Atlas Chiropractic Melbourne

What does an “Atlas” or an “Upper Neck” Chiropractor do?

Atlas Chiropractic Melbourne showing the movement of the atlasThese are qualified chiropractors who have undertaken further training in theory, radiography, assessment and technique relating to the upper neck. An Atlas chiropractor will assess the top vertebrae in the neck (C1) and if it is found to be “out” of alignment, they will perform an adjustment to attempt to re-align its position.

What is Atlas Orthogonal Technique?

Atlas Orthogonal (AO) is a Chiropractic technique that addresses problems arising from the upper neck (cervical spine). The upper neck is an extremely delicate area with a high proportion of the bodies nerves sending and receiving messages located here. Atlas Chiropractic is a technique used to assess the upper neck and its relationship to the cranium above and remaining spine below. If there is misalignment of the upper neck vertebrae it could contribute to disturbances in other areas of the body, potentially leading to various ailments and health related issues. Upper Cervical Chiropractors use their techniques to attempt to realign the vertebrae of the upper neck to with the goals of allowing the body to function optimally.

How are Atlas Chiropractors different from other Chiropractors?

Atlas Chiropractors are post-graduate certified professionals. They have dedicated additional training to the fields of neurology, biomechanics, anatomy, structure & also bodily functions. There are approximately 900 Atlas certified Chiropractors in the world, only approximately 15 of these are in Australia. Our chiropractors at Wellbeing have been using Atlas Chiropractic treatment on men and women for a range of issues for several years now.

We currently offer Atlas treatment at our Hawthorn and Pakenham practices

Where to go for Atlas Orthogonal help?

Atlas Chiropractic Melbourne showing the how the atlas is treated on a sidelying patient
Our team of chiropractors are available from 10+ locations throughout Melbourne.

The Hawthorn practice is at 365 Burwood Road, a 5 minutes walk from Glenferrie train station or a 20 minute drive from Melbourne city centre. The Carlton practice is @ 143 Drummond St.

The Pakenham practice is at 3 Rogers St Pakenham, only 5 minutes from Pakenham train station, accessible from the M1 freeway or Princess Highway. Our Berwick location is @ 3 Manuka Rd Berwick.

In the west we have multiple locations: Hoppers Crossing practice is located at 4 Pentlowe St, off Derrimut Rd (1km from Werribee Shopping centre), 238 Boardwalk Blv,  Point Cook and 834 Tarneit Rd, Tarneit. We also have a practice in Melton at 118 Barries Rd

Up in the north, we have 4 practices – 765 High St Epping,  41 Craigieburn Rd, Sunbury at 31 Barkly Street and 795 Plenty Rd South Morang.

In the East, we have locations at Cranbourne, Berwick, Lillydale, Ringwood and Boronia

More locations coming soon

Atlas Chiropractic Melbourne example of Xrays showing movement of the atlas
Atlas Chiropractic Melbourne example of Xrays showing movement of the atlas

Are all Chiropractors trained in specific Atlas care?

Not all Chiropractors are trained in Atlas Orthogonal. To be able to adjust in the same style as Dr Sweat (founder of the Atlas Orthogonal principles and styloid-instrument technique) additional study is required.

Currently, there are approximately 15 Chiropractors within Australia certified in the official Atlas Orthogonal protocol. Dr. Robbie Hunt, Dr. Peter Vrakatselis, Dr Tom Anderson, Dr Andrew Jackson, Dr Rami Tawil and Dr. Adam Curwood are trained in Atlas Orthogonal.

What does an initial appointment involve?

  • Private one-on-one consultation
  • A detailed review of your current and past health & medical history.
  • Computerised postural analysis.
  • Orthopaedic & Neuro-muscular testing
  • Atlas Orthogonal X-rays are taken onsite (if clinically indicated)
  • Thorough analysis of your results to accurately determine your need for treatment and the capacity of Atlas treatment to assist in your situation.

Why is the Upper Neck important?

Atlas Orthogonal (AO) is a technique that focuses on upper neck chiropractic or cervical spine and its influence on the central nervous system and brain function. Important connections to the central nervous system and brain stem are located within the upper neck vertebrae.

6 Quick FAQs about Atlas Orthogonal

  1. What is AO? AO is short for Atlas Orthogonal, a Chiropractic technique which focuses on the upper cervical spine, C1 the atlas and C2 the axis.
  2. Who does AO? Registered Doctors of Chiropractic who have undertaken extra training and completed the Atlas Orthogonal certified training program.
  3. How is it different to traditional Chiropractic? Atlas Orthogonal is different in terms of application and analysis. It focuses only on the upper cervical spine, C1 and C2. AO is a low force adjustment technique and it is done by a styloid instrument. There is no hands-on adjustment, no cracking of the neck!
  4. Does it hurt? Atlas adjustment, undertaken correctly, should not hurt. As mentioned , it is the lower-force adjustive technique (relative to traditional spinal manipulation)
  5. What will I feel afterwards? You can experience many different things after an atlas orthogonal adjustment. The most common being a decrease in problematic symptoms and/or an increased range of motion in the upper neck. Some patients have reported a short period of tiredness or fatigue and/or muscle tension. Results differ from patient to patient, with many different factors playing a part in how someone responds to treatment.
  6. How long will it last? The lasting affects of the adjustment is case-dependent. There are many different lifestyle and health factors which influence the length of time an adjustment lasts. Rehabilitative schedules and visit frequency is case-sensitive and each treatment plan is customised for each individual’s needs.

Atlas Chiropractic Melbourne bones of the neck, skull and how they align from the side

More facts about AO

  1. What determines treatment? The Chiropractor will go over your full health history and learn more about your symptoms and problems. The Chiropractor will also perform orthopedic, neurological and physical examinations, leg length checks, range of motion, do palpation and an upper neck x-ray examination. The results of your medical history and the results of these tests determines the course of treatment needed.
  2. Do I need X-rays? X-rays will only be taken if clinically indicated. Atlas Orthogonal technique uses precise measurements of different upper neck landmarks in order to deliver the most precise adjustment possible. The use of specific upper neck x-rays are usually needed to determine the angle needed for correction. If the Chiropractor can’t see the problem then they then may find it difficult to help you.
  3. Who created AO? Chiropractor Dr Roy W. Sweat is the founder of Atlas Orthogonal principles and styloid adjusting instrument in 1981. Dr Sweat created the AO program after years of teaching another upper cervical technique called occipital-atlanto-axial complex, this was under the guidance of Chiropractor Dr John F. Grostic.  Dr Sweat developed the Chiropractic adjustment instrument, x-ray positioning and x-ray analysis computer program.
  4.  Who needs AO? Generally speaking AO is often sought out as a last resort treatment for many patients. Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractors are experienced in managing many different musculo-skeletal concerns.

For Atlas Treatment & Assessments Phone: 1300 123 365  10+ locations: Hawthorn, Carlton, Boronia, Pakenham, Berwick, Melton, Sunbury, Epping, Craigieburn, Point Cook, Tarneit, Cranbourne, Lilydale & Hoppers Crossing


Book via our website or give our team a call on 03 9882 7135 and we will book an appointment with you over the phone.


To view our team of Doctors and therapists who operate out of our Hawthorn, Hoppers Crossing, Pakenham, Craigieburn, Melton, Sunbury, Epping, Point Cook and Cranbourne practices, go ahead and visit our Doctors page.

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