What is the Atlas Vertebra?

Atlas Vertebra pic
Atlas Vertebra
Image: spineuniverse.com

Dr. Timothy Francis is a holistic doctor who holds advanced degrees from the University of Bridgeport, Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, and British Institute of Homeopathy. Currently the owner of a Las Vegas chiropractic and kinesiology practice, Dr. Timothy Francis has also served as an instructor at Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, where he taught courses on subjects such as atlas adjusting.

Atlas adjusting involves adjusting the position of the atlas vertebra to ensure proper alignment. This vertebra is located at the top of the spinal column, which consists of 33 total vertebrae. It supports the weight of the head and is in direct contact with the flat bone at the back of the head known as the occipital bone.

The term atlas stems from the Greek god of the same name. In Greek mythology, Atlas carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, which is metaphorically similar to the role of the atlas vertebra in supporting the head. A misaligned atlas vertebra causes a host of problems, including poor posture, muscular tightness, increased risk of injury, and pain throughout the back and lower body.