AO, Atlas Orthogonal or Upper Cervical
I am an upper cervical chiropractor. What this means and how to differentiate this category from standard chiropractors is our extensive training in analyzing and adjusting the atlas. We undergo traditional DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) training at a Chiropractic college where we are introduced to an array of various adjusting techniques. Following graduation it is up to us to continue our schooling and certification in the specific types of techniques. The upper cervical techniques focus on the alignment of the first vertebrae or Atlas. This is such an important location because it is the portal of the spinal cord leaving the skull, nutrients for the brain entering the cranium and removing by-products of brain metabolism (waste from processing nutrients).
I am board certified (BCAO designation) in the Atlas Orthogonal AO technique. it utilizes an instrument instead of a hand or manual contact on the neck. The Atlas Orthogonal Instrument is calibrated and we can consistently deliver the same (of course within a certain tolerance) vector or line of drive adjustment over and over again.
Additionally, I have been trained to evaluate and treat the entire spine, including the cranial vault (bones of the skill). Our theory is that everything is connected and moves in concert. When something is not functioning fully within its joint play or movement, other areas of the body start to compensate and we start to get torqued or bent and have muscle spasm and pain which can eventually lead to joint breakdown and arthritis.