Can the Atlas become misaligned again?

Punto di domanda se l'Atlante può tornare a disallinearsi
Atlas correction with vibro-resonance is normally carried out only once and produces results that tend to be maintained over time, unlike most other types of treatment, which have to be repeated regularly. However, this does not exclude the possibility that even after Atlantomed there may be recurrences.

There are certain conditions or occurrences that can occasionally cause the first cervical vertebrae to return to the pre-treatment position or make them adjust to an intermediate position. The observed cases (including through CT-spiral before and after treatment), in which the vertebrae had returned to misalignment, had the following characteristics:
  • Particularly asymmetrical Atlas or occipital condyles, either as a congenital condition or due to a difficult birth in which the skull was deformed. Years of misalignment and permanent cervical overload, due to particularly severe muscular tension (this is why it is essential to correct the Atlas in children). Under these conditions the Atlas tends to return to its previous position, which is more comfortable and functional for it.
  • New trauma with high impact force, such as whiplash.
  • Intubation during surgery under general anaesthesia. In this case the misalignment may also affect the underlying C2-C3-C4-C5 vertebrae.
  • Chiropractic/osteopathic cervical manipulations (thrust). People with previous traumas are particularly affected.
  • Hyperlaxity of the Atlanto-occipital ligaments: the affected ligaments (winged ligament) may not be able to provide sufficient stability to the joint and allow the Atlas to continually assume incorrect positions. Strengthening the cervical muscles through targeted exercises can help to compensate, as far as possible, for hypermobility.
  • The presence of chronic unilateral cervical contractures due to excessive stress, permanent anxiety, dental malocclusion and cranio-mandibular dysfunction or other unknown factors.
Some people have an unfounded fear that the Atlas will easily slip out of place, even with normal head movements. This belief stiffens them and makes them anxious, creating a condition which then has a negative effect on cervical muscle tension. It should reassure you to know that once corrected with the Atlantomed method, the Atlas is unlikely to become misaligned again. Just as it has been stuck in the wrong position for years, it will remain stable in the correct one. Daily life and normal sports, without excessive strain or impact (combat sports and the like), do not change the position of the Atlas, nor does the position assumed during sleep. During the first weeks after treatment it is advisable to be a little cautious, avoiding excessive force but without becoming paranoid.

One phenomenon that needs to be fully understood, so as not to be guided by unfounded fears, is the following: after the treatment, the so-called regeneration phase begins, during which reactions may occur that are similar to the complaints you have already suffered from, or others that are different and unexplainable, which could be misunderstood. If all discomfort does not disappear immediately in the days following treatment, this does not mean that the Atlas has become misaligned again. The self-adjustment process can continue for months. Reactions usually vary, and it is not uncommon for them to migrate to other areas of the body and then disappear, often permanently. It is important not to confuse the regeneration phase with the effects of moving vertebrae again, but to give your organism time to settle down, without becoming unnecessarily alarmed.

What can you do if you think the Atlas has moved again?

There are a number of situations that could lead to the mistaken belief that the Atlas has shifted again.

While before Atlantomed people had no idea what the Atlas vertebra was, after the treatment they invariably search for it with their fingers in an attempt to be able to feel something, invariably ending up getting the wrong ideas about it, which then leads to unfounded doubts and apprehension. Recognising the alignment of the Atlas on oneself is a very difficult task, even for the Atlas specialist himself. As mentioned elsewhere, palpation performed by physiotherapists and osteopaths, who do not specialise in the Atlas, has a 50% margin of error, let alone how reliable it can be if you try it on yourself. This means that the Atlas should simply be left alone, without unnecessary worries, trusting in the innate power of your body to always do its best. By the way, exerting strong pressure with your fingers on a freshly corrected Atlas could affect its position.

Another aspect that is often misunderstood is the following: correcting the Atlas does not make you immune to muscular contractures, which may reappear after some time due to other unresolved stress factors still present, such as: dental malocclusion, unilateral overloading of the body due to heavy work, constant anxiety and apprehension about the future, metabolic hyperacidosis or deficiency of minerals and micronutrients as a result of an unbalanced diet, intestinal dysbiosis, etc. For these or other reasons, tensions may be caused by the body's own weaknesses. For these or other reasons, muscular tensions may recur, despite the correct position of the vertebra, which may suggest a new displacement.

