Dentistry and AtlasPROfilax®

Information for dentists

This is a section dedicated to dentists, orthodontists, maxillary orthopedists and maxillofacial rehabilitators.

These specialists will find here all the necessary information about AtlasPROfilax® and its effect on many dysfunctions of the stomatognathic apparatus and on the cranio-cervical and cranio-cervico-mandibular joints.

However, we recommend that you also take a look at the AtlasPROfilax® Method section where you will find a more specific explanation of the method which we recommend to read before or after this section for dentists.

Dentistry and upper neck

Traditionally, dentistry has been very focused on the local therapeutic management of problems circumscribed to the stomatognathic apparatus and to occlusal disorders and TMJ dysfunctions by means of classical orthodontic or orthopedic treatments.

However, the specialized approach to dentistry often forgets that it is difficult to functionally and pathologically separate dysfunctions and interactions between the upper cervicals, especially the head joints, the hyoid region and certain mandibular disorders.

A more holistic approach to cervico-cranial and cervico-mandibular problems has gained much traction in recent years among the dental community, especially in the area of rehabilitation and functional orthopedics.

Specialists from disciplines not initially related to dentistry, such as A. Pilat, M. Rocabado or Chaitow, have done an excellent job in which they highlight the need to address many cranio-mandibular disorders by expanding the focus and therapeutic approach to Occipital-Atlas-Axis and the biomechanical interactions of the soft tissues, especially the fasciae and their tensegritic behavior with the rest of the connective tissues. The latest therapeutic trends in dentistry underline the need for a kind of marriage when dealing with many dysfunctions that are difficult to resolve or easily relapsed in classic dental and orthopedic-maxillary treatments.

Atlas repositioning with AtlasPROfilax® provides convincing explanations for the cause and persistence of these disorders and offers a valid solution for the treatment of these dysfunctions, establishing itself as a very useful complementary and adjuvant method in the treatment of cranio-cervical and craniomandibular dysfunctions.

Postural tonic system

Body posture is interrelated with the relative degree of activity between the anterior and posterior musculature. It also depends on the rate of physiological adaptation. This interrelationship is essential to accommodate physical and emotional stressors of daily life.

The Postural Tonic system regulates muscle tone based on internal and external receptors in addition to the Central Nervous System which acts as a main tonic regulator.

Depending on the origin of the sensory information, the receptors are classified as follows:


  • Vision
  • Foot placement
  • Hearing


  • Proprioreceptors
  • Visceroreceptors

The proprioception of the spine, ocular motricity and plantar support are interrelated with the inner ear forming a complex integrative system that maintains (or distorts, if dysfunctional) the correct muscle tone that results in the maintenance of posture and body dynamics.

At the level of sensory afferents, the receptors are classified as follows:


  • Oculomotor
  • Inner ear
  • Foot


  • Connective tissue: vicerofascia, meninges, capsule and ligaments
  • Muscles
  • Mouth
  • Skin

The tonic balance between the anterior and posterior muscle chains is key to understanding the correct or pathologically adaptive functioning of the PTS. There are a large number of very diverse elements involved in the balance of the PTS that can be related to compensation or decompensation of the tone of the anterior and posterior muscle chains.

The relationship between the anterior and posterior musculature is manifested in:

  • Skull: cranial sutural joints.
  • Craniocervical hinge.
  • Mandible.
  • TMJ.
  • Mandible: hyoid.
  • Occlusion.
  • Suprehyoids
  • Infrahyoid.
  • Suboccipital spine.
  • Lower middle portion of the cervical spine.
  • Cervico-thoracic hinge.
  • Upper thoracic spine.
  • Scapular girdle.
  • Thoracic cage.
  • Sternum.

In the Postural Tonic System (PTS) the following elements are interrelated: aponeurosis or fasciae, ligaments, tendons, nerves, circulation and lymphatic drainage.

In addition to the ligaments, membranes and functional joints between C1 and the skull, as well as the rest of the spine, abundant muscles provide soft tissue junctions between the skull and suboccipital spine, skull-humeral girdle and neck-humeral girdle.

The posterior suboccipital musculature is related to head and neck rotation and ipsilateral tilt and extension. The muscles of Tillaux's Triangle have as antagonists the anterior and long neck muscles, the ECM and scalenes helping mainly in head flexion and anterior head and cervical translation.(1).

