The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) has developed a highly advanced procedure that is an extremely precise and gentle technique unlike any other kind of chiropractic care. For detailed information on NUCCA and its mission, objectives and accomplishments, please visit their website at: http://www.nucca.org. Another related technique Dr. Christensen practices is called orthospinology. More information can be found at http://orthospinology.org/.
Upper Cervical techniques use a gentle adjustment and controlled contact on the first vertebrae in the neck that is designed to restore balance to the spine. Even though the primary focus is the neck, the correction influences the entire spine and all body systems. This is because the NUCCA technique affects the highest control centers over body balance, the brain stem and central nervous system. The C-1 vertebra, also known as the Atlas, is a small donut-like bone located at the top of the spine and the base of the skull that surrounds the brain stem. When the spine is subjected to stress it can become misaligned. This phenomenon is known as the Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome (ASC) or the ASC Syndrome.
The nerves in our spinal column are very sensitive to pressure and stress. When the spine becomes misaligned sufficiently it stresses the nerves, compromises their normal impulses, and changes function throughout the body. Nerves are responsible for four primary functions:
1. Control and regulation of all vital functions including circulation, breathing and digestion.
2. Activate muscles allowing motion.
3. Provide sensory perception.
4. Integral to learning, behavior and ability to experience our environment.
The upper cervical adjustment depends upon precise mathematical calculations, physics, and biomechanics. X-rays are a critical part of ensuring the spinal correction is accurate and successful. The doctor will take pre-adjustment x-rays from different angles focusing on the atlas. These x-rays determine the direction and degree of spinal misalignment and how to properly restore the spine to normal.
Once the body is in balance through the correction of C-1, Dr. Christensen sometimes needs to correct individual bones in the spine. When these adjustments are done at most chiropractic offices, the patient’s entire spine is misaligned, one leg is short, one hip is high and so forth. When the Upper Cervical correction is done first, the adjustments of the individual bones are more likely to hold, since the legs are even and the hips are level.
Let’s use the analogy of a house. If a house has an unlevel foundation, problems will arise on the upper floors. It would be foolish to START the repairs on upper floors. But, once the foundation is true and level, work can be completed on the other levels. It is the same with the spine, once the legs are even and the hips are level, adjustments to the low and mid back may be necessary and will be much more effective, since the foundation for the spine, the sacrum, is true and level.