Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Gentleness of Upper Cervical Care



A gentle touch and controlled contact on the first vertebrae in the neck is designed to restore balance to the spine. Even though the primary focus is the neck, the effects of the correction influences the whole spine and all body systems. This is because the NUCCA procedure influences one of the highest control centers over body balance, the brain stem and central nervous system. The C-1 vertebrae, 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 head/neck misalignment is also known as the Atlas Subluxation Complex or ASC .

The Balancing Act

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:

    Control and regulate all vital functions including circulation, breathing and digestion.
    Activate muscles allowing us to move.
    Allow us to sense, perceive and feel.
    Relate us to the world outside ourselves including learning, experiencing and behavior.
                               
Evaluation, Evaluation, Evaluation

Once you have decided to be examined for a spinal misalignment, an extensive evaluation process begins. The process begins by looking at your detailed health history including any past traumas, motor vehicle accidents, surgeries, other treatment programs and other diagnostic tests including other x-rays. Your chief complaints, including location, onset, and duration must all be evaluated and assessed. After concluding this initial process, the doctor will begin the steps necessary to determine if you are a candidate for NUCCA care.

Finding the Problem

The NUCCA Doctor will focus attention on the relationship of the head to the neck. The top bone of the neck, known as the atlas, must be in line with the head, as well as the vertebrae below. Spinal injury or damage can misalign these structures resulting in:

    Leg length disparity also known as the "short leg" phenomenon.

As you lay on your back, measurement of the leg length equality will be made. Additional evaluation of posture may include shoulder height, hip height and deviation of the head to either side. Ranges of motion may also be measured. Specific instrumentation may also be used to evaluate body weight distribution, pelvic rotation and normal nerve function. If a spinal misalignment is indicated by history and examination, a series of x-rays are taken. It is important to know you would only be accepted as a patient if the consultation and exam results indicate that you could benefit from NUCCA care. The X-rays are only taken if care is to be initiated. 

Table Time 

Each correction is determined from x-ray measurement. Patients lay on their right or left side on the upper cervical table. By gently contacting the side of your neck, the doctor will direct your head and neck back toward a balanced, healthy position.

Precise, Accurate and Small  Corrections

The upper cervical correction 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-correction 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.

Continuous Monitoring

Because each correction experience and healing response is unique to the individual, you will be monitored closely for any changes that you might experience which are linked to the healing process. We have stressed the importance of receiving the best possible correction during the first visit. The doctor will take x-rays after your correction to confirm results. This is typically done only after the initial correction. What we know is "The better the correction, the better the chance of recovery."

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