Postural dysfunctions or distortions can easily cause muscular hypertonicity, fascial hysteresis (plastic deformation of the fasciae) and alter the anatomically correct relationship of the cranio-cervical complex, the oropharynx or the stomatognathic system resulting in altered nocieption and proprioception as well as cranio-mandibular dysfunction.

Elements external to the stomatognathic system can cause auditory and visual disturbances, vertigo, headaches, nausea, nystagmus, swallowing disorders and TMJ dysfunctions.

Recent research in the field of neuroscience indicates that the regulation of the postural system is far from being exclusively regulated by the inner ear. The feet, the eye and above all proprioceptors in certain muscles play a role as or more important than the inner ear.

Dysfunctions in the main proprioceptive receptors lead to a dysregulation of the Postural Tonic System leading to important alterations not only in posture but also in the locomotor system.

There are also other postural sensors such as the chewing apparatus and the presence of scars. The body tends by compensation and adaptation to generate adaptive mechanisms that will integrate as "normal" the dysfunction of the Postural Tonic System creating adaptive mechanisms that usually lead to very diverse pathologies with the passage of time. The body, therefore, is able to continue functioning within the "imbalance" although sooner or later, it will pay the consequences (attention deficit, mouth breathing, vertigo, headaches, muscle pain, among many others).

Proprioceptive pathways of cervical origin

The suboccipital region (C0-C1-C2) is characterized at the proprioceptive level by having a higher number of mechanoreceptors than other regions of the body.

Normal craniofacial posture sends non-nociceptive afferent impulses to the CNS. But when the normal head posture is altered by contractures or shortening of the muscles or by accumulation of toxins and hysteresis in the fasciae in the suboccipital region, afferent impulses become nociceptive and proprioceptively dysfunctional.

The interaction within the vestibular system between visual and vestibular information with proprioceptive information aids in the stabilization of vision during head movement. The ECM muscle plays an essential role in spatial orientation of the head.

In addition, certain nerves such as the vagus, facial or glossopharyngeal nerves run through the trigeminal spinal tract to synapse with the dorsal loops of C1-C4, thus innervating the entire facial and masticatory musculature, and also contributing to the innervation of the TMJ.  Certain ventral branches of the axis are connected to the hypoglossal and vagus nerves, reaching medullary portions of C2 to C4 and C5 to C6. The hypoglossal efferents innervate the hyoid and lingual musculature, the glossopharyngeus, the soft palate and the base of the tongue.

Thus, the entire trigemino-cervical complex may comprise the C1-C4 and cranial nerves V, VII, IX, X, XI and XII. The extensive sensory and motor innervation represents the most important source of efferent control in the entire cranial and suboccipital region.

Anteriorization of the head modifies neural information and changes the biomechanics of the cervical spine in general. Temporo-Mandibular Dysfunction is usually the result of sustained mechanical dysfunction of the cephalic axis altering all of the body's own defense and correction mechanisms.

Upper crossed syndrome

Upper crossed syndrome is characterized by hypertonus of the upper trapezius and levator scapulae curving dorsally with hypertonicity of the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor.  The weakness of the deep cervical flexors favors weakness in the middle and lower trapezius.

This dysfunctional imbalance alters the normal relations of the joints, especially affecting the atlanto-occipital hinge, C4 and C5, as well as the cervicothoracic and glenogumeral joints up to the D4-D5 segment.

Among the most frequent manifestations are changes in vertebral morphology, significant alterations in posture, anteroversion and elevation of the shoulders, cervical hyperlordosis and scapular protrusion.

There has been much discussion about the origin of the Upper Crossed Syndrome. The basis of this problem is the anteriorization of the head and the suppression of the body's mechanical and metabolic corrective mechanisms that perpetuate the syndrome.

Main effects of cephalic anteriorization (with posterior rotation of the skull) for a prolonged period of time.

  • Alteration of proprioceptive impulses (suboccipital).
  • Compression of the occiput in the upper cervical spine (cephalalgias).
  • More importantly, compression of the TMJ.
  • Occlusal alteration.
  • Increased posterior mandibular craniofacial dental contact.
  • Degenerative disc disease.
  • Upper thoracic kyphosis.

PTS and Stomatognathic System Disturbances

Multiple ailments, acute and/or chronic, often affect this complex network. Cervical pain in the posterior region is the most common. The cause can be found in the various tissue layers: bones, discs, muscles, fasciae or skin. Muscle disruption due to an atlas MID that sustainably affects the PTS and disrupts the downward pulling mechanisms of fasciae and or muscle chains often leads to pain syndromes.

