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Cerebral Spinal Fluid and Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care 

 June 22, 2012

By  Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

Mechanicsville Virginia Chiropractor – Many of you know I practice a form of upper cervical chiropractic care.  It is the orthospinology procedure based on the Grostic technique.  It isn’t so important that those words make sense for you, but it may be very interesting to know something about what it helps in our spine and nervous system.  First let me back up a step.

If you search the internet for “upper cervical chiropractic helps treat” you will find an unbelievable list of conditions and symptoms.  Honestly it is often hard for me to believe.  But the truth is chiropractors have been saying these things for years (upper cervical care has been around since at least 1925).  Well we’ve been aware of the importance of C1 related to its anatomical relationship to the midbrain.  So misalignments of C1 can have far ranging effects on your body due to the impact on the nervous system.  Now we know more…

Recently cerebral spinal fluid flow was evaluated in patients before and after a correction to C1.  In EVERY case, no matter how much alignment was restored, there was a significant increase in cerebral spinal fluid flow!  No doubt this sheds light on how chiropractic helps with some symptoms, illnesses, and syndromes that just don’t seem likely to respond to chiropractic adjustments!  For example, things that would be much more about brain function (for example: MS, anxiety, vertigo, tinnitus, vision problems, trigeminal neuralgia) and less about localized nerve root irritation at the spinal cord level.

What is CSF? (From THE ART, PHILOSOPHY, AND THE SCIENCE OF IMPEDED CSF CIRCULATION, By: Dr. Don Glassey, M.S.W., D.C., L.M.T)

“Cerebrospinal fluid comprises a singular continuous fluid system whose circulation is very important to the functioning of the brain itself. Far more than a “shock absorber” cushion of protection for the brain and spinal cord, the movement and flow of “CSF” is essential to the proper functioning of the central nervous system. Cerebrospinal fluid bathes the neurons (nerve cells) and glial cells (connective tissue) of the brain and spinal cord. It carries nutrients as well as removes metabolic wastes and toxic substances from the central nervous system in conjunction with the arterial (nutrients) and venous (waste and toxin removal) branches of the circulatory system.

It also has a major influence on the body’s homeostatic pH balance of acidity/alkalinity. Recent research also suggests that “CSF” may be the primary factor which produces the electromagnetic environment of neurons and other cells of the central nervous system (Upledger 2000). Further current scientific research indicates that “CSF” could act as a chelating (binding) agent removing metallic toxins from the brain and spinal cord, providing protection against free radical cell damaging oxidation, and the accumulation of non-metallic toxins (Upledger 2000).

Physiologists currently state that carbon dioxide levels in the “CSF” have a more direct influence on the chemo-receptor respiratory mechanisms in the brain stem (medulla oblongata) than carbon dioxide levels in the blood (Guyton 2000). Thus, carbon dioxide levels in the “CSF” have a major influence on the critical acid-base balance of body homeostasis, which is partly regulated by carbon dioxide. In addition, electrolytes present in the “CSF” have a great influence on the body’s electromagnetic environment, which allow the central nervous system to work by the conduction of electricity. (Electrolytes are substances which when dissolved in water can conduct electricity.) Also “CSF” is the most conductive fluid in the body.

The abovementioned two mechanisms concerning carbon dioxide levels in the “CSF”, and the electrolyte elements of sodium and potassium which circulate within the “CSF”, are significantly imbalanced by impeded “CSF” circulation.”

With this in mind you can imagine the illness that may develop if something is impeding CSF flow.  Well it looks like C1 can do just that, according to a study by Dr. Scott Rosa which is nicely summarized in the following article.  They actually evaluated a patient with MS.  Which has a lot of anecdotal improvement under upper cervical chiropractic care.

Here is the web address that can be pasted into your web browser: http://www.fonar.com/news/110211.htm or click on the above hyperlink.

It is all very exciting news for upper cervical practitioners and those that may find relief they haven’t found elsewhere.  Give us a call if you have any questions – 804-559-1100

Stover Chiropractic P.C.

Real. Simple. Healthcare.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.


Dr. Stover grew up in Richmond. He has been married to his wife Andrea since 2000 and they make their home in Mechanicsville with their children, Avery and Garnett.

Dr. Tripp Stover, D.C.

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