Thank you for taking time to visit our site. We are committed to excellence in non-invasive, non manipulative treatment of the craniocervical junction.
Often times headaches and cervical spine pain are the result of irritation of suboccipital anatomy, specifically the OA- AA articulation and the first three cervical nerves.
This irritation is due to displacment of C1 from its normal position. This displacment is a result of ligament damage and disruption due to trauma involving the cervical spine. Because the atlanto-axial articulation is a diarthrodial joint, the craniocervical junction is particularly suceptable to injury.
Displacment of C1 can be corrected using an instrument that delivers a highly specific, reproducable, mechanical impulse to C1. This reduction allows the suboccipital musclulature to relax, effectively decreasing the irritation of the first three cervical nerves, especially the greater and lesser occipital nerves. This reduction also decreases periarticular inflamation. Because we do not use conventional manipulation, the risk for vertebrobasilar dissection and further damage to upper cervical ligaments is almost non existant.
We realize that not every headache complaint will respond to this type of treatment and do our best to exclude those cases. Unless there is a clear indication a patients complaint is structural in nature we simply will not put these people under care. Our goal is to be efficient and make appropriate referrals. For those that meet our inclusion criteria, they will usually notice benefit in terms of decreased intensity, frequency, and duratuion of their complaint in the first three weeks of treatment. As a rule we expect 50% improvment in four weeks or we discontinue treatment.
Most patients we see have already undergone advanced imaging to rule out pathology. Although we are happy to order imaging studies we encourage them to discuss imaging with their primary physician or neurologist. In addition most patients have experienced only modest benefit from drug therapy or the side effects outweigh befefit. Since we do not manipulate the neck, patients that have undergone cervical fusion below C2 are safe to treat if they are not responding to conventional therapy. Patients that have been diagnosed with cerebellar ectopia or any grade of Chiari malformation respond to treatment especially well.
Our conservative, realistic, and goal oriented approach to patient care generally fairs well with the medical community. If you have any questions concerning this procedure please call 303-795-7530.
Craniovertibral Junction: Normal Anatomy, Craniometry, Congenital Anomalies. Wendy R.K. Smoker MD Open as PDF
Prevalence of Herniated Intervertebral Discs of the Cervical Spine in Asymptomatic Subjects Using MRI Scans: A Qualitative Systematic Review. Anthony V. D’Antoni, Arthur C. Croft Open as PDF
The Cervicocranium: Its Radiographic Assessment. John H. Harris, Jr, MD, DSc Open as PDF
Anatomy and Physiology of Headache. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy. 1995, Vol. 49, No. 10, 435-445 Open as PDF
Head Position and Impact Direction in Whiplash Injuries: Associations with MRI-Verified Lesions of Ligaments and Membranes in the Upper Cervical Spine. Open as PDF
Radiologic Spectrum of Craniocervical Distraction Injuries. Open as PDF
Functional Anatomy of the Alar Ligaments in Axial Rotation. Open as PDF