1. How do I know if I am a candidate for upper cervical care?
Any person, regardless of age, can benefit from having their spine evaluated by an upper cervical chiropractor. More specifically, every person that has experienced an accident or injury, of any type, should have their spine evaluated for misalignment and nerve injury. The effects of spinal misalignment and nervous system irritation/injury are very destructive. We strongly encourage people to have their spine checked immediately after any type of injury.
2. How did I get a spinal misalignment?
There are three specific causes of the spinal misalignment (Atlas Subluxation Complex Syndrome).
1. The most common cause of the spinal misalignment is physical trauma. Accidents and injuries are a common occurrence in our modern day society. Several examples are automobile accidents, athletic injuries, slips and falls around the home, traumatic childbirth, and work related injuries.
2. The second common cause of the spinal misalignment is chemical toxicity. Excessive exposure to dangerous chemicals in our environment can cause damage or weakness to the connective tissues of the spine. This results in spinal bones shifting out of proper alignment and injury to the nervous system. Several examples of chemical toxicity are excessive use of medications, pesticides, artificial colors and preservatives in foods, personal hygiene products, cleaners, new product odors, and chemicals in our work environment. The US government currently has 80,000 chemicals that are registered for use and they are definitely contributing to chronic illness.
3. The third cause of spinal misalignments is stressful thoughts and emotions. When we are continually influenced by high stress situations, our body and spinal structure begin to fatigue, which can result in a spinal misalignment. Highly stressful situations and relationships that disturb our emotional health often cause serious physical symptoms.
3. Can upper cervical care help me if I have had minimal results with other types of healthcare?
Please remember, the spinal misalignment can cause many complications in your health. An upper cervical chiropractor is trained to detect and correct a very specific condition (Atlas Subluxation Complex) which removes irritation to your nervous system and allows your body to recover. Other types of healthcare such as medicine, physical therapy, rehabilitation, massage therapy and acupuncture are not equipped to detect and correct the spinal misalignment. Therefore, if you have sought other types of healthcare and not received any relief, we would encourage you to have your spine evaluated by an upper cervical chiropractor as soon as possible. Upper cervical care is specifically designed to correct the root cause of body imbalance, diminished health and uncomfortable symptoms.
4. Is upper cervical care painful?
NO! NO! NO! The spinal correction does not involve any twisting, popping or cracking of your head, neck or back. It is extremely gentle and many people, including babies, fall asleep on the table during the correction. We are able to make the correction without any physical manipulation and we will not hurt you while we help you!
5. How safe is upper cervical care?
Upper cervical care is one of the safest types of healthcare available today. Patients do not experience any risk or discomfort during the adjustment. People under our care do not experience any negative side effects or irreversible dangers that many other types of modern healthcare may include. The upper cervical spinal correction is very gentle and every precaution is taken to ensure safety and effectiveness during the process.
6. I am worried about x-ray exposure. Are x-rays necessary and what safety precautions are taken to limit x-ray exposure?
Your concerns about x-ray exposure are valid, but please try to understand that the x-ray exposure is very minimal. Our clinical experience has revealed that the spinal misalignment creates much more destructive effects on the human body than the x-ray exposure from 5 cervical spine x-rays. The x-ray series is necessary to determine the severity of injury and which direction and how far your spine has been misaligned. Upper cervical doctors use safety equipment and policies to limit your x-ray exposure and our x-ray machine is inspected regularly by the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health.
Listed below are the amounts of x-ray exposure from various healthcare procedures.
- Upper cervical x-ray series < .22 millirems
- Dental x-rays (per x-ray) 910 millirems
- CAT scan 4,500 millirems
- Barium enema (x-ray study) 8,000 millirems
- Radiation therapy for cancer 6,000,000 millirems
7. Why are x-rays taken before and after the upper cervical spinal correction?
The pre/post x-ray process is what distinguishes the upper cervical procedures from other types of healthcare. The pre-adjustment x-rays allow the doctor to determine how severely and which direction your spine has misaligned. The information is critical for the doctor to perform the best spinal correction possible. Immediately following the spinal correction, the doctor will perform a series of post-adjustment x-rays. These x-rays verify that a favorable correction has been successfully accomplished. The best spinal alignment possible is necessary for your full recovery. The x-rays allow the doctor to see if proper alignment has occurred. We will not guess with your health!
