Atlas Orthogonal

The Founder – Roy W. Sweat

The Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic technique was developed by Dr. Roy W. Sweat.Dr.Sweat began practicing Chiropractic in 1950. He has authored four books, thirty articles, and has been teaching doctors the Atlas Orthogonal proceedure for decades. Dr. Sweat has designed the Atlas Orthogonal X-ray analysis program, the percussion atlas adjustment instrument, and the special X-ray equipment needed to achieve successful atlas misalignment correction. For more information on Dr. Sweat, please visit the official site of the Sweat Institute.

The Technique

The structural balance of the human body is maintained by the precise interaction of the muscles which, under control of the nervous system, permit the skeletal framework to move and flex in a relatively unrestricted manner. Much of that complicated system of nerves is housed and protected by the spinal vertebrae. Ironically, these same spinal vertebrae are often the underlying cause of pain, loss of mobility and sensation when they are moved, by a variety of causes, out of proper alignment. This condition is referred to as subluxation. Since the human body is called upon to function largely in an upright position, its’ spinal column must be able to support its ever shifting weight as the body walks, runs, lifts and bends.

Even though the Chiropractor specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal conditions, his care of the affected area often results in dramatic improvements in the health of other parts of the body, not generally thought of as being associated with the spine. For more information on the AO technique, click here.

The Instrument

The Atlas Orthogonal Instrument works on the principle of percussion. Imagine a leaf floating on a pond. When you drop a rock into the pond, the surface ripples and the ripples in turn move the leaf. In this case, the long stylus serves as the pond, while the pressure controlled actuator inside the head acts as the rock. The bones in your neck are like the leaf, so that when an impulse is sent by the actuator through the stylus, although the stylus doesn’t move, the impact moves the targeted bone in the neck. Don’t be afraid of the instrument’s initially intimidating form, because honestly, an Atlas Orthogonal adjustment using this precision percussion instrument is always completely painless. You’ll be amazed at the results.


Dr. Middleton will take three Radiographs, or X-Rays, of your cervical spine to determine your exact condition. Ideally, your atlas should be orthogonal (perpendicular) relative to the center of the skull both in the frontal and horizontal plane, as well as to the center of the lower cervical spine.

We take X-Rays of the Atlas in the X, Y, and Z planes.

We measure the atlas misalignment (subluxation) in the X, Y, and Z planes and use trigonometry to determine the best resultant vector for correction.

The precision adjusting instrument uses a slight vibration to put the Atlas back in alignment.

Before and after two Atlas Orthogonal Adjustments