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What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care?
Upper Cervical Chiropractic care is a specialized form of chiropractic care that focuses on the alignment at the very top of the spine. This is very different from traditional chiropractic care that might still adjust the upper cervical region, however the approach and typically the results are very different. There are several upper cervical-specific approaches in chiropractic. Dr. Norris is certified in NUCCA which is an orthogonal-based approach and the gold standard in objective subluxation-based chiropractic care.
The position of your head, and therefore the top bone in your spine, called the atlas bone is vitally important to several things in your body, including your posture, muscle activation, brain stem tension, your stress response, the amount of pressure on very sensitive nerves, blood flow into and out of the skull, and brain, as well as Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) flow.
Neck pain can result in serious health issues that are often misattributed to other conditions. Damage to tissues and an unaligned spine can interfere with the brain stem, disrupting signals to other parts of the body. Patients often come to us after consulting with ophthalmologists, neurologists, and sleep specialists without finding a solution for their symptoms, which may include:
What is NUCCA?
Because of the unique anatomy of the craniocervical junction (where your head attaches to your spine), a special type of adjustment is needed to get the best correction. Utilizing the NUCCA x-ray analysis Dr. Norris determines how to best do this adjustment, based on your individual misalignment and anatomy, and then takes a follow-up x-ray to determine the adjustment was accurate and successful, and if there is anything he can do better.
The NUCCA adjustment itself is exceptionally gentle and low force. Utilizing precise mathematical calculations, physics, and biomechanics Dr. Norris can apply a very gentle corrective hand adjustment of your atlas bone from the optimal angle determined from the x-ray to produce the best result possible. Even though the adjustment is to your neck, the effects of the correction influence the whole spine and all body systems. This is because the NUCCA adjustment influences one of our highest control centers over our body, the brain stem, and the central nervous system.
The NUCCA adjustment is proceeded and followed up by three objective tests every time. A para-spinal thermal scan, a leg length discrepancy measurement, and an anemometer reading (a specialized device for measuring postural shifts throughout the spine, as well as a bilateral weight scale). These tests show Dr. Norris if you are holding your alignment and if you need an adjustment, or not, without having to take an x-ray after the initial follow-up x-ray.
NUCCA is not just for neck pain and headaches. Patients have seen amazing changes in migraines, vertigo, Meniere’s disease, numbness and tingling, posture, post-concussion symptoms, mild TBIs, neurodegenerative disorders, and more!
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Benefits
Upper cervical chiropractic is a specialized type of chiropractic care that focuses on the alignment and movement of the top two vertebrae of the spine, known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae. These vertebrae are located at the base of the skull and are responsible for supporting the weight of the head and protecting the brainstem.
Upper cervical chiropractors use specific techniques to analyze the position and movement of the atlas and axis vertebrae and then use gentle, precise adjustments to correct any misalignments or restrictions. These adjustments are typically done using the hands or a small instrument and are often very gentle and comfortable for the patient. The benefits of upper cervical chiropractic can include:
- Improved spinal alignment and function
- Reduced pain and inflammation
- Improved range of motion
- Improved nerve function and communication between the brain and body
- Improved overall health and wellness
It is also used to address a variety of conditions, including:
Headaches are an extremely common condition. Nearly everyone suffers from occasional headaches since the causes of headaches are so wide-ranging. However, many people suffer from weekly or even daily headaches that are not resolving on their own.
The technical term is Loss of Cervical Lordosis but it is often called Military Neck, Cervical Kyphosis, Text Neck, or Tech Neck. Loss of cervical lordosis used to be known to be primarily caused by whiplash injuries but is now known for chronic cell phone, videogame, or computer use, hence the term ‘text’ or ‘tech’ neck.
Dr. Norris is always amazed to see the generational differences in people’s spines, those that grew up with ‘technology’ and those who didn’t. In fact, Dr. Norris, unfortunately, finds that most people younger than Generation Y have partial if not full loss of cervical curve, and in most cases no history of trauma.
Tech Neck can lead to a lifetime of spinal health problems. Starting with poor posture, but eventually leading to stiff and tender muscles, muscle spasms, spinal pain, numbness and tingling, sciatica, tension headaches, migraines, and much more as it starts to negatively impact the autonomic nervous system, which controls the organ systems in your body.