The MID of the Atlas therefore derive in a reactive concatenation that will manifest somatically in:

  1. Excess of tension or pressure in the muscular insertions.
  2. Muscle inflammations resulting from metabolic changes (calcium pump depletion, alterations in actin and myosin behavior) with no apparent external cause.
  3. Ischemia due to sustained contraction of the neck musculature (myositis).
  4. Facet problems similar to those caused by rheumatoid arthritis in the facets of the vertebrae and involving tissue degeneration and osteophyte formation.
  5. Modifications of the physiological curvature of the cervical region as a result of a defensive contraction of the deep muscles of the nape of the neck.

In all these cases, osteopathy and kinesiology sessions are highly recommended to slowly lead to a correction of the muscular imbalance of the system by soft tissue manipulation. However, if there is a profound mechanical alteration at the level of the atlanto-occipital joint, it is first necessary to resolve this profound blockage.

PTS Disruptors

Denslow and Korr established that the experimental use of heels can produce postural changes that in turn will originate paraspinal muscle tension, caused by the activation of segments receiving afferent impulses. In that work, the term "segmental facilitation" is considered to represent an osteopathic lesion.

Segmental facilitation may be due to joint hypomobility, poor posture and muscle tension (stress and stretch) of somatic or emotional origin. Loss of normal muscle length at rest, coupled with sustained stress and stretching, results in the release and retention of waste products, vasoconstriction, localized ischemia of adjacent nerve and muscle fibers; normal nutritional and oxygen supply to the muscle is impaired and the overall pattern leads to a continuous nociceptive bombardment of the medullary segments.

Consequently, postural disturbances may constitute the main source of segmental facilitation. Abnormal upper quarter posture may be caused by the cumulative effect of a leg length discrepancy or loss of normal lumbar lordosis. All of these abnormalities in the regions distal to the upper quarter will eventually contribute to proximal dysfunction leading to segmental facilitation.

The masticatory muscles have been shown to have electromyographic occlusion changes due to leg length discrepancies. Loss of lumbar lordosis, which is commonly due to sitting or working with the forehead tilted forward, causes frontal cephalic stoop. The center of gravity of the skull is located at the bisection of the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear. Hyperextension causes reflex defense of the anterior muscles, e.g., the long neck, sternocleidomastoid and scalene muscles, resulting in a forward tilt of the head. The concomitant hyperflexion produces reflex defense of the short suboccipital extensors, upper trapezius and angularis scapulae.

The forward position of the head converts the suboccipital kyphosis into lordosis, bringing the occiput, atlas and axis closer together, thus causing a suboccipital compression that may affect the trigeminal-cervical complex and the vertebral artery. When there is also posterior cranial rotation, the compressive force is accentuated. The occiput approaches the shoulder girdle and the upper trapezius and angular trapezius scapulae muscles are shortened. The middle trapezius, lower trapezius and rhomboids distend, resulting in forward displacement, internal rotation of the glenohumeral joint and compression of the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints, with concomitant shortening of the pectoralis muscles. The temporalis muscle may contract the mandibular elevators and cause mandibular elevation and retrusion.

Postural alterations

Postural and stomatognathic system disorders usually have a primary cause to which other secondary causes are added. Primary causes usually have a mechanical component or a neurophysiological component - or a combination of both.

Radiological and clinical studies suggest that the Atlas Minor Intervertebral Derangement may be an underlying cause that has not been considered to date.

The result of such dysfunction will result in an alteration of the muscle chains and significant fascial hysteresis. The best way to treat the problem of Postural Tonic System dysfunction - e.g. Posterior Crossed Syndrome - is not so much to target the muscle chains but to treat the primary cause that alters the peripheral receptors.

But it is not only the use of heels that changes posture. A dental splint also changes posture and can produce "segmental facilitation". These two examples, among others, demonstrate that the body has very powerful tensegrity mechanisms throughout its complex connective tissue.

Segmental facilitation can have several origins: mechanical, metabolic, emotional or somatic. In all cases the muscle is affected in its normal length and viscoelasticity, increasing the level of toxins and metabolic wastes in the cytoskeleton and affecting regionally or distally other regions of the body. Such alteration sustained over time leads to an alteration of nociceptive and proprioceptive signals traveling to the thalamus.

