When most of us think about health, the spine is usually the last thing that comes to mind-if at all! That’s because there isn’t much information out there about the spine and the important role it plays in overall health.

That’s why we’re dedicating an entire series of articles about the spine. As you’ll soon learn, it’s one of the most marvelous features of the human body. Through this series, we will share with you not just facts but real healing wisdom. The spine is the nexus of our work here at Philani and we consider it to be essential to our healing process.

About the Spine

First, the spine comprises a series of interconnected bones called vertebrae that travel from the base of the skull to the tailbone. Each vertebra is connected to another by a facet joint. The facet joints give your spine the flexibility to bend and move your neck and back.

Now, this is where things get interesting. Within the vertebral column is the spinal cord, which connects the brain with the rest of the body. The vertebral column is also responsible for:
  • Supporting the head
  • Providing vertical support for the body
  • Articulating the ribs
  • Supporting body weight while walking and standing

Different Parts of the Spine

The vertebral column comprises four major curvatures, and each curvature has several bones within it as follows:

In the following weeks, we will unpack each of the vertebrae that run along the spine, starting with the Atlas and the Axis, labeled C1 and C2 respectively on the above chart.

And Then There Was Movement!

Although small, the C1 and C2 vertebrae allow for the greatest range of motion of all the vertebrae. Perhaps that’s why the C1 vertebra is called the “Atlas” after the man from Greek mythology who held up the earth.

It attaches directly to your skull and allows you to nod your head forward while C2 enables you to move your head from side to side. Without these two vertebrae, you wouldn’t be able to turn around when someone calls your name, or bop your head to your favorite tune.

That’s why it’s so easy to notice when there’s a misalignment with either one of these vertebrae.

Symptoms of C1 + C2 Misalignment

Some of the most common conditions that we see at Philani in relation to C1 + C2 misalignment include:
  • Migraine headaches
  • Breathing problems
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Tinnitus (a ringing in the ears)
  • Facial pain
  • Neck pain and
  • Shoulder pain
Should you experience any of these symptoms, please consider booking an assessment with us at Philani. This is where our qualified Manual Therapist,  Zanele Bosch, will conduct a thorough assessment of your problem to find out which part of your spine is causing your ailment.

Good news! We’re offering free assessments to anyone that books an appointment through our website. Head over to our appointment page to book your free assessment and start your journey to better health today.