NUCCA stands for the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association.
While NUCCA is a well-accepted form of chiropractic, patient procedures differ from the more traditional techniques. NUCCA treatment begins with specific x-ray views taken from specialized digital x-ray equipment that uses very minimal radiation. The positional relationship between the top bones in the spine named the Atlas, the skull, and the rest of the neck below the Atlas are analyzed to measure the exact degree of the misalignment for each patient. Each person’s misalignment pattern is entirely unique to them.
In addition to the use of films, the patient’s posture is measured using a precise device called the Anatometer, which measures the position of the patient’s hips to within one-half of a degree. A precise leg check also is used to detect if a misalignment is present. The application of these measures provides the doctor with objective, research-proven information to determine if an adjustment is required.
Lastly a NUCCA adjustment is very gentle, precise, and an effective treatment that does not use twisting, cracking, or high force to realign the spine and improve body function. When the spine is in an optimal position, the nervous system can function at 100% efficiency. Because of the nature of this technique, it is much more favorable to people that may be apprehensive of traditional chiropractic care. Also because of the high precision of the adjustment, fewer adjustments are required. Patients also tend to hold their corrections for much longer.
More information may be found on the organization’s website www.nucca.org.
Here’s What Happens:
Through careful postural examination and highly specific x-rays data of the head and neck, a precise formula for correction is developed. The focus is on the top two vertebrae located under the skull- the Atlas or C1 and the vertebrae directly below known as the Axis or C2 as they are uniquely vulnerable to injury. The upper neck lacks interlocking spinal (facet) joints or intervertebral discs that would provide additional stability and protection from external forces. Macro-traumas such an auto accident causing whiplash or multiple micro-traumas like bumping your head getting in or out of the car can cause the atlas and axis vertebrae to misalign, as the surrounding soft tissue develop slight laxity and damage. When the Atlas misaligns, compression of the brainstem may result. This can cause distortion of the signals that flow from the brain through the nervous system feeding all parts of the body. In addition, the weight of the head which is about 8-14 lbs will shift off the center balance of the neck and in an effort to keep the head level, the spine and pelvis will compensate by shifting or twisting causing one leg to be shorter than another. This phenomenon, known as the Atlas Subluxation Complex (ASC), can lead to pain anywhere in the body as compensations produce abnormal muscle tension and imbalance. The overall effects of an uncorrected ASC is a chronic malfunction of the body’s ability to heal, restore and maintain health.
Adjusting this area is a very powerful and sustainable system of spinal restoration as it is based on the body’s own engineering and design and the NUCCA procedure influences one of the highest control centers over body balance, the brain stem and central nervous system. The goal is to restore the body posture and balance to the optimal orthogonal relationship to gravity. Because each individual and case is different, we assess each person’s spine from a measurable certainty if correction/restoration is recommended. Once determined you are a candidate, a gentle and controlled contact on the first vertebrae corrects the position of the atlas according to the calculated vector as measured from your x-rays. The goal of the adjustment is to balance the structures of the spine and pelvis by relaxing the postural reflexes of the upper neck and to do so with as few treatments as possible. This allows for improved function throughout the central & peripheral nervous systems, promoting health and healing naturally. For the patient this can mean a permanent or substantially long-term resolution of their pain, dysfunctions and health challenges.
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