Some studies have shown that the masticatory muscles can be affected by electromyographic signals in occlusion due to pelvic tilt, retraction of the ischiosural musculature and the existence of a functional short leg.

Anteriorization of the head favors cervical lordosis at the suboccipital level "bringing together" C0-C1 and C2 and producing a suboccipital compression that will involve the vertebral and trigeminal-cervical complex. If there is posterior cranial rotation, the compression increases and the occiput will approach the shoulder girdle thus shortening the upper trapezius and scapula angularis. On the other hand, the middle trapezius, lower trapezius and rhomboids deform producing an internal rotation of the glenohumeral joint and compressing the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints, thus shortening the pectoralis muscles. In turn, the temporalis muscle will tend to shorten the mandibular elevators causing mandibular elevation and retrusion.

Alterations of the Stomatognathic System

This system is formed by skeletal and musculoskeletal, muscular, nervous, glandular, lymphatic, angiological and bucco-dental structures located around the occipito-atloid, atlo-axoid, temporo-mandibular, dento-dental in occlusion and dento-alveolar hinges. All of them are interdependent with the digestive, respiratory, phonological systems as well as the senses of taste, touch, balance and spatial orientation.

Mechanical dysfunctions of the mandibular position generate bruxism (due to the need to free oneself from the dysfunction) increasing muscular activity, generating an increase of fibroblasts and hypoxia.

Atlas Dysfunction and Posturology

One of the derivations of C0-C1 injury and upper crossed syndrome is cephalic anteriorization along with rotation and anteriorization of the shoulders in addition to cervical hyperlordosis and hyperkyphosis.

Anteriorization of the head weakens the cervical flexors and over-tonifies the suboccipital muscles. This dysfunction is transferred to the fasciae, ligaments and the rest of the muscular planes of the neck generating a descending disorder in the myofascial and muscular chains of the whole body.

What started as an Upper Crossed Syndrome can easily derive over time into an Lower Crossed Syndrome characterized by abdominal distension and hypertonus in the paravertebral and lumbar musculature with propensity to the appearance of lumbar disc herniations. AtlasPROfilax® does not directly affect lumbar disc herniations, but it allows eliminating or reducing in such a way the Upper Crossed Syndrome by suppressing the MID of the Atlas and the Reactive Syndrome of the Suboccipital Musculature, which helps to recover the paravertebral tone, the center of gravity of the lumbar spine and, with it, the biomechanical fascial and connective tissue balance, reducing the pressure of the discs and improving the vertebral alignment. This will result in improvements in pain associated with herniated discs and will even favor their total or partial reabsorption in a surprisingly high number of treated cases.

Atlas mechanical dysfunction - or Minor Intervertebral Disarray (MID) - feeds back into the dysfunctional cycle of Upper Cross Syndrome and often perpetuates and aggravates pathomechanical conditions by creating primary downward spreading lesions and secondary upward spreading lesions. A knee pain could be the consequence of an ascending injury originating from the talus, for example. But talar dysfunction could in turn be a consequence of a descending injury from the TMJ whose ultimate mechanical cause could very well be the Atlas MID.

Among the problems associated with upper crossed syndrome we find TMJ dysfunctions with very varied symptomatology.

Although several causes of different nature (psychological, metabolic, nutritional, traumatic) can coexist, the Minor Atlas Intervertebral Disarrangement is usually one of the most primary and common causes in the development and perpetuation of the Upper Crossed Syndrome with all its pathological derivations from the TMJ to the support of the feet.

Authors such as Brodie, Huggare, Goldstein and Makofsky have highlighted in the existing literature the interrelationship between the position of the head and cranio mandibular structures and their determining influence on head and neck posture. If we consider the human body and its vast connective tissue as a system or global model of tensegrity, we can affirm that the influence of the cranio mandibular structures and, in particular, the position of the Atlas, are determinant for the entire posture of the human body: from the shoulder girdle and pelvic girdle to the pronation of the knees or ankles and the final support of the feet.

Atlas and TMJ dysfunction

If there is chronic irritation of the suboccipital musculature due to C0-C1 MID and this is extremely toned, the ischiosural musculature is affected, affecting the pelvis and creating a functional short leg. This leads to an alteration of the foot reflex that results in a hyperpronation of the feet forcing the plantar proprioceptors to work in an unstable and distorted way.

