Physiologic Mechanism


Why Upper Cervical Care?

The first neck vertebra, also known as the atlas or C–1, is a small donut–like ring located at the top of the spine in close proximity to the central nervous system that is responsible for controlling a number of vital body functions. One of these functions is the muscle balance of the spinal column.

When the atlas is subjected to stress or injury, it can become partly misaligned in relation to the skull and the other vertebrae in the neck. We call this the Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome or the ASC Syndrome. Even a slight structural misalignment of the upper neck will result in a muscular reflex shifting the body balance from normal, adding stress to the spinal column.

For the past 70 years, the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) organization and NUCCA care has had a positive influence on how our bodies function, confirming that there is a very important relationship between the spine and central nervous system. Current technology now enables us to understand even more about the physiologic changes before and after an optimal correction of the upper cervical spine. This leads us to a greater awareness of what is possible in the realm of well-being and health care.

Ongoing extensive research and clinical studies conducted through the Upper Cervical Research Foundation (UCRF) show that improved body balance effectively reduces structural and neurological stress throughout the entire body. This improves function and overall well–being for a variety of conditions such as muscular pain and discomfort along with other benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing physiological stress.

NUCCA care can offer a way to:

  • Correct body imbalance to relieve stress on the spinal column and nervous system
  • Help patients maintain the correction for extended periods of time
  • Enhance the understanding of spinal care including both the correction and prevention of problems.

The World Health Organization identifies stress as an international epidemic. Surveys show that 75–95% of visits to primary care physicians are for stress related conditions. Job stress alone is costing a fortune. According to a report from the American Institute of Stress, American businesses pay 300 billion dollars a year in job related stress expenses, a figure that is expected to rise.

Current studies also indicate that the flip side of stress is not relaxation, but resilience. The NUCCA procedure has been shown to enhance physiological adaptability and resilience, a benefit that is now more important than ever regarding our current health challenges.

We continue to be a relatively small group of NUCCA practitioners globally, but the importance of an accurate upper cervical correction is being shown as an increasingly essential part of optimal physiological function. The importance of our research at this time is critical. The timeliness of this research seems to be ideal. It coincides with similar research conducted by NASA as well as other international organizations.

“The secret of health and happiness lies in successful adjustment to the ever–changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process of adaptation are disease and unhappiness.” – Hans Selye

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