+ Why do we need x-rays?

There is a right way and a wrong way to adjust the upper cervical spine. Any adjustment, whether it is a manipulation, mobilization, trigger point therapy, or upper cervical adustment is a force with direction and magnitude. Improperly applied force can have negative consequences. The upper cervical spine is a very delicate area. X-rays tell us which direction this force must be applied in order to shift vertebral structures back towards normal.

+ Are post-adjustment x-rays necessary?

Sometimes the spine does not shift as anticipated. Post-adjustment x-rays are necessary to determine if the angle of adjusting force was correct or if a different angle is required.

+ Are x-rays safe?

The x-rays we perform are safe. Here is a comparison of the radiation dosages you would experience with our x-rays versus radiaiton you are exposed to in the environment:

Upper cervical x-ray series: 534mrem per series Cosmic radiation: 620mrem per year Food (potassium): 40mrem per year Air (radon): 200mrem per year Jet flight: 0.5-1 mrem per hour in air

Statistically, it is more dangerous to drive to the doctor's office than it is to have the x-rays.

+ How often are x-rays required?

That depends. Most misalignments are stable. The spine will tend to gravitate back to its original misaligned position because the muscles and ligaments have been stretched in that direction. Accidents or injuries can create misalignments; they can also change misalignments. If there is a change in your measured distortion pattern, or if you have any new or unusual symptoms, or if you are not holding your adjustment, or if you have had other people working on your spine, a new set of x-rays may be required.

+ Are there any risks with an upper cervical adjustment?

There are risks involved with any treatment, whether it be acupuncture, massage, physiotherapy, spinal manipulation or upper cervical chiropractic. However, upper cervical chiropractic has been demonstrated to be safe, effective and highly satisfactory. For more information please refer to "Symptomatic reactions, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction associated with upper cervical chiropractic care: A prospective, multicenter, cohort study."

+ How do I know if I need a treatment?

The most reliable method of knowing if you require a treatment is to visit our office for a leg length and postural check. Unfortunately, symptoms are not always a reliable sign. You could be misaligned and feel great; you could also be straight and aligned but feel pain and discomfort.

+ How do I find another chiropractor who practices the same technique?

Chiropractors who practice the same technqiue can typically be found on the NUCCA website. However, not all upper cervical doctors are registered with NUCCA but can be found by asking your doctor.

+ Why can't you use x-rays or MRI's I've already had for this treatmetnt?

It is unlikely that the x-rays you have previously had include the views that we require to perform our analysis, especially of the nasium and vertex. Our x-ray unit is specially aligned to prevent magnification and distortion.

MRIs currently cannot be used for upper cervical techniques. However, research is underway to determine how they can be used for upper cervical chiropractic analysis.

+ Why don't more chiropractors practice the same technique?

Chiropractors are first introduced to a multitude of techniques at their chiropractic colleges. Each college has its own philosophy and core curriculum to which the student is exposed. This will likely form the foundation upon the future chiropractor will base their career. Most schools focus on full-spine techniques so most doctors practice full-spine chiropractic.

+ How did upper cervical chiropractic first originate?

The concept of upper cervical chiropractic first came into being under the direction of BJ Palmer in 1931. Palmer developed the Hole In One Technique which focuses its attention on the C2 vertebra, the axis. Around the same time, two other chiropractors, Wernsing and Loomis, were also developing chiropractic techniques focused on the C1 vertebra which would become the basis for all quadrant-based upper cervical chiropractic including NUCCA. For more information, please visit: http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/ABSTRACTS/UC_Technique_Historically_Considered.shtml

+ What kind of training does a chiropractor have?

Every chiropractor in BC is required to complete two to four years of undergraduate study before being accepted into a school of chiropractic. Chiropractic programs are five years in length. The first three years are comparable to the education required by medical doctors. These years focus on anatomy and physiology, microbiology and biochemistry. The last two years focus on learning diagnostic techniques, performing and reading x-rays, and learning techniques to adjust the spine. Time is also spent in the student clinics treating patients under the supervision of experienced doctors.

+ Why didn't my medical doctor suggest that I see you?

Most medical doctors have a limited knowledge of alternative or natural health care. As well, there is only a small number of upper cervical chiropractors. So, it is not surprising if your medical doctor has limited knowledge about upper cervical chiropractic.

+ How do medical doctors treat spinal pain?

Medical doctors will typically first treat spinal pain with analgesics and muscle relaxants or refer patients to a physiotherapist. If these conservative therapies do not work, a medical doctor may refer out to a physiatrist for injections or to an orthopedic surgeon for a surgical consult.

+ Why doesn't our medical plan cover chiropractic?

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+ Why do I get adjusted in the same spot each time even though I'm hurting ina different area?

Spines have a tendency to gravitate, in varying degrees, back to their original state of misalignment.

+ Why do I get my neck adjusted when it's my lower back that's hurting?

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+ Doesn't everyone have a short leg?

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+ What happens if I actually do have a short leg?

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+ Is it ok if I crack my own neck or back?

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+ How does this treatment differ from other types of chiropractic?

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+ What causes me to go out of alignment?

The primary reason that people go out of adjustment is time. The spine has a tendency to gravitate, in varying degrees, back to its original state of misalignment. If the spine is more used to being crooked than straight, this may occur slowly over months. You may also go out of adjustment from physical abuse. Being under stress or fatigue can also cause you to go out of adjustment.

+ Why should I come for a check up when I feel good?

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+ How does the adjustment work??

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+ Why did my back go out when I didn't do anything to cause my spine to misalign?

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+ How can you help me when I've been told I have spinal arthritis?

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+ Isn't back pain part of getting old?

Growing old doesn't have to hurt. Why are some seniors active and relatively pain-free yet others are disabled and incapacitated by spinal pain? If it was simply old age, they should all hurt.

+ Is it normal for my child to experience back pain?

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+ How do I know I'm getting better?

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