Monday, February 8, 2010

Is It The Real Deal?

I recently had a person request my services as an Upper Cervical Doctor via phone and internet. They wanted Upper Cervical Care, were very interested in coming out and getting the procedure from what I told them and what they had read. They had a few areas/problems that I told them that I do not work on directly because I do only Upper Cervical work but it still may help those areas long term. They really wanted these areas worked on as well which is fine, a patient makes their own choices and I respect that. They had been to a general chiropractor before for some other issues so I suggested they go there and have those other areas worked. I told her to have them work on anything she wanted them to except the upper back and neck.

So far so good, after that appointment they were to go to the office that shoots the upper cervical x-rays for me since I do not have x-ray equipment and this doc does a phenomenal job on the films. They never showed for that appointment for the films so I called them and I was shocked by what I heard. Let me first say I totally respect the patient's choice but I have a bit of a bone to pick confusing a patient for monetary gain.

Let me explain, I do the Upper Cervical work on a donation basis so I really do not stand to benefit largely whether someone sees me or not. I simply want to provide Upper Cervical Care to those that need it. This general chiropractor told the patient that they do the upper cervical work. This totally floored me. I reminded them that any chiropractor that went to Palmer College of Chiropractic would have taken one class on the procedure. So in all fairness they do know the procedure at least at the beginner level if nothing else. But just because they have a general idea of what xrays to take, use a rudimentary xray analysis method, understand the basics of how to position the the patient for the adjustment and can thrust into the neck does not make them Upper Cervical Doctors nor does it make what they are providing Upper Cervical Care.

A true Upper Cervical Doctor will always:

Take specific x-rays of the upper neck
Specifically analyze these x-rays
Explain the specific misalignment in the C1/C2 area.
Specifically correct the UC misalignment
Check progress every visit, but will not correct every visit.

You can't adjust the patient all over the spine and top it off with an atlas upper cervical adjustment and call it Upper Cervical Care. Also it is important to note that Upper Cervical Care is not just simply a way of adjusting the upper neck. It is an entire protocol for each step of the process leading to the adjustment and also a protocol for determining objectively whether a successfull adjustment took place and then on follow-up visits determining through valid objective measures whether another adjustment is needed or not.

The protocol is very specific and must be followed as closely as possible to insure proper care and long lasting results for the patient with the least amount of care possible.

I hope against hope that the patient gets the results they are looking for. My major concern is that they won't and they will be left with a sour taste in their mouth regarding Upper Cervical Care. I think general chiropractors need to have enough integrity to be straight with patients (it seems that there are very few out there that are) that they do not practice Upper Cervical Care and allow them to experience the real deal. (watch the video at this link.)

I feel better clearing the air on that one.


  1. Sorry to hear that. I know you're passionate about helping people get the right care when they need it. Although I'm not an Upper Cervical practitioner, I always do my best to refer to other DCs who do other techniques that I don't do (and if you ever see me fail in that regard, please bring it to my attention). Could you, for the general DC like me, post a list of indications that should tell us, "This person should be checked by an Upper Cervical DC" so we know when we should be sending them your way? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

  2. Thanks Bruce for your comments. I will certainly put together a short post to answer your question. Thanks again!

  3. Great job Travis. Always a touchy subject among full spine and UC docs. But hey, someone has to speak up.

  4. Thanks Brandon! Bruce, I did do a post on what to look for check it out if you haven't already. Thanks guys for reading and commenting.


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