Lateral Occiput-Atlas (LOA) Complex

 

WHAT IT IS:

The occiput is a bone located at the back and base of the skull. The atlas is the uppermost vertebra of the neck. These two bones form the occiput-atlas joint. The LOA Complex occurs when both of these bones shift laterally (to the left/right).

 

SIGNIFICANCE:

The LOA Complex is the most serious of all structural misalignments possible in the body. When these bones shift laterally, there is impairment of blood flow and nerve transmission to the brain, increased pressure on the brainstem and spinal cord, and increased pressure on the cranial nerves including the vagus & trigeminal nerves.

 

CAUSES:

  • Head Trauma
  • Sleeping with Head Bent (ex. on airplane, sleeping on couch with head on armrest, etc.)
  • Exposure to High Altitudes
  • High Fever
  • Vomiting

 

SYMPTOMS:

Typically, a patient will exhibit a few of the following symptoms:

  • Migraine or Other Headaches
  • Neck Pain/Stiffness
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Pain/Numbness/Tingling in the Arms or Legs
  • Visual Disturbances/Eye Discomfort/Blurred Vision
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Brain Fog
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Digestive complaints/discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping Difficulty
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Emotional Imbalance: Irritability/ Weepiness / Anxiety

 

TREATMENT:

The occiput & atlas are adjusted back into proper alignment using an Activator instrument. It is very important not to overstimulate this sensitive area so the Activator is used on the lowest setting through the doctor’s finger. 3-4 treatments are needed to fully clear the LOA Complex: adjustments must be made in the supine (face-up), sitting, & standing positions as well as, sometimes, the prone (face-down) position. The treatment is extremely gentle & quick but its significance must not be underestimated as the effects are usually dramatic.