Remember: the Atlas is a bone and is not itself in pain, the pain comes instead from the muscular tensions caused by the imbalances, added to the other negative consequences that the misaligned vertebra can cause throughout the body. The same consequences may also have other causes, which generally persist even after correction, and their effect may be sufficient to trigger new pain, regardless of the Atlas. This is why, acting on the basis of degree of importance, it would be advisable to also deal effectively with mandibular imbalance, which depends on the height of the teeth, should it be present. Unfortunately, many people do not understand this, and as soon as the pain subsides, they are so happy that they no longer worry about the other problems still present, and if the pain recurs, they end up blaming the Atlas again. A massage session with AtlantoVib can help with muscle tension.

That said, there are indeed a few isolated cases which, for the reasons mentioned above or due to other factors, after a certain period of time, again present a misalignment of the first cervical vertebrae. If this happens, the treatment can be repeated. I hope that this explanation will reassure you and enable you to better discern which could be your case and whether the Atlas is to blame.

What to do if Atlantomed does not produce the desired effects?

It is a well-known fact that there are two sides to every coin. In order to ensure maximum transparency and professionalism, we are inclined to show the other side of the coin as well, in order to avoid false illusions and the resulting disappointments. In most cases, the Atlantomed treatment is carried out successfully without any problems whatsoever. However, 25-30% of treatments do not produce the desired results. No improvement is seen after the Atlas correction, and some subjects may even have the impression that they have become worse.

The reasons for the failure may be many: first of all, the Atlas was not the cause, the body is in too advanced a state of degeneration to recover, there are other negative causes more influential than the Atlas. It must also be remembered that even the most experienced specialist is still only a human being. Determining the position of the vertebrae using the fingers as an instrument is by no means simple, but it is still the most rational, least invasive and least expensive solution. In order to palpate the Atlas, several layers of muscle must be overcome. The precision with which the Atlas specialist is able to determine the position of the vertebra depends on the state of tension in the cervical musculature and the individual anatomical characteristics.

When the muscles are completely stiff and perhaps even more developed or contracted on one side than the other, palpation may produce unreliable results. There are also cases where the muscle bands have become so stiff that they feel hard as bone. It is also for this reason that pre-correction palpation is preceded by meticulous massage. The looser the neck is, the better the vertebrae can be felt.

Should the complaints remain unchanged for a long time after correction, without any change in intensity or position, the first thing to do is to have your Atlas checked again by the Atlantomed specialist who carried out the treatment or, if possible, to obtain a second independent opinion from another Atlantomed specialist. This type of check takes only a few minutes and is free of charge. Asking your therapist for an opinion may not be a good idea and may cause further confusion for the 50/50 reason explained above.

If the therapist confirms the correct alignment but the symptoms do not begin to subside, the cause is most probably not the Atlas, and in this case the search should be continued elsewhere. In order to exclude with absolute certainty the Atlas as the source of the discomfort, or a possible error on the part of the therapist (they can also make mistakes), we recommend a check with computed tomography (spiral CT / CT cone beam).

This gives a clear picture of what could not be precisely determined by manual palpation and allows any doubts to be dispelled. That said, it is not at all sensible to want to skip the correct way to proceed in an attempt to play it safe or save time. Radiation from a CT scan is harmful to health and should be avoided unless strictly necessary. You should know that ionising radiation shortens life expectancy! It is not very smart to think of having a CT scan right away, without any indication and without it being strictly necessary, and then risk living less long, is it?
TC spirale /Tomografia del cranio e della vertebra Atlante
If the misalignment is due to an error on the part of the therapist, corrective treatment will be provided free of charge. On the other hand, if the Atlas is in place, but the symptoms persist, it becomes a start that there are other causes that should be sought and that unfortunately, you are unlikely to discover by going to the doctor whose usual practice consists of suppressing the symptom without looking for the cause. Before moving on, it is important to calmly take the necessary steps to exclude with certainty the Atlas as the cause of the disorder.

The worst thing one can do is to become discouraged, give up and abandon oneself to medication. We must also not forget, although they are not very frequent, the cases with "deformed condyles", indicated in the first point of the list, in which one can try in any way, without succeeding, because of the anatomical conformation. The treatment brings the vertebrae into the best possible position, granted by the specific anatomical conformation, but this will not necessarily be perfectly symmetrical. We hope we have managed to give the full picture of the possibilities.

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