This erroneous mechanism in the afferent proprioceptive impulses derives in time in a false sensation of "proprioceptive normality". Because the Postural Tonic System depends to a large extent on foot support, proprioceptive dysfunction of the feet activates altered reflexes in proprioception of the whole body.

A study conducted at the London Medical Center (England) by Dr. Matthew Voigts, Doctor of Osteopathy, on 350 patients with functional short leg showed that, after correction of the Atlas with AtlasPROfilax®, the functional short leg disappeared in 90% of the subjects studied, and the pelvis position was also normalized. In the remaining 10% of patients, an improvement of the pelvic position and shortening of the shortened lower limb was observed, without, however, reaching full normalization. No case was found in that study that any of the 350 patients had remained without positive changes, partial or total, in the perfect alignment of the pelvis or of the functional short leg. Although AtlasPROfilax® is performed in a single session without the need for subsequent adjustments with the same therapy, the study showed that the changes and improvements were maintained over two and a half years, unlike other osteopathic, kinesiolologic or chiropractic treatments where relapses are very common, despite the benefits of these therapies.

One of the consequences of hypertonus of the suboccipital musculature deriving from the Atlas MID is a disproportionate and sustained increase in the stress of the TMJ muscle-joint complex. As we have mentioned elsewhere, several studies by TMJ kinesiologists have shown that dental myorelaxing plates affect a change in foot support.

This dysfunctional cycle produced by the change in the cephalopodal axis and in the Postural Tonic System is also reflected in the perturbation of the stomatognathic apparatus -which depends to a great extent on C0 to C3- and of the muscular chains in general. The effect of ascending and descending membranous-fascial distortion tends to alter the articular relationship of the mandible, once again completing the dysfunctional cycle of alteration of the suboccipital musculature with the mechanics of the upper cervicals and, therefore, of almost all the other postural myofascial chains of the body.

We call this phenomenon of prevalence of chronic irritation in the suboccipital musculature by the MID of the Atlas the Reactive Syndrome of the Suboccipital Musculature, which manifests itself in irritation, hypertonus and in an alteration of nociception and proprioception of these short muscles of the nape of the neck.

It is precisely this Reactive Syndrome of the Suboccipital Musculature that feeds back - due to the mechanical alteration of the Atlas and the Condyle Compression Syndrome of the C0-C1 joint - the upper cervical and TMJ problems. Classical dental or orthopedic treatments have proved to be ineffective and sometimes highly recurrent in the treatment of these problems. This is due to the fact that the brain sends wrong signals to muscles and fasciae, altering their length and viscoelasticity and perpetuating the dysfunction of the Atlas in its articular relationship with the glenoid cavity.

This syndrome is responsible for the persistence and recurrence of cervical and TMJ problems despite classic orthopedic-maxillary treatment because it causes the brain to send distorted signals to muscles and fasciae, causing them to alter their length and viscoelasticity, deregulating the body's tonic-postural, nociceptive and proprioceptive systems.

Although classical dentistry has had difficulties in finding effective and lasting treatments for these problems, in recent years kinesiology and osteopathy have joined hands with dentistry to find more effective and lasting treatments for craniovertebral and TMJ problems.

In this sense AtlasPROfilax® provides a unique complementary and supportive tool to all those dentists and kinesiologists focused on the treatment of temporomandibular dysfunction and related pathologies.

AltasPROfilax® corrects in one session the pathomechanical dysfunction of the C0-C1 joint while greatly improving or suppressing the Reactive Syndrome of the Suboccipital Musculature, standing as a primary and highly recommended therapy prior to any orthopedic, orthodontic or dental treatment.

Atlas MID and bruxism

The C0-C1 lesion, also called Atlas malrotation angle or Atlas Minor Intervertebral Disarrangement (MID) leads, as we have seen in the previous section, to a Condyle Compression Syndrome causing a dysfunction of the natural balance of the TMJ complex, the base of the Skull and the upper cervicals.

This mechanical dysfunction is transferred in the form of atrophy to muscles such as the lateral pterygoid, digastric and stylohyoid, among others, distorting the mechanics and dynamics of the temporomandibular joint.

As we have seen, the number of proprioceptors of the short nuchal muscles send distorted signals to the thalamus due to the atlas lesion. The suboccipital space is usually shortened by the hypertrophy of these muscles resulting in Superior Cruciate Syndrome.

