PT on the Net Research

Vision Problems


I have a client who has a problem with his vision (predominately his right eye). In 2002, he had LASIK surgery on both eyes, and it seemed to do the trick for three years. He’s dominant in his left eye and seems to still have problems close up. He often has to close his right eye so he can focus with his left, which results in his becoming a bit cross eyed. He’s considering getting LASIK done again on his right eye since his left eye seems to be pretty good. What are some natural approaches to this situation? Also, what is your opinion on the Bates method?


The upper cervical spine, particularly the atlas (C1), is highly integrated with the eyes via the tonic neck reflexes and vestibular reflex pathways. There are several other reflex pathways that indirectly affect upper cervical stability as well. The uterus, when inflamed such as when a woman is premenstrual, often destabilizes the upper cervical spine, and in men, any elevated estrogens can encourage problems with stability there as well. The atlas-axis joint complex is the interface between the body and head. The atlas is the most mobile, least stable and most commonly subluxed vertebra in the human spinal column, and any disruption of atlas position can cause adverse mechanical tension in the central nervous system. Eye problems are VERY common with atlas-axis dysfunction. I'd suggest you get your client to any C.H.E.K Level III or IV near you and have them perform what we call "the totem pole assessment." The totem pole is a symbolic representation of how the body should be assessed based on the neurological hierarchy of our biological systems. If you don't have access to a C.H.E.K II or IV, a good physio, osteopath or chiropractor (particularly a NUCCA Chiropractor) who knows how to carefully assess the upper system could prove very helpful. I use the Rocobado approach, but the approaches developed by Stanley Paris or Philip Greenman can be very helpful too. The Bates method is very effective, yet this should only be used after clearing the cranial nerves and orthopedic relationships, or you may be treating symptoms with exercises that can take a fair bit of a person's day to do. You may want to look for the DVD titled Yoga For The Eyes as well.