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An Introduction to NUCCA

There are many things that add stress to our spinal column; motor vehicle accidents, a fall, lifting, sitting for too long, even just the various stresses of day to day living can alter our body balance and produce pain and discomfort. After a significant stress or strain to the spinal column, the associated muscles will respond and tighten. The body and spinal column become less stable and distorted. With the spine now locked into a stressed position, every movement becomes an imbalanced movement. This added stress often produces a variety of symptoms that can significantly interfere with the enjoyment of our life.

The NUCCA organization has developed a very precise procedure to correct this problem that is based upon mathematics, physics, and biomechanics. The first neck vertebra, also known as the atlas, or C1, is a small donut-like ring at the top of the spine. It is in close proximity to the brain stem, which is the part of the central nervous system that is responsible for controlling a number of vital body functions. One of these very important functions is the muscle balance of the spinal column. When the atlas is subjected to stress or injury, it can become partly misaligned in relation to the skull and the other vertebrae in the neck. We call this the Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome. Even a slight structural misalignment of the upper neck, will result in a muscular response that shifts the body balance from normal and adds stress to the spinal column. By making these subtle adjustments to the neck, it is possible to reduce this misalignment and improve body balance.


A leg length check is done along with postural measurements. This indicates if a spinal correction is needed. It also shows progress as spinal health improves and tells if another spinal correction is needed.

The X-ray Evaluation

If it is initially determined that you have significant body imbalance, a specific series of x-rays are performed and mathematically analyzed before the first spinal correction. To obtain an optimum correction, these precise mathematical calculations are used to determine the proper direction for the spinal column to return towards normal. This correction is unique for each patient and the x-ray series is a critical part of insuring accuracy and also that a successful correction is achieved. The NUCCA x-ray series involves safety procedures that use low technique settings, along with specially designed filters to further reduce x-ray exposure to the patient.

The Chiropractic Adjustment

When it’s time for your spinal adjustment, the doctor will have the patient lie on the adjusting table on the side, and position the head in a very specific fashion. This is based on the information obtained from the x-rays. The doctor will be positioned at a specific stance, again determined from the x-ray analysis, and will place his hand near the ear. This is where the side of the atlas, or first neck vertebra is located. The doctor will apply a number of very light and subtle corrections that move the spinal bones of the neck very carefully. It takes very little shifting of the bones to relieve nerve pressure.Read more…

The precision of the procedure means that the spinal correction is subtle in its application, but the positive effects on the nervous system and improved body balance are not. Because it’s important to receive the best possible correction on the first adjustment, the doctor will take 2 post x-rays following the initial correction. These post x-rays will show the doctor how the spine responded to the initial correction and if any further work needs to be done. This is typically only done after the first adjustment. The better the spinal correction, the better the chance of recovery. Because each spinal correction and healing response is unique to the individual, close monitoring on follow-up visits will be done. These visits help to ensure the spinal correction is maintained for as long as possible and the healing process continues.

The Healing Process

Correcting and stabilizing the spine may require a number of adjustments over a period of time. The objective measurements used in the NUCCA procedure such as the initial pre and post x-rays, leg length checks, spinal posture measurements, help to monitor the recovery process over time. Healing is a process, not an event. Recovery continues as long as the adjustment or correction holds and optimum spinal balance is maintained. Adjustments are given only when the body demonstrates a sufficient misalignment. After the spinal correction, you will want to be mindful of looking after yourself during the initial phase of the healing process. Being adjusted as few times as possible is ideal and it’s our goal to help you achieve this.Read more…

NUCCA has helped 1000’s of people of all ages regain and maintain their health throughout their lifetime. NUCCA offers a conservative approach to healing that is specific to that person and works to enhance the body’s own ability to be well.

The NUCCA procedure is taught through accredited Chiropractic Colleges and the education and research traditions carry on today with the NUCCA organization offering educational conferences attended by both chiropractic students, and experienced doctors from all over the world. Seminars include research updates and a certification program designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of practicing NUCCA doctors.

Compensation Reaction

Many people are surprised that we adjust the upper area of the spine when the primary complaint is located elsewhere. Simple. When the skull, atlas, and axis have lost their integrity, other areas of the spine compensate, creating the symptom. By helping to restore this critical relationship, we see compensatory problems elsewhere in your spine resolve on their own.

Contact our Calgary chiropractic office now to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors: (403) 201-1954

Offering NUCCA family chiropractic care to the following South Calgary communities:
Calgary | Evergreen | Sundance | Chaparral | Cranston | Bridlewood
Midnapore | Silverado | Somerset

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