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About Nucca

solving the brain puzzle bookWhat do Medical Doctors say about Upper Cervical NUCCA Technique ?

"If you have sustained a concussion or whiplash injury then a misalignment has occurred. Your recovery from headaches, neck pain, back pain and hypertension are all likely to benefit from NUCCA. NUCCA has helped my Migraine headaches and minimized MS symptoms. I suggest NUCCA to most of my Migraine, Traumatic Brain Injury & Multiple Sclerosis patients."

Dr. Bill Code in his Book solving the Brain Puzzle: (Pg 387)


Craniocervical syndrome and MRI bookWhat does the Inventor of the MRI say about Upper Cervical Specific Care? Motor vehicle Whiplash victims with persisting symptoms (headache and neck pain ) should be carefully examined and decompressed with cervical realignment if they are not returning to normal.

Raymond Damadian -MRI Inventor in the text Craniocervical Syndrome and MRI (pg 89)

​​Q: What is Nucca ?

A: An image guided procedure to correct a neck misalignment and body Imbalance.

Q: Does it hurt or is the procedure painful?

No- the Nucca procedure is very gentle & does not hurt. There is NO twisting cracking or popping.

Q: What kind of results can I expect?

A: We are a certified clinic which established a 80 % correction in the misalignment in 70 % of new clients after the initial 3 sessions.

Q: Do I need X Rays? How many? Is it safe?

A: Yes, the Nucca procedure is a image guided correction that requires imaging in order to determine the application. It is very safe with No Increased Risk in our exposure rates.

Q: When was Nucca established?

A: 1966

What happens on my first Visit?

A. History:
- chief complaint
- area of concern
- duration of complaint
- previous similar complaints
-probable cause
-nature of complaint, i.e., character of pain
-related or associated symptoms
-aggravating factors
-relieving factors
-previous care
-secondary illness or complaint (unrelated)
-systems review
-past history
-family history
B. Physical Examination:
- observation
- palpation (static, motion)
- percussion
- auscultation
- inspection
C. Spinal and Neuromusculoskeletal Examination:
- range of motion (general, segmental)
- muscle testing - strength, joint integrity, muscle innervation
- neurological/orthopedic status – reflexes, dermatomes,
specific tests and/or signs
D. Laboratory Examination:
- roentgenological ( X Ray ) procedures
- Any necessary review or referral of Lab Work or Imaging ie blood, urine X Rays CT MRI

What happens on my Second Visit ?

E. Review and report of Findings / Diagnosis:

F. Prognosis

G. Treatment Plan
- Nucca upper cervical correction adjustment


How can you tell if I need an adjustment?

Short Answer: Be assessed by a certified NUCCA doctor so that it can be determined whether or not an adjustment is indicated.

Long Answer: By paying attention to your body, you may become more sensitive to whether or not you are in alignment. Although some rely on the return of their symptoms to tell them when they've lost their alignment, we recommend patients to pay attention to their reflection in the mirror; paying attention to head tilt or a low shoulder for example. Other cues may include where they feel their weight distributed on their feet, or if a change in gait is observed. More subtle indications may even include having to adjust your car rearview and side mirrors. Even with all of these clues, it is still recommended that periodic assessments be performed to verify proper balance.

My neck feels fine but my low back is sore. How can NUCCA help my lower back?

Short Answer: When posture is corrected, the entire body rebalances resulting in less stress to all areas including your low back.

Long Answer: Your postural muscles are constantly working to maintain an upright posture. Postural distortion results in uneven weight distribution over all of your joint surfaces. The muscles throughout your neck, back, arms and legs will compensate for this shift in weight. Pain will show up in the area of greatest breakdown. The reduction of postural distortion provided by the NUCCA procedure decreases the stress on all areas of the body and allows for the possible relief of pain and proper healing. For detailed statistics on the likelihood of positive response to a variety of conditions click here.

What can I expect after my adjustment?

Short Answer: NUCCA has been shown to be very effective in reducing postural distortion. Whether or not a person's postural distortion is related to symptoms they are exhibiting can only be determined by improving the posture and observing changes.

There are three possible effects that are demonstrated after an adjustment;

  1. Person feels no significant change.
  2. Person feels a change in symptoms with immediate improvement.
  3. Person experiences new short-term symptoms associated with functioning in a new structural position.

Long Answer: Responses to the adjustment vary from nothing, to muscle soreness, and from fatigue to a feeling of euphoria. Due to these individualized responses all patients are given a list of things they may experience so they are familiar with what responses are normal to expect. Due to the significant postural rebalancing that occurs with the upper cervical adjustment people will often feel stiff and sore for 2-4 days as the body adapts to its new position. This discomfort is usually associated only with the first and/or second adjustment.

How can such a light pressure make such dramatic changes?

Short Answer: For the same reason why one is able to move a pile of heavy bricks with a light push of a wheelbarrow: leverage.