8. Are x-rays necessary on follow-up visits?
No. Typically, the initial series of x-rays will provide the doctor with all the information that is necessary to care for you. Although, if a current patient experiences a new accident/injury, it may be necessary to perform a new series of x-rays, so the patient can continue their recovery as expected.-
9. Why does the doctor adjust my upper neck area when my problem is in my mid-back, lower back, arms/hands or legs/feet?
The spinal misalignment is most easily detected, measured and corrected by using the top bone in the spine as a lever to re-align the skull, the entire spine and the pelvis. When the spine is not in proper alignment, injury and irritation to the nervous system (especially the brainstem) can occur at any level within the spine. Therefore, uncomfortable symptoms and improper function can occur anywhere within the human body. The upper cervical doctor is merely using the top of the spine as an entry point to correct the entire structure.
10. Why do I not always get adjusted when I am feeling bad?
The primary goal of upper cervical care is to detect and correct the spinal misalignment. Sometimes the spine can begin to maintain proper alignment faster than patients begin to experience relief from their specific symptoms. If an upper cervical doctor checks your spinal alignment and discovers that you are maintaining your alignment, you can remain confident that your body will continue to recover over time. Remember, recovery is a process…not an event!
11. Why do I sometimes get adjusted when I am feeling good?
The sooner your spine is corrected after losing your alignment, the less likely you are to experience uncomfortable symptoms. Your upper cervical doctor may recommend another spinal correction because your spine is not completely corrected, even though you have not begun to feel symptoms. By maintaining your alignment with periodic check-ups, you can prevent future problems from recurring. Your complete health is greatly enhanced by keeping your spine in proper alignment for your entire lifetime.
12. How will I know if I lose my alignment?
After a person has had their spine properly aligned, they commonly experience many positive changes within their health. If a patient loses their alignment, they will frequently begin to experience similar symptoms that had been previously relieved. We encourage you to have your spine checked immediately if you begin to experience uncomfortable symptoms. The longer your spine remains out of alignment, the more severe the symptoms will become. The sooner you have your spine corrected, the sooner you can experience life without discomfort and dysfunction.
13. How often should I get my spine checked after my symptoms are relieved?
After the relief and recovery stages of care, we strongly suggest beginning a wellness care plan. Wellness care plans include monthly check-ups to maintain your alignment, promote wellness and strengthen your vitality. Wellness care is always better than crisis care!
14. How long will it take me to feel better?
Most patients experience a noticeable change in how they feel immediately after their first spinal correction. During the first week after beginning care, people continue to experience many benefits such as: extended pain relief, more restful sleep, more energy, relief of symptoms and proper organ function. Most people will experience complete relief from their primary complaint within 6-12 weeks from their initial appointment. Long term benefits of upper cervical care are enhanced immune system, higher energy levels, no stress/tension in your body, properly functioning organs, increased performance and mental clarity, a strong feeling of vitality and the prevention of future health problems.
15. Why is complete recovery not a faster process?
The underlying principle behind upper cervical care is that the human body can grow, develop, heal and maintain itself…if it is cared for properly. Once the spine is corrected and the irritation is relieved from the nervous system, the amazing human body is able to heal and recover. Every person’s recovery time is different, but we can assure you that by having a positive mindset and patience, your chances of complete recovery are greatly increased. Also, the doctor may make suggestions concerning nutrition, exercise, rest and lifestyle behaviors that will increase your rate of recovery. The more you become involved in your care, the quicker you will recover!
16. Is it safe to x-ray and care for pregnant women?
Yes! Several precautions are taken to insure the safety of pregnant women and the developing baby. The x-rays focus on the head and neck region of the body and therefore x-ray exposure is very limited. Also, a full lead apron is used to protect the baby from receiving any radiation. The importance of upper cervical care during pregnancy is vital because the mother’s nervous system coordinates the baby’s development. Upper cervical care will help the mother and the baby remain healthy. Also, most pregnant women under upper cervical care have easier childbirth and less medical intervention during the delivery of their child!
17. Do you care for babies and children with upper cervical care?
Absolutely! Children grow, develop and heal through their nervous system. Therefore, their nervous system must be functioning at optimal levels for proper growth, development and healing to occur. In fact, it is very important for young children to have their spines checked for misalignment because the long term effects of nervous system distress are devastating. Many research studies are validating the safety and effectiveness of upper cervical care for children. It is a safe, painless, drug-free approach to greatly enhancing your child’s health and wellness.