Chiropractic Care

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care With Dr. Christine Britt

Spectra Wellness takes an integrative, whole-body approach to improving your health. Part of this process is ensuring that the brain and body are communicating clearly and that there are not any structural misalignments that could compromise this transmission. Because the first place this misalignment can occur is the upper cervical spine (upper neck), our treatment focus starts in this area.

Meet Dr. Christine Britt

Dr. Christine Britt graduated from Rutgers University with her Bachelor of Art in Biological Life Sciences with a minor in Psychology. 

While deciding what part of the healthcare realm she wanted to pursue, she started working as an assistant for a chiropractor in New York City. Her doctor took her to a chiropractic seminar where she fell in love with the profession. She obtained her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University and came to Florida shortly after.

Prior to moving to Tampa in 2020, Dr. Britt practiced in Tallahassee and Coconut Creek, FL, focusing on family care, as well as spinal correction and advanced Webster technique for her pregnant patients. 

Dr. Britt is excited to bring Upper Cervical (Orthospinology) care, the Bio-Geometric Integration (BGI) Technique, Pediatric Care and the Advanced Webster Technique (designed for pregnant patients) to our Spectra community.

Do you offer packages?

Yes! Bundle and save on your Chiropractic Care appointments. Purchase a 10 pack of follow up visits for $750! You will save yourself $250 while making an investment in your self by relieving pain and aligning your spine. 

Schedule An Appointment Today

Both existing and new patients may call our office for appointment scheduling. If it’s after office hours or you prefer to schedule online, please do so through our existing patient portal or our new patient inquiry form. 

What to Expect

First Visit

Designed to gather your health history and perform a physical exam to determine whether or not you would be a candidate for our care. If the examination is able to confirm the presence of abnormal biomechanics in the upper cervical spine, X-rays will be taken off-site to determine the direction and magnitude of misalignment. Spectra Wellness has an exclusive partnership with Advanced Diagnostics (on Kennedy) for our Upper Cervical imaging needs.

Second Visit

Discuss your exam and X-ray findings.  This includes going over the anatomical relationships of your misalignments, the presence or absence of any spinal degeneration, your treatment plan and prognosis, as well as any co-treatments that may be appropriate for your care. 

Follow Up Visits

Your treatment plan will start with a precision percussion correction of the first vertebra in the upper cervical spine called the ATLAS vertebra.  Following this treatment, you will likely be seen for approximately 5-8 visits over the next 2-3 months, however each patient case is unique. These appointments are to ensure that your atlas vertebra stays in proper alignment, and to adjust any other joints in your body that may be limiting optimal movement and function. 

Our goal is are to create a body that is moving optimally from head to toe. Dr. Britt will work to keep you pain and injury-free, while resisting joint degeneration, and able to handle anything life throws your way. Whether you’re looking to have less pain, run a marathon, or just be able to pick up your grandkids, we want to help you get there.

FAQ

Upper cervical care is a unique branch of healthcare within the chiropractic profession that focuses on proper alignment of the upper vertebrae in the neck. The importance of these vertebrae (the first called C1 or the atlas, the 2nd called C2 or the axis) has to do with the vital structures it surrounds. The most important structure in this area is the lower brain stem, which extends out of the skull into the upper neck, before transitioning into the spinal cord. The significance of the lower brainstem is that it controls most of the vital automatic functions of the body including heart rate, digestion, breathing, blood pressure, and many reflexes. Also passing through this area are the postural reflexes, that unconsciously control muscle tone throughout the spine. In addition, this area is critical for regulating the body’s inflammatory response.

The upper cervical procedure used at Spectra Wellness Solutions is called the Advanced (Atlas) Orthogonal procedure. This non-invasive technique starts with taking very specific three-dimensional X-rays, which are digitally analyzed to determine exactly how the atlas vertebra has misaligned. Once the X-rays have been studied, the exact vectors to be used in the correction are calibrated into an adjusting instrument, and a table-mounted spring loaded instrument is used to re-position the misaligned structures.

The specificity of the Advanced (Atlas) Orthogonal procedure allows patients to be corrected within their normal range of motion, and does not require any twisting, popping or gross manipulation. This non-invasive approach can be used with patients with pre-existing disc injuries or arthritic degeneration, and is safe for all ages.

