"I want to Thank Dr. Amy Osenbaugh.
I have gone to several chiropractors who have told me
I would not be walking if I didn't keep going to them.
Another told me my shoulders were going to freeze. I
was seeing him three times a week.
I saw Dr. Osenbaugh on TV, and I made an appointment.
I have never felt better. I go every three weeks now
and my husband can't believe the difference in my attitude.
You do not have to live with pain, the way I was."
Des Moines, Iowa
WHAT IS THE ATLAS?
The ATLAS is the very top vertebra of the spine,
also known as the first cervical vertebra. The skull, also
known as the head, sits on the atlas. The atlas surrounds
a lower extension of the brain, referred to as the brainstem.
If the atlas is out of place, or misaligned, it may pinch
off nerve supply that is trying to go from the brain to every
part of the body or pinch nerves that are coming from the
body into the head (see Diagram 1 & 2).
These pinched nerves may create SYMPTOMS and disease, such
as digestive problems, heartbeat irregularity, difficult breathing,
or muscles spasms.
If the ATLAS displaces, tilts, or misaligns,
it creates a domino effect throughout the rest of the spine
(see diagram 3). The second cervical vertebra,
also known as the AXIS, tilts with the third, the fourth,
the fifth, and so on. This puts a twist or curve in the whole
spine, which creates imbalanced and unlevel hips, shoulders,
and legs; pinching nerves along the spine. This can create
symptoms throughout the whole spine.
When the atlas is level, the second vertebra
is level then the third, and fourth and on down the spine.
The shoulders, hips, and legs will become level- as you will
visualize by observing the comparisons on diagram five. This
is how getting the atlas adjusted & brought to level can
make the lower back and other areas feel better. The adjustment
just works its way down the spine correcting other areas in
the process. The spine on the left of diagram
3 suffers spinal misalignment which may pinch nerves and
lead to various symptoms. The spine on the right, with the
atlas level, is straight which means no pinched nerves and
less chance of symptoms. It's that simple!
WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC?
Chiropractic is an all natural, conservative
approach to health. Our main objective is that every NERVE
of your body is working at 100%. Each NERVE in your body has
a purpose. One nerve makes your eyes see. Another lets your
fingers work. Another makes your heart beat. Another makes
your stomach digest, and so on. EVERYTHING in your body works
because of the nerve supply to it.
The BRAIN is the "control center"
for your body. It sends messages down your spine and out each
individual nerve to make your nose, thyroid, lungs, liver,
stomach, legs, and so on work correctly. If, at any place
along the spine, there is a vertebra (bone of the spine) out
of place, then the bone can pinch a nerve cutting off nerve
supply to the inner ear, the sinuses, the gallbladder, the
pancreas, the kidneys or any other organ in the body. If any
piece of the body is not getting 100% of its nerve supply,
or energy, then that part of the body will not work at 100%.
Its maximum potential will then be compromised. It's that
simple. Look at the following comparisons in Diagram 1 and
Main source of power
Atlas surrounds the brain stem
|arms, hands, shoulders
If there is a worn electrical wire or
an overloaded circuit in the wiring of your home (Diagram
1), then one or more of the items in your home may not
work correctly. The actual electrical problem could be at
the top of the diagram at the main source of electrical power
or even at the breaker box, but you would see the problem
further down into the diagram when your coffee maker, blow
dryer, and vacuum wouldn't work. You might check to make sure
that the appliance didn't break, then check the wall outlet,
but if they're O.K., then the breaker box that all wires &
electrical currents must go through needs to be checked out
and possibly reset or turned on.
The same is true with Diagram
2. The brain controls EVERYTHING in the body. The brain
does this by sending "messages" down the spine through
the brain stem, and out through the nerves to everything in
the body. Compare this to the electrical example in Diagram
1. If something in the body is hurting or not working
correctly, there are several options as to what's causing
the problem. Is the problem in the organ, skin or muscle?
Is the problem at the outlet of the spine (vertebra) where
the nerve comes out of the spine? Or is the problem at the
top of the spinal cord where all the nerves come down from
the brain underneath the atlas bone? All nerves must go through
the atlas before they reach any other area of the body. So,
instead of "treating symptoms in all areas of the body"...
Why not treat the cause?
Are you experiencing irritable bowels because
there is something wrong with the actual bowel tract or because
an abnormal supply of nerve flow to the bowel is creating
bowel tract spasm or contractures?
Are you experiencing headaches due to
a lack of aspirin or because of an inadequate amount of nerve
flow between your brain and your body?
Are you having sciatic pain down the back of
your leg because there is a muscle spasm in your back or because
there's a bone out of place putting pressure on your sciatic
nerve... creating muscle spasm in your back as well as the
excruciating and sharp sciatic pain down the back of your
thigh, knee or into your foot?
chart of effects of spinal misalignment to see all the
results of pinched nerves at all levels of the spine.
Do you want to spend the rest of your life treating
and chasing symptoms... or eliminate the cause of the problem
NOW, so you can begin living life without the fear of the
pain returning when the pain medication wears off.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED CHIROPRACTIC
Body Imbalance vs. Body Balance
When a patient comes
in for their initial consultation, two tests are done to determine
if the doctor thinks they are a candidate for our care. These
are actually two tests you could do at home to see if a family
member of yours needs chiropractic care.
