If you have issues with back pain or other problems that have led you to consult with chiropractors, you may already be aware that there are multiple specialized schools of practice within the discipline. One of these is the NUCCA chiropractic method, a treatment system that focuses on misalignment in the vertebrae at the very top of the spinal column. Here's how it works.
The Focus Of NUCCA Therapy
A NUCCA chiropractor is primarily concerned with the position of the atlas and axis vertebrae (C1 and C2) which connect the skull to the spine. The theory driving the practice is that very minor misalignments here -- usually caused by improper head posture -- can lead to unwanted pressure on the delicate nerves of the brainstem, leading to a host of physiological problems. As the atlas and axis vertebrae are buried deep in the neck, extremely careful examination is required to detect misalignment.
Like many forms of chiropractic therapy, the overall effectiveness of the NUCCA chiropractic method is sometimes disputed. There have been clinical results which indicate it is effective at reducing high blood pressure, though. Countless patients can testify to the fact that a NUCCA adjustment helps to improve your posture and reduce pain in the neck and upper back, too.
How NUCCA Therapy Is Performed
If you choose to see a NUCCA chiropractor, the first step will be an extensive examination to look for any misalignment of the C1 and C2 vertebrae. Careful physical measurements will be used to find any discrepancies in the length of your legs or the height of your hips. (These are both indicators of potential misalignment.) The chiropractor will use a set of 3 x-rays to examine the state of your upper vertebrae directly.
When a misalignment is detected, your chiropractor will treat it with a manual adjustment similar to most other forms of chiropractic therapy. This specialized adjustment is often called the NUCCA Correction. Unlike some adjustments, it requires minimal force, and patients who go through it usually report no pain or soreness. The NUCCA correction does not involve "popping" or "cracking" any joints.
Chiropractic medicine is a system of treatment with a long and rich history. There has been more than enough time for specialized sub-types of treatment to emerge, and the NUCCA method is one of the most well-known. Practiced for almost 50 years, NUCCA treatment has become an effective tool for correcting hard-to-treat problems with the upper vertebrae.