Updated: Mar 9
What is the Difference Between Traditional Chiropractic vs. Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Before we dive into answering this particular question, we must understand that certain professions may practice or focus on specific areas in their vocations.
For example, many orthopedic surgeons specialize in specific parts of the body such as the hand, knee, spine, or shoulder. Attorneys have the option to focus exclusively in different types of law firms including malpractice, personal injury, criminal, or estate planning. Insurance agents may focus on policies pertaining only to auto, life, health, or long-term disability.
That being said...the chiropractic profession is no different.
Licensed chiropractors in their selective state have the option to practice any technique they so choose. Each chiropractic technique has their own style of analysis, protocols, and adjustments.
"Did you know there are over a hundred different chiropractic techniques worldwide..."
Let's take a closer look at the most common chiropractic techniques in the profession today.
Manual Adjusting Chiropractic Techniques
Network Spinal Analysis
Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)
Instrument Based Chiropractic Techniques
Torque Release Technique
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Techniques
Palmer Upper Cervical (Toggle Recoil)
How do I know which Chiropractic Technique is Right for Me?
This is like asking what type of ice cream do you like...or what is your favorite dessert?
Some people prefer manual style adjustments while others like a more gentler approach. The best place to start is by asking specific questions to your chiropractor or their staff before beginning care with them.
Questions to consider before choosing your chiropractor:
Does the doctor perform a manual type of adjustment (with their hands) or a gentler type of adjustment (drop mechanism or instrument assisted?
Does the doctor use some type of instrumentation (infrared thermography) to assess the functioning of the nervous system with care?
Does the doctor take images of your spine?
Does the doctor have specific care plan recommendations after their report of findings?
What Makes Upper Cervical Chiropractic so Different?
When prospective patients are looking for chiropractic care and start researching different options online, they often find “upper cervical chiropractic care” and are confused at what that means.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is when the chiropractor focuses their analysis and adjusting on the upper neck region of the spine.
Referenced sometimes as the cranio-cervical junction, the top bones in your spine are subject to unique stresses because of their shape and function. The top bones in the neck, named atlas (C1) and axis (C2), also support the base of your skull and brain.
When the atlas and axis bones become misaligned, the nervous system traveling from the brain to the body and from the body back to the brain will become compromised.
Due to the misalignment of the upper cervical region, the head develops a tilt. The muscles on one side of the neck become contracted and the muscles on the opposite side of the neck are stretched causing a postural distortion throughout the rest of the body.
Misalignment of the top bones in the and neck irritates the nervous system causing muscular tension leading to a state of imbalance.
This can cause pain, suffering, and decreased quality of life.
Benefits of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care:
Gentler adjustment (no twisting, cracking, or popping)
Objective analysis (infrared thermography, postural, and structural exams, etc.)
Post-resting after adjustment - to facilitate the "holding" process after adjusting the atlas or axis bones
Holding is Healing - the goal isn't to adjust you on each visit but to see how long you are "holding' from your previous adjustment
Talk with your upper cervical doctor today to schedule an appointment and see what makes upper cervical care unique, not only to the health care system, but also to the chiropractic profession.