ray, except the misalignment.

After taking the initial frontal view, I was able to calculate the appropriate vector to properly reposition the base of the skull on C1. After doing so, little Kimberly was immediately more happy.

A close look at the Post-correction X--ray shows not only the head and neck realigned, but the collar bone has properly repositioned itself.


In an earlier blog post, I gave parents a few pointers on what to look for in their newborns and infants so they might be able to detect when the newborn or infant was in need of getting balanced by an AO or NUCCA doctor.

Kimberly's mom noticed some of those signs, such as, she was frequently “scrunched” up on one side, and tended to hold her head in fixed patterns and positions. She also noticed that Kimberly was more difficult to nurse on one side over the other—a tell-tale sign of an Atlas Misalignment.

Getting this corrected at this age will make all the difference. At six weeks, Kimberly is tabula rosa, meaning a blank slate. Her genetic body plan is to develop a straight and balanced spine. I believe that undetected atlas misalignments can cause the bony structures to adapt to the cranio-cervical distortion, and change the course of her healthy body plan. Some of the research suggests that early spinal distortions can lead to more serious structural problems later in life.

I am not sure this little lady would have been referred by her pediatrician—in fact, I’m quite sure she would not have. In my 15 years of practice, I have never had a referral from a pediatrician. The clinical need for AO and NUCCA work does not often show up on the radar of conventional medical practice as pediatric resources—but rather falls squarely in their blind spot. Mostly, it is discerning parents who are able to perceive the need. If you are curious about what to look for, I posted an earlier blog that addresses that very subject.

I love this work! And as always, I'm here to help you with your family's health.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

Dr. Chapman

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is Your Head On Straight?

C1 is situated between the base of the occiput and the superior articular surfaces of C2, much the way a tea cup rests in a saucer on a table surface.

Let us look at the anatomy of a tea cup in a saucer, as this comparison is useful in demonstrating how the head sits on the neck.

The tea cup base is formed to be stably situated in the circular impression of the saucer below. If it is dislodged from this impression, it will be situated slightly askew on the saucer, and the cup’s rim will rest at an angle that is not co-planer with the base circular impression of the saucer, or the table surface.

If the cup is filled with tea, the liquid will seek equilibrium, and the liquid surface will be oriented to the surface of the table and the circular recess within the saucer, but not the rim of the saucer. This is not only an example of compensation, it is an unstable system. The fluid elements seek equilibrium within the rigid form structures. The system comes into balance and equilibrium when the tea cup is placed properly into the circular recess of the saucer, and brings the rigid forms and the fluid elements into balance, and one could say that the system has achieved a higher level of thermodynamic balance, i.e., a lower energy state. Objects at rest tend to remain so, hence, stability.

The analogy is useful if one considers that bringing the base of the cranium, i.e., the occiput back onto the superior articular facets of C1 is like restoring the tea cup to the circular formed impression on the saucer. The cranium is the tea cup, while the base of the tea cup is the occipital condyles. The liquid may be analogous to the dynamic compensatory functions organized and initiated by the pre-motor cortex in keeping the head in a state of dynamic balance. The saucer is related to the Atlas bone which maintains a “physical” relationship with the cranium above and the spine below. The superior surface of C2 may be analogous to the table top surface.

It's about "tea-time"... Is your tea cup straight?