Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Atlas Orthogonist?

An Atlas Orthogonist uses a light force method to adjust the first cervical vertebrae.  He/she uses a gentle percussion instrument to correct spinal misalignment and remove nerve interference. 

What causes a spinal subluxation?

Physical causes include car accidents, falling, sports injuries, repetitive motion, and lifting heavy objects improperly. However, emotional factors like stress, anger, and fear can also cause subluxations. Alcohol, drugs, too much sugar, and generally poor nutrition can also cause subluxations of the spine.

What are possible signs and symptoms of the misalignment/subluxation?

Common symptoms include headache, arm and leg numbness or tingling, sciatica, balance issues, leg length inequality, dizziness or vertigo, spinal osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue, and weakness (in addition to spinal pain of the neck and back regions).

What is the typical diagnosis?

There are numerous diagnoses – too many to quantify – that have proven to benefit from DTS therapy.  Non-specific low back pain and cervical pain generally involve biomechanical or motion issues or involve pressure on the nerves.  Thus, the diagnostic impression is formed through consultation, personal history analysis, examination, and radiographs.  MRI’ s are generally not required, but can be invaluable in the diagnosis and treatment of nerve and disc compression issues.

How long before a patient experiences change?

Our acute care treatment plan averages 2 to 3 times per week for 10 to 22 sessions. We expect a minimum of a 20-30% decrease within the first month of care. Herniated discs generally begin to improve within 8 to 12 sessions.

Does an Atlas adjustment hurt?

No!  Many patients come to us with a fear of chiropractic care because of the popping and cracking they have received in other offices. The precision and effectiveness of the instruments have taken chiropractic to a higher level of patient satisfaction.  Most patients barely feel the adjustment itself as it’s happening. 

Can Dr. Nygaard help me with my specific condition?

The answer is the same for all conditions:  “Maybe”.

Approximately 300 new patients a year, of ALL AGES, have sought Dr. Nygaard’s care since 1997. Of these patients, 99% came because they had a specific condition for which they were seeking his help.  Others came seeking general wellness care. The vast majority of patients that follow through with treatment recommendations do receive the help they are looking for (estimated to be 80% industry wide).

Dr Nygaard will not accept your case unless the objective findings of your case indicate that you can be helped by chiropractic care. A proper Chiropractic Examination and Radiographs are the only objective ways to determine if someone can be helped in our office. Dr Nygaard never charges for Consultations.

Your health is your most valuable resource. You owe it to yourself to get a proper diagnostic evaluation from a competent chiropractor before deciding if it is in your best interest to seek chiropractic care.

What is the difference between decompression and traction?

Many clinicians specializing in lumbar spine pathology have criticized traditional traction. Traction fails in many cases because it causes muscular stretch receptors to fire, which then causes para-spinal muscles to contract. This muscular response actually causes an increase in intradiscal pressure. 

Genuine decompression, on the other hand, is achieved by applying various degrees of distraction forces to spinal structures in gradual and calculated increases.  A highly specialized computer must modulate the application of distraction forces in order to achieve the ideal effect. The system uses a gentle, curved angle pull – which yields far greater treatment results than a less comfortable, sharp angle pull. Distraction must be offset by cycles of partial relaxation. The system continuously monitors spinal resistance and adjusts distraction forces accordingly. A specific lumbar segment can be targeted for treatment by changing the angle of distraction. This patented technique of decompression may prevent muscle spasm and patient guarding. Constant activity monitoring takes place at a rate of 10,000 times per second, making adjustments not perceived by the eye as many as 20 times per second via its fractional metering and monitoring system.

Genuine decompression also involves the use of a special pelvic harness that supports the lumbar spine during therapy. Negative pressure within the disc is maintained throughout the treatment session. With genuine decompression, the pressure within the disc space can actually be lowered to about -150 mmHg. As a result, the damaged disc will be re-hydrated with nutrients and oxygen.

Who can benefit from using Disc Decompression Therapy?

Those who suffer from any of the following symptoms/conditions:

  • Pain lasting more than four weeks that is due to herniated or bulging lumbar discs 
  • Recurrent pain lasting more than six months from a failed back surgery 
  • Persistent pain from degenerated discs that has not responded to four weeks of therapy

*Patients should be available for four weeks of treatment protocol.*
*Patients should be at least 18 years of age.*

These indications are ideal candidates for enrollment into our program and have the potential of achieving quality outcomes in the treatment of their back pain:

  • Nerve Compression
  • Lumbar Disorders
  • Lumbar Strains
  • Sciatic Neuralgia
  • Herniated Discs
  • Injury of the Lumbar Nerve Root
  • Degenerative Discs
  • Spinal Arthritis
  • Low Back Pain, with or without Sciatica
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Myofasciitis Syndrome
  • Disuse Atrophy
  • Lumbar Instability
  • Acute Low Back Pain
  • Post-Surgical Low Back Pain

Lastly, the system should be utilized with patients with low back pain, with or without radiating arm or leg pain, who have failed conventional therapy (physiotherapy and chiropractic) and who are considering surgery. Surgery should only be considered following a reasonable trial of Decompression Therapy protocols.

Contact us today to learn about Atlas Chiropractic of Asheville and the many conditions we treat. 828-253-0700