AtlasPROfilax® and improved neck mobility

Measurement of the mobility of the cervical spine before and after correction of the Atlas with the R.C. Schümperli AtlasPROfilax® Method on the basis of the "Neutral Zero Method


Author of the study

Dr. med. A. Morgenstern, Orthopedist

Dr. Med. A. Morgenstern

  • Orthopedic Doctor
  • Specialist in Sports Medicine, Chiropractic and Pain Therapy

Dr. A. Morgenstern is a German physician and is affiliated to the Landesärztekammer Hessen (German Medical Association in Hessen).


The present study is a pilot study. On the basis of a small number of 20 patients it is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of the correction of the first cervical vertebra with the AtlasPROfilax® Method on the mobility of the cervical spine.

Material and method

The AtlasPROfilax® method has already been described in a separate section. It is a harmless massage which is performed without manipulation of the cervical spine, without impulse and without movement of the head, and can be performed at any age. It is only done once.

  • The sample was made based on an age range of between 30 and 65 years.
  • For the exploration, 2º patients were presented with ages between 31 and 64 years old.
  • The average age was 47.0 years.
  • 9 people were women and 11 men.

Measurement of the mobility of the cervical spine according to the "Neutral Zero Method"

In the "Neutral Zero Method" the measurement is related to the deviation from the so-called Anatomical Normal Position as the starting position.

The exact determination of the joint axes and the center of rotation of the goniometer, which must be located above the joint's axis of rotation, is essential.   The plane in which the movement takes place must be well determined. In this case the Sagittal, Frontal and Transverse planes were chosen.

For correct joint measurement, specific points on the body were used and marked as reference points. As a rule, these points are very palpable bone prominences.

The identified angular values are obtained from the difference in movement from the zero position, which is called "Anatomical Zero Position".

On this occasion, the movements made by the patients themselves were documented.

Usually the measurements were noted in degrees. An exception to this was the measurement of the anteroflexion and retroflexion of the cervical spine, since in that case there is no center of rotation in the axis of rotation that the goniometer can determine. For this reason, the differences of movement between the chin and the sternum were taken in centimeters, both in anteroflexion and in retroflexion.

"The evaluation offers if it is made by an experienced specialist a sufficiently exact approximation"

"Often, even free assessment can be sufficient" (4)

The accuracy of the measurements according to the protocols is determined to be 2° to 5°.


The range between chin and sternum is measured in maximum anteroflexion (inclination of the neck to the sternum) and in maximum retroflexion (hyperextension of the neck backwards) before and after the Atlas correction with AtlasPROfilax®.

In addition lateroflexion (lateral tilt) in both directions and rotation (rotation of the cervical spine) in both directions were measured up to 90°, although in many cases the mobility exceeded this figure.

The measurement of the mobility of the cervical spine was carried out immediately before and after the correction of the Atlas.

All corrections were made by the author of the study, who perfectly masters the AtlasPROfilax® Method and is an experienced Orthopedist and Expert who guarantees the veracity of the results.


Summary and discussion

From a randomly selected sample of 20 patients aged 31-64 years, who were tested with the AtlasPROfilax® method only once, a noticeable improvement in the mobility of the cervical spine in all directions could be documented. In relation to the left hand side bending the surprising result of 38.5% improvement was obtained. The Atlantoaxial joint - called the "No Joint" (Nein-Gelenk in German) - is responsible for most of the head rotation. The Atlas and the head rotate in synchrony with the Axis.  In this case the Atlas rotates first in the direction of an Atlas rotation of about 10°, so that the Axis rotates with the Atlas at the same time (1).

The other vertebrae then also participate in this movement. The total mobility of the cervical spine is obtained from the sum of each of the moving segments.

In this case the head joints participate mostly in the rotation. The degree of rotation is reduced from cranial to caudal.  The surplus or extra rotation of the Atlas compared to the Axis is increased with an increasing rotation of up to 30° (Dihlman 1987). Dvorak (1988) gave an average rotation between the Atlas and the Axis of 41.5° to the right and 44° to the left. The rotation between the occipital and the Atlas is specified as 4.5° to the right and 4.1° to the left.

The results show a base influence of the mobile segments Occipital-Atlas and Atlas-Axis on the total mobility of the cervical spine.

No worsening of mobility was documented in any of the subjects examined.

Future studies with a larger number of patients and various age groups will investigate in more detail the improvement of the mobility of the cervical spine as an unequivocal consequence of the Atlas correction with the AtlasPROfilax® Method.


  • Gelenke-Wirbelverbindungen, Wolfgang Dielman, Georg-Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart/New York, 1987 ; Kamieth 1983)
  • H. Frisch, programmierte Untersuchungen des Bewegunsapparates, Springer verlag Berlin 1993)
  • Chirotherapie, Eder/Tischler Hypokrates Verlag 1990)
  • Hans-U. Debrunner, ortopädisches Diagnostikum, Georg-Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, New-York 1982, página 55)
  • Dvorak, J., Manuelle Medizinin den USA im Jahre 1981, Manuelle Med. 20 (1982) 1
  • Lewit, K; Manuelle Medizin 6. Auflage, Johann Ambrosius Barth Verlag