Upper crossed syndrome involves hyperactivity and hypotonia of the masticatory and cervical muscles (anterior and posterior). The problem is not limited to the altered mechanics but there is usually a neurovascular involvement that affects the vascular tree of the dura mater at the cranio-cervical level causing an Irritatory Syndrome of the masticatory and lateral cervical musculature, which ends up altering the correct articular play of the TMJ. The increased tension on the TMJ hypersensitizes the pain pathways (headaches, omalgia, tension headache, etc.).

Part of the arterial irrigation systems of the dura mater are usually "pressed" by the mechanical disarrangement of the cranio-spinal junction. The result is poor irrigation at the level of the C3 vertebra that contacts the hyoid through the stylohyoid ligament, affecting the temporal bones and the hyoid. This negative feedback results in an even greater increase of the temporomandibular musculature.

The excessive amount of fribroblasts in the connective tissue generates a shortening of the muscles by almost half, affecting the extracellular matrix and the stroma, producing an excess of tension in the bone and in the TMJ, as well as in all the surrounding musculoskeletal structures. The body's defense mechanism to relieve this tension is an involuntary movement of the jaw causing bruxism or teeth grinding.

This defense mechanism to the attack of fibroblasts that the muscles are suffering as a consequence of the irritation of the mandibular style is not only a product of the decompensation between both posterior muscular chains. The vicious circle that the Atlas MID produces and perpetuates mechanically in the suboccipital musculature, further affecting the posterior and anterior chains and transferring the problem to the lateral muscles, is very often at the root of the problem.

The correction of MID with AtlasPROfilax® breaks the mechanical vicious circle between Atlas position and suboccipital musculature, thus freeing and regulating the posterior and anterior neck chains, unloading in turn the lateral muscles of excess tension, de-interfering the thalamus and distorted signals, helping the reduction of fibroblasts and natural rehabilitation of the muscles by improving the synthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. All this has a positive effect on structural bruxism, eliminating or reducing it in many cases.

However, in people with long exposure to bruxism, the accumulation of fibroblasts and the viscoelastic deformation of tissues due to chronic hypoxia and hypertonus, it is advisable to carry out maxillofacial rehabilitation therapies to return the osteomuscular and articular system to normal functions. Certain osteopathic techniques such as myofascial induction and other specific kinesiological techniques (Chaitow, DeLany, Rocabado, Pilat) for the rehabilitation and treatment of TMJ dysfunctions will not only be more necessary than ever but, by eliminating MID from the Atlas, will drastically reduce the relapse rate, increase the overall success of the results and shorten treatment times.

Bruxism of emotional or psychological origin has to do with traumatic events, especially in childhood, very often related to very authoritarian or abusive parents. The person represses anger by accumulating it in the jaw area.

This type of bruxism depends on the emotional state and the adrenal glands together with the stress axis (HHS). A high incidence has also been found in certain women with hormonal disorders and ovarian problems. Although AtlasPROfilax® improves in some cases the stress and some of the temperament by disinterference of the nervous system and can even produce profound emotional changes with the revival and healing of old psychological traumas, this does not happen in all cases. For this reason, if the origin of bruxism is emotional, psychological or hormonal, the incidence of AtlasPROfilax® in its improvement will be low or very low. Structural or functional bruxism is related to the length or viscoelasticity of the muscles in both the anterior and posterior chain. The anterior and posterior chain in the neck are used a lot for the cephalic movement. This musculature is subjected to so much work and solicitation that one of the two chains tends to alter before the other, with the MID of the Atlas usually being the main mechanical alteration. In people who bruxate, the anterior muscular chain is usually compromised first (similar to what happens with cervical rectification), suffering from hypertonicity. The long neck, lateral rectus, digastric and mylohyoid muscles usually have an excess of tone in the anterior area in these cases.

Digastric muscle (blue relief)

Since the digastric muscle also inserts into the transverse processes of the atlas, this posterior area will not be hypertonic, but will have an impact on the anterior chain.

A study carried out from 2008 to 2010 on more than 600 cadavers at the Faculty of Medicine of the German University of Göttingen, found a percentage close to 100% of marked asymmetry in the digastric muscles. Although the study only focused on the asymmetries of the digastric without considering the cause of this abnormality, we know that a malrotation of the Atlas will tend to break the symmetry of these muscles, since their insertions are also in the C1 vertebra itself.  

