"Since the early 1940s, a small cadre of chiropractic specialists have foregone typical ‘full-spine manipulations’, limiting their practice to precise, delicate manual alignment of a single vertebra, C-1 or Atlas; these practitioners make up the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Unlike other vertebrae, which interlock one to the next, the Atlas relies solely upon soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) to maintain alignment; therefore, the Atlas is uniquely vulnerable to displacement. Displacement of C-1 is pain free and thus, remains undiagnosed and untreated, whereas health-related consequences are attributed to other aetiologies. Minor misalignment of the Atlas vertebra can potentially injure, impair, compress and/or compromise brainstem neural pathways.
Journal of Human Hypertension, 2007
NUCCA is gentle, precise, and effective approach to spinal care. NUCCA focuses on a region of the spine known as the Upper Cervical spine or Cranio-cervical junction. This region consists of the base of the skull and the first two cervical (neck) vertebrae. The upper cervical region of the spine is by far the most unique region of the spine. The first cervical vertebrae is a ring-like structure located under your skull and on top of your spine; it does not have interlocking joints or discs like the rest of the spine. This uniqueness leaves it most susceptible to misalignment due to accident and injury.
When the first cervical vertebrae misaligns it causes other areas of the spine to compensate. This compensation forces the spine into a stressed position. NUCCA chiropractic determines the exact 3-D misalignment of the first cervical vertebrae through radiologic imaging. A precise and gentle correction of the first cervical vertebrae restores balance to the spine.