Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of upper cervical corrections?

A: Upper cervical subluxations cause the body to over compensate, often creating further misalignments down the spine, all of which cause uneven stress to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems.

Subluxations (misalignments) of the upper cervical spine occur for a variety of reasons - including accidents and stress. In fact for many people, their first subluxation happens during their own birth!

In addition to increased range of motion, slower degeneration of problem areas, and overall improved general health - our patients have also found relief for:

  • Back & Neck Pain
  • Numbness & Tingling
  • Joint & Muscle Pain
  • Balance & Mobility
  • Migraines
  • Asthma
  • TMJ Problems
  • Meniere's Disease
  • Siezures/Epilepsy
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • MS Symptoms
  • Scoliosis
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Reproductive Issues
  • Reoccurring Ear Infections
  • Bed Wetting
  • And much more.....

Our patients span every decade of life and experience great results from our safe, gentle method.

Q: Is this something that active people can benefit from?

A: Yes! Many professional athletes and sports teams utilize chiropractic care to maximize their physical performance.

Q: What is an "Upper Cervical Doctor"?

A: An upper cervical doctor is a fully licensed chiropractor who has sought even further training, experience, and post-doctoral certification in order to safely focus on the upper cervical spine and its relationships with the rest of the body. (It has been estimated that less than 3% of chiropractors in the United States are currently trained as "upper cervical doctors".)

Upper cervical doctors are often referred to as "atlas doctors" because of the C-1, or atlas vertebra, at the top of the cervical spine. It is the C-1 (atlas) and C-2 (axis) vertebrae that control the rest of the spine, therefore they are what the upper cervical doctor is primarily concerned with.

Practiced and studied for many decades, upper cervical chiropractic techniques are scientific, accurate adjustments that have been proven effective in bringing patients relief all over the world. There are a variety of upper cervical techniques practiced. Descriptions of some of the most common methods can be found at: UpCSpine.com/Techniques.

Q: What upper cervical chiropractic method does Dr. Zabawa use?

A: Dr. Zabawa uses the Orthospinology and Atlas Orthogonal methods.

Dr. Zabawa received his Doctorate of Chiropractic from Sherman College and is certified by the Society of Chiropractic Orthospinology as well as the Upper Cervical Academy. He has served as a board member and national instructor for the Society of Chiropractic Orthospinology.

Both Orthospinology and Atlas Orthogonal are "orthogonal" techniques. They are performed with gentle instruments which are technologically more advanced and more precise than an activator. In coordination with the specific information from your x-rays, this enables the doctor to make discreetly minute corrections to these small vertebrae.

If you are transferring in with NUCCA records, they are easily converted to Orthospinology and can also be used.

An upper cervical correction is very controlled; there is no pulling, tugging, or jerking of such a delicate area. This precise yet gentle tap allows the head, neck, and spine to return to their proper positions, thus removing nerve interferences and restoring balance to the body.

Upper cervical chiropractic is an extremely calm, gentle, and effective way to keep you and your entire family healthy.

Q: Are x-rays necessary?

A: "To see is to know....  To not see, is to guess."  - Dr. B.J. Palmer, "Developer" of Chiropractic

Three technique views are taken to verify the doctor's exam findings of spinal misalignment. They are required for the precision measurements and calculations that determine exactly where and to what degree adjustments are made.

These views are taken at very specific angles for this upper cervical method and are different from other views that may have been taken by anyone other than an upper cervical doctor of an orthogonally based method.

Q: I have already had some diagnostic tests done recently and have also seen the dentist for my annual dental x-rays. Should I be concerned about the radiation from having "too many" x-rays taken in a year?

A: The radiation received during your chiropractic visit is minimal, and less than you will experience from a day at the beach.

Q: I'm feeling so much better! Do I still need to come in to be checked and adjusted?