Due to the mechanical alteration of the Atlas, the muscle insertions become permanently inflamed and tend to turn the morphology of the insertion into "nodular".
Because both muscle chains compensate each other, when there is an excessive hypertonus of the anterior chain, the posterior chain is weakened. For that reason there are restrictions in flexion, extension and rotation of the head. Dr. Arno Morgenstern, a German orthopedic surgeon specializing in manual pain management and AtlasPROfilax®, observed in a small pilot study the marked asymmetrical limitations in neck mobility. The study showed that AtlasPROfilax® Atlas correction had a 100% incidence in multidirectional improvement of neck mobility: in bilateral anteroflexion, retroflexion, lateroflexion and rotation.

The persistence of a C0-C1 MID leads to an excess of tone in the suboccipital musculature from C0 to C2. This excess tone, together with that of the anterior chain, causes all the lateral neck muscles (platysma, lateral rectus, levator) to become involved, especially the stylomandibular ligament. The involvement of this ligament tends to produce inflammation and irritation, and this permanent state causes the nerve fibers to transmit erroneous nociceptive and proprioceptive signals to the medulla creating a general distortion in the position of the head and position of the mandible.

The distorted nociceptive signals traveling through the thalamus to the higher centers and the reticular formation - and to a lesser degree the tonsil - cause the brain to release large numbers of attack cells generating fibroblasts in the masseters and pterygoids which are highly stressed muscles (e.g. by speech).

Orthopedic-dental indications for AtlasPROfilax®

AtlasPROfilax® has proven to be a useful tool in the prevention of part of the temporo-mandibular dysfunctions while being able to eliminate or substantially reduce the symptomatology and pain associated with cranio-cervical and temporo-mandibular dysfunctions.

Listed below are indications for AtlasPROfilax® as a useful therapeutic tool in the elimination or reduction of pain and cranio-cervico-mandibular dysfunctions. It should be noted that, like many therapies, there are certain limitations in which the therapy will not have a notable incidence in the resolution of the pathologies.


  • Cranio-mandibular and cranio-cervical dysfunctions related to the TMJ and the bite that do not improve with other conventional dental, physiotherapeutic or kinesiological treatments.
  • Recurrent relapses that are difficult to explain at orthopedic or orthodontic level after long corrective treatments.


  • Cranio-jaw tension disorders of psycho-affective or psychological-emotional origin.
  • Neuromuscular disorders of malignant or neurodystrophic origin.
  • Structural disorders of the bite or occlusion of genetic or congenital origin.
  • Disorders and syndromes related to TMJ and Bruxism of psychological origin.
  • Rare pathologies such as Eagle's Syndrome that cause pain and inflammation in the oropharynx.

Testimonials of bruxism treated with AtlasPROfilax®

Alivio de 25 años con Fibromialgia

"¡Mi vida cambió! ¡Volví a nacer!"

Bruxismo, dolor ATM, cervical, migrañas y vértigo

Odontóloga nos cuenta su experiencia con AtlasPROfilax. "¡En este momento soy otra persona!"

Recommended bibliography

  • Ricard, François: "Tratado de osteopatía craneal. Análisis y tratamiento ortodóntico" (Ed. Médica Panamericana. Buenos Aires/Madrid 2005).
  • "The Head-neck Sensory Motor System" editado por  A. Berthoz, Werner Graf, Pierre Paul Vidal (Oxford University Press,1992)
  • Phillip Page, Clare C. Frank, Robert Lardner"Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach"
  • Phillip Page, Clare C. Frank, Robert Lardne "Trigger Points and Muscle Chains in Osteopathy" (Human Kinetics, 2010)
  • Margareta Nordin, Victor Hirsch Frankel, editores. "Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System" (Baltimore, EEUU, 2010)
  • Philipp Richter, Eric Hebgen "Triggerpunkte und Muskelfunktionsketten: in der Osteopathie und Manuellen Therapie" (MVS Medizinverlage Stuttgart GmbH Stuttgart, 2007)
  • Chaitow, Leon "Neuromuskuläre Techniken in der Manuelle Medizin und Osteopathie" (Urban Fischer)
  • Rocabado M., Iglarsh Annette "The Musculoskeletal Approach to Maxillofacial Pain" (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1991).
  • Kraus L., Steven "TMJ disorders: management of the craniomandibular complex (Churchill Livingstone, 1988)
  • Liem, Torsten, editor "Morphodynamik in der Osteopathie" (Thieme)
  • Heine, Harmut "Lehrbuch der biologischen Medizin: Grundregulation und Extrazelluläre Matrix".(Hippokrates)
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