TEST 1: Check the patients balance and
posture. We take a look at shoulder height, hip height, and
leg length (see diagram 3). The shoulders
and hips should be level from left to right, when the patient
is standing. When the patient is lying on their back, on a
flat and hard surface, the legs should be the same length.
It's not that one leg grew shorter than the other, but if
there is a hip that is higher than the other, that high hip
will pull the leg up making the patients leg length unlevel.
TEST 2: We check the nerves at the base
of the skull by gently pressing into the nerve roots and muscles
at the base of the skull (head) . This is the area at the
very top of the neck and spine. There should be no pain experienced
or "bumps" felt in that area if there is no nerve
interference in the upper cervical spine (neck). If you sense
any pain or discomfort or the doctor locates tender bumps
upon feeling at the base of the skull, a spinal misalignment
(subluxation) has been discovered. This misalignment at the
top of the spine works down the spine creating other misalignments
in the spine like dominoes as you can see in diagram
If these two tests indicate an imbalance in
the spine and nerve interference, the next logical step is
WHY DO I NEED X-RAYS?
X-rays to a Doctor of Chiropractic are like
the blueprints necessary to a contractor. It's just not possible
to give you the best possible healthcare without those "blueprints"
of your spine. Advancement in technology has made X-ray exposure
and dosage very minimal. Without X-rays, we would be guessing
about your health - which we will not do.
The X-rays we take of the cervical spine
are specialized for the specialty that we do. Three specific
X-rays on your neck are taken to get a three-dimensional view
of YOUR specific misalignment. With the specific work we do,
everyone's adjustment is tailored specifically to each patient.
The more specific the adjustment, the longer the patient will
hold their adjustment, and the sooner the patient will feel
HOW LONG DOES CHIROPRACTIC CARE TAKE?
Initially, your chiropractic care will be more
intense and frequent. When we start working with patients,
it's a muscle training process. The muscles have held the
vertebra in the wrong place for a period of time and it's
going to take time to teach the muscles the new position.
As the body starts to hold the adjustment
and the patient starts to heal, the visits become less frequent.
Some patients choose to discontinue care when the symptoms
subside, but most patients realize that stopping care could
put them back where they started. Maintaining your chiropractic
care by getting checked on a regular basis is much more cost
and time effective. If you wait for the symptoms to reach
their maximum pain or discomfort again, that intensive care
program would have to be done all over again. Patients who
maintain their chiropractic care often have more energy, sleep
better, get sick less often, and feel better all over. Chiropractic
isn't just about "getting out of pain" or "not
hurting", it's about BEING HEALTHY and learning your
full health and performance potential!
Diagram 7 shows that, after a patient
gets adjusted, it takes time for the body to heal and that
there are ups and downs in the healing process.
The straight line across the top
shows how a healthy, well-adjusted person goes through life
feeling great, but may have a day now and then of not feeling
great due to lack of sleep or irregularities in diet. Overall
though, chiropractic maintenance keeps a person feeling great!
The crooked line going down from
the left shows a persons life without chiropractic care. Health
begins to decline and symptoms come about. Occasionally the
person has a better day due to certain exercises or medications,
but since the problem does not get fixed, overall health continues
to decline over the years.
Then you can see where chiropractic
care begins to improve on bottom of diagram 7. There are ups
and downs along the way as the muscles of the body learn to
hold the spine in the new position. As you can see, it is
not an overnight fix, but the period of healing is not as
long as the period of declining health was before chiropractic
Acute accidents (towards the middle)
don't usually take as long to heal as chronic problems. Acute
accidents include recent auto accidents or falls. Healing
also occurs quicker the younger the patient is when they begin
Look at diagram 7 and see where
you are at in your life. Could you benefit from chiropractic
COMPARISON: MEDICINE vs. CHIROPRACTIC
Before symptoms ever begin, the body begins
the deterioration process. It takes time for damage to occur
internally before the symptoms start. The difference between
medicine and chiropractic is in what these two doctors do
once the symptoms begin.
Invasive surgery or drugs to treat SYMPTOMS
"Whole Body Focused"
Conservative gentle approach to treat the CAUSE
|1. Doctor gives patient a drug
to treat symptoms
||1. Doctor adjusts patient to
remove nerve pressure to eliminate the cause of the problem.
|2. Cause, which still exists,
worsens-sometimes without symptoms
||2. Nerve flow through the body
is reaching maximum potential, eventually 100%
|3. More medications are given
to reduce or eliminate symptoms of a worsened problem
or side effects
||3. Symptoms subside, overall
function of all systems within the body improve in function
health improves and increased resistance to disease is
reached by restoring proper neurological communication
BASIC SCIENCE COMPARISONS
Have you ever wondered about the education your
Doctor of Chiropractic has received? Look at these basic educational
requirements for graduates of both medical and chiropractic
colleges. Each has its own specialties, but the hours of classroom
instruction are quite similar.
*The class hours for basic science comparisons
were compiled and averaged following a review of curricula
of 18 chiropractic colleges and 22 medical schools, based
on the 1988-89 Association of American Medical College Curriculum
Directory (AAMC), Vickie Ahari, Editor, and the Chiropractic
College Admissions and Curriculum Directory 1988-89, K. Magarian
and K. McNamee, editors.
**Pathology includes Geriatrics and Pediatrics
***Includes EENT and Dermatology