Back pain is a common problem that affects many people at some point in their lives. It can be described as discomfort or pain felt in the back, which can be felt in different areas of the back including the mid, upper, and lower back. It can affect how you walk, the inability to sit for long periods of time, your ability to lift, move stretch, and other activities.
Vertigo, when it strikes “out of the blue” can mimic mild panic attacks. Unlike with severe anxiety, there’s no pill or breathing exercise to calm the patient and reduce discomfort. Though vertigo symptoms are rarely as severe as a full-blown panic attack, some can last far longer—several days, weeks, or even years.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. It allows you to open and close your mouth, chew, speak, and make facial expressions. TMJ disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects this joint, causing pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, head, and neck.
A chronic disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissues of the body, as well as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is believed to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain that affect pain perception.
Chronic fatigue is a condition characterized by persistent and debilitating fatigue or exhaustion that is not relieved by rest. It is a complex disorder that can significantly affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities and can interfere with work, school, and social life
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and progressive disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers, causing inflammation and damage to the nerve fibers themselves.
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which is one of the largest nerves in the head. This nerve is responsible for transmitting sensory information from the face to the brain, and when it is damaged or inflamed, it can cause severe pain in the face.
The pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia is typically described as sharp, shooting, or stabbing, and it can be triggered by even mild stimulation of the face, such as brushing teeth, talking, or eating. The pain may be brief, lasting only a few seconds or minutes, but it can be excruciating and debilitating.
The exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to compression or irritation of the trigeminal nerve. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including a blood vessel pressing against the nerve, a tumor, or multiple sclerosis.
Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia may involve medication to control pain, such as anticonvulsants or antidepressants, or surgical procedures to relieve pressure on the nerve, such as microvascular decompression or radio-frequency ablation. In some cases, complementary therapies such as acupuncture or chiropractic may also be helpful in managing the symptoms.
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) is a condition that can occur following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion. It is characterized by a range of symptoms that persist for weeks, months, or even years after the initial injury, and can interfere with a person’s ability to function in their daily life.
Learn more about how we treat the upper cervical spine and symptoms related to trauma in the neck, shoulders and atlas bone.
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Safe and Effective Neck Pain Relief in Louisville CO
Upper cervical chiropractic is a safe and effective form of healthcare that can be used alone or in conjunction with other forms of healthcare. Patients should always consult with a licensed healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment program.
Dr. Norris has extensive experience in treating neck pain and is trained in upper cervical spinal care. He understands that no two cases are the same. Your initial visit will involve a comprehensive assessment of your symptoms, and together, you’ll identify the root cause of your neck pain and receive advice on modifying your environment and behavior to prevent further injury.
Once a wellness program is established, taking into account lifestyle and existing health conditions, Dr. Norris will use specialized cervical chiropractic treatments to provide relief.
At Koru Chiropractic of Louisville, we aim to address the root causes of neck pain rather than simply treating symptoms.
Dr. Norris, as a specialist in upper cervical chiropractic, has received more training in neurology and upper cervical anatomy than general chiropractors and has a better understanding of neck, shoulder, and back biometrics than most medical practitioners. This is why he can provide positive results where others have failed to identify and treat the problem.
At Koru Chiropractic of Louisville, we prioritize not just your symptoms, but also you as a person, and what is important to you. We recognize that everyone is unique and has different goals, which is why we develop a chiropractic care plan that is tailored to your specific health concerns.
Our specialties as a chiropractor in Louisville include back pain, neck pain, vertigo, and migraine headaches. Patients come to our Louisville office from all over Northern Colorado, including Longmont, Erie, Superior, Lafayette, Niwot, Boulder, Broomfield, and Denver.
Contact Koru Chiropractic of Louisville today to schedule a free evaluation. Specialized upper cervical chiropractic care is a highly effective solution, and with Dr. Norris on your side, you have plenty of options for relief.
Family Focused. Results Driven.
Schedule your FREE 15-minute consultation with Koru Chiropractic