What is AtlasPROfilax®?

AtlasPROfilax® is a neuromuscular vibrational massage to the powerful muscles under the skull that hold the atlas, the first cervical vertebra, in position.

Who needs AtlasPROfilax®?
In one study, CT scans were performed on the necks of the volunteers. 98% of the subjects had a malrotated atlas. We don’t know for certain why the atlas can rotate out of ideal alignment, but theories include positioning in the womb, birth trauma, falls, car accidents and degenerative joint changes.

What are the consequences of a malrotated atlas?
The neck at the level of C1 is rich in nerves, fascia and muscles. All the tracts from the brain go through the atlas down the spine. Cranial nerve X, also known as the vagus nerve (see article this page), emerges from the base of the skull and travels down the side of the neck all the way to the large intestine. Blood flow to and from the brain is found at the level of the atlas. Fascia, the connective tissue that sheaths organs, muscles and blood vessels, is found in several layers in the neck. Distortions in fascia in one area of the body may cause restriction or distortion in other areas.

Before

beforepro2

After

afterpro2
When the atlas is malrotated, the head is forced forward. What can happen as a result of this forward translation of the head?
  1. Compensation patterns may occur all the way down to the feet, Including a high shoulder, tilted head, rotated hips and a functional short leg
  2. The dura mater, the sheath around the spinal cord, may be impinged or irritated
  3. Pressure on the temporomandibular joint may occur
  4. Reduced blood flow may occur in the blood vessels traveling through and around the atlas
  5. Pressure may occur on the vagus nerve, which is involved in swallowing, heart rate, digestion, etc.
  6. Cranial nerves in the skull may be tractioned or impinged
  7. Tremendous tension may occur on all the muscles and fascia of the posterior body, down to the feet, as the muscles have to work extra hard to hold the body upright
  8. The biomechanics of the spine, including vectors of force, may change
  9. Abnormal shearing forces may occur across the spinal discs
What are the symptoms of a malrotated atlas?

Think about what someone might experience as a result of forward head position and compensation patterns! Here is a short list of potential symptoms:

1. Migraines or tension headaches
2. Vertigo
3. Jaw problems, including grinding, pain and improper bite
4. Neck pain
5. Numbness, tingling and weakness in arms and hands
6. Mid back pain
7. Low back pain
8. Sciatic pain
9. Plantar fasciitis
10. Poor digestion
11. Constipation or diarrhea
12. Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
13. Swallowing problems (dysphagia)
14. Tension on vocal cords
15. Anxiety
16. Poor posture and difficulty standing up straight (upper cross syndrome and lower cross syndrome)
17. Hamstring tightness

What AtlasPROfilax® IS

AtlasPROfilax® is a safe, neuromuscular vibrational massage to the muscles under the skull.  The method uses the physics of muscles to cause these short, powerful muscles to relax. Once these muscles let go, the body can allow the atlas to slide, as much as is possible, into its ideal position, snugly between the occipital condyles and the vertebra below it—the axis. By derotating the atlas, better posture can occur and pressure can be taken off the posterior muscles and fascia of the body. It’s not all about the atlas—fascia and muscles are extremely important, too!

What AtlasPROfilax® is NOT

AtlasPROfilax® is not a chiropractic manipulation. There is no direct pressure on bones or twisting movements to joints.

What Can I Expect at an AtlasPROfilax® Session?

Dr. Lewis will perform a history and examination and review any imaging results, such as MRIs and x-rays of the spine. If she determines you are a candidate for AtlasPROfilax®, she will perform the treatment. Afterwards, she will re-examine you to see what has immediately changed.  There is a follow-up visit, no less than two weeks later, at which questions are answered and you are re-examined. You may receive stretches and exercises to reinforce your new state of balance and/or a Thumper massage. On rare occasions, the AtlasPROfilax® treatment is repeated.

What happens after the treatment?

In most cases, you may perform your usual activities. If you are accustomed to walking a mile a day before the treatment, and feel so good afterwards that you want to walk 5 miles a day—don’t! Activity should always be increased incrementally.

Sometimes patients find that they have to change their pillow for sleeping. You might need a smaller pillow or sleep better with no pillow.

You may have some soreness in the upper neck for a week or so. Sometimes, as the “unwinding” process takes place in the spine, patients may have a recurrence of symptoms from the past or an exacerbation of current symptoms. This situation usually is very short-lived. Always discuss any concerns with Dr. Lewis.

Although most people notice positive change, small or major, after their AtlasPROfilax® session, about 10% of patients do not have any change in their symptoms. AtlasPROfilax® is not a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should continue any treatment prescribed by your medical doctor. You may continue to receive chiropractic, massage or acupuncture treatments as needed. Many people do find they need less bodywork and that their treatments are more effective after AtlasPROfilax®. Sometimes it can take weeks or even months to feel the full improvement from an AtlasPROfilax® treatment.

There is no charge for a consultation with Dr. Lewis regarding AtlasPROfilax®. Call (800) 394-8340 or email drklewis@atlasprofilaxaz.com.