Long Answer: Although the patient feels only a slight pressure behind their ear while being adjusted, there is adequate force being put into the neck. Using the first vertebra and the weight of the head to gain a biomechanical advantage, the doctor places their own body on a calculated angle to ensure the adjustment is specific to the patient's individual misalignment. The force generated by the doctor is transferred to the patient in such a gentle and precise fashion that many patients are unaware of any intervention whatsoever.

Do I get adjusted each visit?

Short Answer: You are only adjusted when the objective findings indicate you are sub luxated (i.e. postural distortion, a contracture / shortened leg).

Long Answer: How often you get adjusted is directly related to your body's ability to maintain your alignment. You will be given recommendations throughout your period of care in the office which is intentioned to help you achieve and maintain an aligned state. Our goal is to adjust you as few times as possible, however quarterly to semi-annual assessments are usually recommended to assure that any progress isn't lost along the way.

What can cause me to lose my alignment?

Short Answer: Thoughts, traumas, and toxins are all stressors that can contribute to a misaligned state.

Long Answer: After your first adjustment in our office you will be given recommendations regarding daily activities to help maintain alignment. The three T's (thoughts, traumas and toxins) are all contributors to maintaining or losing alignment. Thoughts include negativity or stress Ð think about the tightness in your shoulders after a long day at work. Have you ever considered what those muscles are connected to? Traumas are a more obvious cause, however doesn't necessarily have to be a car accident or fall. Daily repetitive postures or movements can be considered an ongoing traumatic event. Toxins can be dietary or environmental and can also play a role in maintaining or losing alignment due to the stress they place on your body's systems.

How long until I am better?

Short Answer: Healing is individual and there are many contributing factors. The more personal responsibility the patient assumes in this process, generally the better the results.

Long Answer: The healing process takes time. If you were to break an arm, the medical physician would cast it and you would be instructed to keep it in the cast for approximately six to eight weeks. That is because this is the typical healing time for bone. When dealing with spinal misalignment, the integrity of the musculature and ligaments has been compromised and you must allow adequate time for these structures to heal in the aligned position. The longer your spine has been out of alignment, the more possible damage has occurred and therefore the more required healing time.

Is it true that if you see a Nucca doctor you have to go for the rest of your life?

Short Answer: No, we have different types of Care so you can experience the health benefits of Nucca care.

Long Answer: the fact is that the healing process requires time to stabilize the alignment until the body knows how to hold in an aligned position on its own. The longer your spine has been breaking down (which is usually much earlier than the initial onset of symptoms), the longer it will typically take to attain a stabilized state.

If I feel relief, do I need to come back?

Short Answer: You don't. Ongoing monitoring is advised if you want to allow for optimal healing to minimize recurrence and optimize function.

Long Answer: Many feel significant relief in discomfort following the first few visits. Our goal is not just to provide relief but to create a situation where the spinal stresses that caused the issue are minimized, stabilized and you no longer need to be adjusted regularly. It is this situation that provides optimal long-term benefit.

Symptoms are the last to show up and the first to leave (think of how cancer or heart attacks occur). A symptom-free state does not necessarily mean healing has completed or that you are in your optimal alignment. Once your body begins showing signs that it is stabilizing and holding alignment for an extended period of time, recommended time between visits are lengthened.

Why should I get checked when I'm feeling fine?

Short Answer: Symptoms can occur after years of altered function. We feel prevention and maintenance optimization is better that reactive, distress care.

Long Answer: Research in the Medical Journal " SPINE " showed that monthly maintenance care, i.e. that patients who continued to see the chiropractor periodically for spinal check ups after their pain had subsided derived long term benefits. They had less subsequent pain issues and perceived themselves as healthier than patients who did not have the chiropractic maintenance care.

Our assessment includes objective measures that are independent from subjective symptoms. It is best to be assessed periodically to ensure that if you are misaligned but non-symptomatic you can be adjusted to prevent your body from being accustomed to a misaligned state once again and avoid the spinal deterioration that often involves a return to pain.

Why are you looking at my feet if you are adjusting the top of my neck?

Short Answer: A leg length difference can be an indication of imbalance tone in your body's musculature and therefore is one of our objective measures to determine whether or not you are in need of an adjustment. After an adjustment we will often check leg-length again and find that legs to be of balanced length.

Long Answer: There are many postural muscles that are constantly contracting and relaxing in response to normal body movements to prevent us from falling over and allow us to maintain an upright posture. When our first vertebra is misaligned, the weight of the head is no longer evenly distributed over the neck and the rest of the body. The body therefore reflexively responds to this imbalance by contracting different postural muscles in its attempt to maintain an upright posture. It is the reflexive contractions of the postural muscles that result in the contracted/ shortened leg.

Is it possible for me to go in and out of alignment on my own?

Short Answer: No, a true subluxation will not realign on its own.

