Blog Post

Is NUCCA Chiropractics Therapy Okay?

rbww_58H asks: "Can you tell me if NUCCA is an acceptable form of Chiropractic therapy?"

There appears to be some debate about NUCCA among chiropractors, but the good news is that it is being clinically studied at the present time.

According to this website, NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) practitioners focus on upper cervical care (neck) manipulations and believe this form of chiropractic care brings about permanent results.

"The NUCCA procedure was designed to correct the entire spine back to a balanced, unstressed position," the site explains. "The NUCCA chiropractic technique works because repositioning the spine reactivates the transmission of healing messages from the brain to the affected part of the body (via the nervous system) so the body's natural self-healing process can begin."

The object is to correct the spine so that the weight of the head is centered over the neck rather than off-center, which can cause the body to compensate by moving into an unbalanced position. This in turn can cause conditions such as a leg being shorter than another, a hip being higher or lower on one side, muscular imbalances, etc.

But NUCCA goes even further, suggesting that this kind of unbalanced body position can cause stress upon the entire nervous system, including the brain stem. "This is very important because our body shuttles millions of electrical and chemical impulses back and forth from the brain to every cell of our body each day. Any restriction or distortion of those messages (nerve impulses) can affect every body function.  Many of these messages are unconscious such as breathing, digestion, and circulation. If this distortion is not corrected, the long term effect is degeneration of that part of the body serviced by those restricted messages-resulting in mild to severe pain, lowered resistance to illness, behavioral changes, organ dysfunction, loss of mobility in limbs, and ultimately-disease."

NUCCA then, is the key to good health.

However, not every chiropractor is willing to go this far and point to flawed methodology in some of the studies concerning the practice.

In this blog by a retired chiropractor named Samuel Homola, D.C., author of Inside Chiropractic and Bonsetting, Chiropractic and Cultism, studies suggesting NUCCA practices can relieve hypertension (high blood pressure) were not convincing.  Homola, who was very outspoken about some of the irrational and even abusive practices of his colleagues, believes that "Whatever effect neck manipulation might have on blood pressure, the claim by chiropractic NUCCA 'upper cervical specialists' that they can lower blood pressure by correcting minor misalignments of the atlas to relieve “brain stem ischaemia” and to normalize brainstem neural pathways is too implausible to be taken seriously."

His blog is worthy reading for anyone who is interested in this kind of chiropractic care.

It's also important to peruse the many titles on the Chirobase website, particularly those dealing with injuries to the neck which occur as a result of chiropractic manipulations.