Why Upper Cervical

What Is NUCCA Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care?

NUCCA is a little-known yet highly-effective corrective procedure that has been developed and refined since 1966 by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) and its research affiliate the Upper Cervical Research Foundation (UCRF). If you would like to learn more about current research being conducted in the field of NUCCA care, you can also visit The Upper Cervical Monograph for the latest articles about the organization NUCCA and the NUCCA method.

The NUCCA chiropractic method is a gentle and safe form of chiropractic care, with a focus on long-lasting results. The procedure focuses on decompressing the brainstem and spinal cord and balancing the entire spine. In the balanced, unstressed position, the communication between the brain and body via the nervous system is more efficient and the body’s natural self-healing process can function correctly.

Here’s What Happens:

Through careful postural examination and highly specific x-ray 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 vertebra directly below known as the axis, or C2).

These bones 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 while 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 pounds, will shift off the center balance of the neck. In an effort to keep the head level, the spine and pelvis will compensate by shifting or twisting, often causing one leg to appear 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.

The Solution:

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. The NUCCA procedure influences one of the highest control centers over the body, involving the brain stem and central nervous system. 

The goal is to restore the body posture and balance to the optimal orthogonal relationship. Because each individual case is different, we assess each person’s spine from multiple angles to see if a correction is needed.

Once it is determined that you are a candidate, a gentle and controlled contact on the first vertebra 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 adjustments 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.

The NUCCA Difference

The NUCCA spinal correction is a scientifically-based, thoroughly researched and well-documented approach to health. NUCCA is one of only a few procedures that use:

  • 3D composite x-rays to calculate how to best adjust and correct each patient’s individual misalignment
  • A Gravity Stress Analyzer or other measuring equipment to asses body imbalances
  • Post-adjustment x-rays to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the correction
  • A low-force technique that does not result in popping or cracking the neck

Because of the precise nature of the NUCCA spinal correction, patients are able to hold their corrections for longer periods of time compared to traditional chiropractic methods. This allows for better recovery and lasting results with fewer adjustments.

How NUCCA Can Help

More and more, people are realizing that good spinal balance and optimal nerve function are important elements of health. These people know that being structurally balanced can create better health and even prevent illness and disease. They have their children checked periodically because they know spinal integrity is an important part of growth and development. And finally, they understand that getting well before you get sick is a more effective and less expensive form of health care.

When most people think of chiropractic, they think of neck pain, back pain, or muscle aches. NUCCA care can help your body work better no matter what type of health problem you may have.  Here is a list of conditions commonly improved with NUCCA:

Headaches and Migraines
Chronic Pain or Stress
Leg and Arm Numbness
Sinus and Allergy Problems
Headaches and Migraines
Herniated Disc
Attention Deficit Disorder
Hormonal Imbalance
Athletic and Auto Injuries
Cerebral Palsy
Multiple Sclerosis

Schedule An Appointment Today!

What makes our center really special is that we are among the few who actually specialize in the NUCCA technique, which is gaining momentum in the industry, and it is becoming a highly recognized standard.
Learn More About Us

Balanced Health Chiropractic Center - Zeeland

300 South State Street #4
Zeeland, MI 49464
(616) 772-9255

Balanced Health Chiropractic Center - Grand Rapids

833 Kenmoor, Ste C
Grand Rapids, MI
(616) 333-2322


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