Long Answer: Many times patients may feel that they were "out of alignment" and they were able to regain alignment on their own. A true subluxation can only be corrected by a third party. What the individual likely felt was the adaptation of the body to stress that they were able to manage without assistance. Our goal in this office is to maintain the body in a state of reduced stress so the body can adapt to the stresses and strains of everyday life without requiring assistance to manage a breakdown.

Why are so many things positively affected by one procedure?

Short Answer: The body is self-healing and its healing capabilities are infinite. With your energy no longer being excessively re-directed to fight gravity, often the body will manage to deal with other issues as well.

Long Answer: By improving spinal alignment people experience improved posture as correction of non-adapting reflexive contracture of skeletal musculature is attained. This postural balance leads to better body-weight distribution which improves the position of internal organs and helps protect those structures acting to stabilize the spine. As less energy is required to oppose gravity, you will have more energy to think, function, heal and maintain yourself.

Who can benefit from NUCCA?

Short Answer: Anyone with a SPINE who wants their body to function effectively can be assessed. Treatment will only be provided to those who are found to have a measurable need for care.

Long Answer: Although we see patients with fairly significant pain & various conditions, the assessment allows the practitioner the ability to visualize and reduce the misalignment even before symptoms reappear. The postural rebalancing created by the upper cervical adjustment allows for the body to have less gravitational stress and therefore the person will have improved healing.

Do children benefit from NUCCA procedures?

Short Answer: Yes, we believe all children should have the benefit of a properly balanced body.

Long Answer: Children can be adjusted using the NUCCA procedure typically by five years old when they can lie still for the procedure. Children generally respond more quickly to adjustments and usually require fewer adjustments to attain spinal stability. For more info see the textbook on kinematic imbalances in children, their effects and treatment published by the German medical physician Heiner Biedermann (Manual Therapy in Children).

What makes NUCCA chiropractic spinal care unique compared to other care?

NUCCA Doctors influence the entire spinal columns postural balance by adjusting the cranio cervical junction at the level of the brain stem and spinal cord.

Long Answer: Generally the approach to the care of the spine is in two different ways. The majority of practitioners attempt to influence the spine in areas of segmental or local fixations to increase mobility and hope for improved structural stability. NUCCA approaches the spine with the ability to improve structural and sustained postural balance that leads to improved spinal stability along with balanced mobility. The benefit of NUCCA care is that long term spinal balance is maintained and that produces improved overall health and well-being. All spinal practitioners agree that spinal care is important. The approaches vary from localized segmental care of many providers to the NUCCA practitioners that offer upper cervical care that affects the whole body balance and the long term spinal stability.

What about other procedures that claim to cure the Atlas misalignment in one session with no X Rays necessary?

Caveat Emptor ! If it sounds too good to be true , it usually is. Caveat emptor is a Latin phrase that is translated as “let the buyer beware.” The phrase describes the concept in contract law that places the burden of due diligence on the buyer of a good or service.

Yes there are some posers out there like Atlas Profilax among other unscrupulous and untrained cheaper alternatives that make claims. "We have a saying that "the proof is in the post" ( ie: Before and After X Ray Measurement ) If you don't measure it than WNL. It is said to be "WNL" = Within Normal Limits because really WNL = We Never Looked !


Questions to Ask when choosing a Upper Cervical Doctor for your MVA Whiplash Injury - Always ask the clinic

1 ) Is the doctor is (Nucca) Board Certified or what level of Certification have they obtained?

2 ) Do they perform pre and post digital upper cervical imaging.

3) Are they a registered member of Nucca

4) How long have they been in practice

5) Do they have a Post Graduate Diplomate in Craniocervical Junction procedures

6) Are they a Credentialed Instructor for the Technique they perform.

7) Are they Certified in Whiplash and MTBI or have post graduate specialty training from The Spine Research Institute

8) Can they read Head and Neck MRIs or Cone Beam CT Scans and give expert opinion on Cervical spine Biomechanics

9) Do they have any training in Accident Investigation reconstruction and Crash testing.

10) Do they treat on Every Visit ? HINT: If the answer is Yes then beware!

10 Reasons for choosing Vancouver Nucca Clinic ( OUR UNIQUE FACTORS )

1. Registered member of Nucca since 1990

2. One of Three Nucca Board Certified Doctors in Canada (2013)

3. DCCJP ICA Diplomate in Craniocervical Junction Procedures (2019)

4. Credentialed Nucca Instructor 2015

5. Utilize the Nucca Anatometer ® to assess postural balance and alignment Pre & Post

6. Computerized Digital high frequency low dose Imaging X-Ray equipment performed on first correction Pre and Post

7. Tytron Neck Scans on every visit to monitor progress Pre and post

8. Personalized Report of findings. and Progress examination Reports.

9. Certificates in Crash testing, Traffic Accident Investigation, Accident reconstruction and Concussion.

10. Advanced Certifications in Whiplash and MTBI from The Spine Research Institute of San Diego for 25 years.