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What is “Neuro-structural shift”?


Answer:  When there is a misalignment of the spine causing the bones to shift into an improper position.

An upper cervical neuro-structural shift is when the head and neck lose its proper position also know as an Upper Cervical Subluxation. This may affect your body and health because two things occur:

First, the top two bones may become misaligned from their normal position due to a slip, fall or an everyday repetitive stress.  If the misalignment is not corrected it will become stuck taking your head with it. Once this event occurs, your brain will quickly begin to malfunction. Your body will try and compensate the malfunction with your “righting reflex”.  This reflex will kick in and tell your body to twist, turn or rotate your body to attempt to level the head back out. Because of this shift, the body will become off balance in the shoulders, hips, back, knees and feet. Over time, this will cause premature aging of the joints, muscles and discs leading to degenerative spinal decay known as arthritis.


Second, when you have a Neuro-structural shift at the craniocervical junction (the area between the skull and top two bones of the neck), it immediately shuts down the function of the brainstem up to 60%. The most important part of your brain is the brainstem because it controls vital functions such as breathing and heart rate. Your body cannot function without it.  This part of the brain extends out of the skull and into the first two bones of the neck. It is very important to understand that the brainstem literally attaches to the bones of the upper neck. So if you have a structural shift or misalignment in the upper cervical spine, it will alter the normal function of the brain to the body.


A misalignment or Neuro-strucural shift at the upper neck (Craniocervical Junction) is often referred by the medical profession as “Cranio-cervical Syndrome” This health condition will over time lead to secondary conditions or “symptoms” such as arthritis, pain, headaches, migraines, seizures, poor immune function or poor posture, just to name a few.

Not everybody who is in pain or suffering will have a corresponding upper cervical problem. Sometimes you may really have a pulled muscle or a deeper underlying cause that needs traditional medical treatment or another specialist. If, when we walk through your initial examination  we find your problem is not structural; we will discuss referrals and other medical options. Getting you the care you need and helping you find permanent solutions is always the goal at Healthy Beginnings Chiropractic!

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