A: In the beginning you will need to be seen more frequently. Your muscles and tendons have developed according to your misalignment and will need to "retrain" to match proper alignment. Also, areas that have been affected by nerve interference will need time to heal fully. As your body gets used to proper alignment, your visits will be spread out. Each person's corrective progress is individual to their physical condition.

As you begin to live your life to the fullest, regular maintenance visits are important because:

*** It is much easier to stay healthy, than to get healthy. ***

Q: I have just moved to this area. Can my records be transferred from my previous upper cervical doctor?

A: Yes! Many people love to visit and move to our beautiful area of Florida.

With a minimal exam to verify your previous doctor's recent records, we can continue your chiropractic care without a pause.

These are the "orthogonally based" upper cervical methods that your records to Dr. Zabawa will transfer easily from, and will be the most like your adjustments at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota:

  • Orthospinology
  • Atlas Orthogonal
  • "Grostic"

For more information about Upper Cervical Chiropractic, you can also visit some national and international websites for Upper Cervical listed on our Links Page.

~Thank you for choosing Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.~


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota


9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM


9:00 AM - 1:00 PM



9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM


9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

2:00 PM -5:00 PM








  • "Dear Dr. Zabawa,
    I want to thank you for being my #1 healthcare provider.
    I have been under chiropractic care for 40 years and of the many chiropractors I have been treated by,
    you and your precise atlas adjustment are the best.
    It really is gentle and effective. I've had migraines, scoliosis, herniated L4-L5, and sciatica -
    and in the 11 yrs of being under your care I have had no problems or re-occurrence of any
    of my former symptoms.
    You are the best and I thank you."
    Judy B.
  • "Hi, I'll always remember the wonderful things you've done for me at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    I thank Dr. Zabawa for getting me up and running!
    My last chiropractor said there was nothing else they could do for me, and I felt as if my life was over.
    (I couldn't even play video games without pain.)
    Now that I've been introduced to your atlas adjustments: I'm lifting weights again, working (making money),
    and yes - even playing video games. Wow!
    THANK YOU!!!!!"
    Lyle H.
  • "We've had 40 years of various types of chiropractic therapies (sometimes weekly),
    but have never felt truly aligned until now."
    Marsha & Alain M.
  • "I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, and through good habits & care have managed to avoid surgery.
    About 30 years ago my research into spinal maintenance led me to upper cervical chiropractic
    (specifically orthospinology) over general chiropractic.
    This is just phenomenal. When my atlas is adjusted and my spine is aligned, it is amazing how good I feel.
    It helps the nerves and muscles of the body function so well, and I believe it has been the key to slowing
    the spinal degeneration caused by my scoliosis.
    * And it's so non-invasive! *
    Now that I live in Sarasota, I am so glad to be under the care of Dr. Zabawa.
    It's no surprise that he came highly recommended. I have always been impressed with
    the professionalism and care I've received at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    It compares to anywhere in the country."
    Kyle Ann M.
  • "Very thorough. Quick recovery after a car wreck!"
    Nathaniel B.
  • "For 3 years I had been having headaches every day.
    I even went to a neurologist for my headaches, but he said they were a condition of menopause :(
    A friend suggested going to Dr. Z because of the unique procedure he uses and the great results.
    Dr. Z took care of me and within about 3 months my daily headaches were gone.
    What a relief!
    I don't think I've had one since :)"
    Allaesia M.
  • "I lived in pain with an undiagnosed broken back for 23 years since a horse & buggy accident as a teenager.
    When I injured my back again as an adult, the x-rays showed that I had fractured a vertebra back then,
    as well as this time.
    I received some help from going to regular chiropractors in recent years, but still lived in pain.
    I am so thankful that I found Dr. Zabawa.
    After 35 years and lots of pain, within a month or so
    I was PAIN FREE!
    It is amazing how such small adjustments to the atlas vertebra in my neck have made such
    a big difference to my life.
    To this day, I come in periodically to maintain my new found health.
    Praise and glory to God."
    Mary T.