Structural anatomy: Of the 24 bones in the spine, the lower 23 of them have near identical anatomy. These commonalities include cartilaginous spinal discs between all of the joints in the front, and angled, interlocking joints (called facets) in the rear. These two structures limit the amount of motion in the spine. The atlas vertebra is different as it has neither facet joints, nor spinal discs between it and adjacent structures. This makes it much more freely movable, allowing for much more range of motion (around half of the total movement in the neck occurs between the top two bones), but makes this area more vulnerable to structural misalignment. Neurology: The lower brain stem is the part of the nervous system where the brain transitions into the spinal cord. This occurs at the bottom and rear opening of the skull, at the upper neck. The majority of unconscious functions occur in this area, such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and reflexes like coughing and swallowing. Extending down to the middle and lower neck are clusters of brainstem nerves that control the muscles of the head, neck and face, sensations to most of the face, mouth and tongue control, and a variety of other functions. Blood Supply: The vertebral artery passes directly through the atlas vertebra, prior to bringing blood into the head. The vertebral artery is responsible for bringing blood to the entire brain stem, and the middle and back of your brain. As you can see, significant rotation of the atlas vertebra can create a “kink” of this critical artery. Because of the unique anatomy of the atlas vertebra, and its proximity to these critical structures, it is essential that it be properly aligned.

Within the chiropractic profession there are different specialties, some of the most common ones being auto-injuries, sports practices, or family practices. Some of the less common specialties include chiropractic radiology, internal medicine, and the upper cervical spine.

The upper neck became an area of focus and specialty within the chiropractic profession as early as the 1930’s, with a focus on using precision radiology. Hand-held instruments started replacing manual manipulation in the 1970’s and the use of table-mounted instruments, similar to what is used at Spectra Wellness, started in the 1980’s.

Today there are over a dozen techniques within the Upper Cervical Chiropractic specialty, and these techniques are taught at almost every Chiropractic school in America. The protocols used at Spectra Wellness are called the Advanced (Atlas) Orthogonal technique.

No! Traditional chiropractic treatment plans are based on the idea that spinal health is dependent on outside intervention. Most chiropractors believe that you will ALWAYS need “maintenance” adjustments (sometimes as frequently as every week) for the rest of your life. The Spectra Wellness approach is to address structural alignment through reflex muscle control, joint mobilization, and movement re-training. Using these strategies, motivated patients are given the tools to be able to maintain their corrections indefinitely.

Low back pain is one of the most common ailments in North America, as it is the 2nd most common reason for missed workdays, and up to 80% of Americans will have it at some point in the their lives (Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009). Unfortunately, most people (health providers included) don’t realize that posture is largely driven by unconscious reflexes, and these reflexes affect spinal alignment. In fact, a 1992 animal study in the International Orthopedics Journal found that you were able to create scoliosis just by stimulating certain parts of the brain stem.

When the top bones in the neck have subtle misalignments, they can affect these postural reflexes, indirectly affecting the back. The Spectra Wellness approach to back pain deals with first normalizing these reflexes (which starts at the neck), THEN treating the back if necessary, AND THEN fixing any potentially compromised movement patterns. Despite focusing on the upper neck, one of the most frequently seen conditions by Spectra Wellness chiropractors is lower back pain, and it responds tremendously well to re-aligning the upper cervical spine.

Maybe. We most commonly see changes with orthopedic-type conditions including neck pain, back pain, shoulder issues and all kinds of joint pain. We also frequently see neurologic-type conditions like headaches and dizziness. However, because atlas vertebra position is intimately related to proper function of the lower brainstem, any number of health conditions can potentially respond favorably to atlas vertebra alignment.

If you have a condition or know someone with a condition that has not responded to traditional medical approaches, upper cervical alignment could be the missing link.

Unfortunately, no (but we still want to see them). Traditional medical X-ray, MRI or CT scans are designed to find significant medical problems and are an essential part of modern healthcare. However, the subtleties involved in detecting the upper cervical misalignment require that the patient is specifically positioned prior to the images being taken, and traditional X-rays do not require this level of detail.

Spectra works exclusively with Advanced Diagnostics (on Kennedy) in South Tampa for all your imaging needs. If you have previous X-rays, they can tell us a lot about the state of your condition, but may not help us with a specific correction to the upper cervical spine.

Rarely (only if you prefer it). While Spectra Wellness chiropractors are trained in manual spinal manipulation performed by most chiropractors, they prefer to take a much more specific and non-invasive approach to correcting the neck. The top bone in the neck is adjusted using a percussion sound wave instrument, using a procedure that is dependent on precise X-ray analysis. The correction is performed with the spine in a neutral position, within the normal range of motion, without any twisting, popping or cracking. This non-invasive approach can be used with patients with pre-existing disc injuries or arthritic degeneration, and is safe for all ages.

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Interested In Becoming A New Patient With Us?

Spectra Wellness Solutions

509 S Armenia Ave # 302, Tampa, FL 33609

813-319-0911

 

Spectra Wellness Solutions

Interested In Becoming A New Patient With Us?

509 S Armenia Ave # 302, Tampa, FL 33609

813-319-0911