Upper Cervical Care FAQ’s

Is upper cervical care safe?

Yes. There are no drugs, surgeries, or painful manipulations of the spine with upper cervical care. An upper cervical chiropractor uses x-rays and the patient’s medical history to determine the safest and most efficient treatment process.

Is upper cervical care painful?

No. Upper cervical chiropractic corrections do not require any twisting, popping, or cracking of the patient’s neck or spine. At most, the patient may feel a small amount of pressure around the upper cervical area.

How is upper cervical care different from regular chiropractic care?

The biggest difference between upper cervical care and regular chiropractic care is the painless treatment process. Upper cervical care does not require any twisting or popping to manipulate the spine. An upper cervical chiropractor focuses on the health of the neck vertebrae knowing the rest of the spine will follow suit when the top two are in working order.

Why are x-rays taken?

“To see, is to know.”  X-rays are initially taken to provide a clear view of the misalignment in the patient in order to provide them an accurate and tailored correction. After your initial correction another set of x-rays are taken to ensure that the correction was effective. Each person’s anatomy and life experiences are different and will respond uniquely to an upper cervical correction. A post x-ray will allow us to know if any modification is still needed – we want to make sure we provide the most effective care for you.

How is a treatment plan created?

A treatment plan is created after an upper cervical chiropractor takes and reviews a patient’s history, examination findings and x-rays. A chiropractic examination will be done in which a patient’s spine, posture and body balance will be recorded and monitored during the course of care.

How long until I am well?

Your treatment plan will be devised to be the most effective in the shortest time allowable. It is important to remember that healing is a continual process and is not completed overnight. For many patients, relief can be immediate but in all cases, time to heal is required. You can continue your care for as long as you want with us. You are in charge of your health care, not your doctor. No doctor can produce health in you or be your health manager. They can be your consultant and that’s all the doctor is designed to be –  a consultant. They can give you advice, you choose to take it or not. As a chiropractor, our job is to remove interference, specifically as an upper cervical doctor, our job is to remove interference around the brain stem which will promote healing of your body

How long will I need upper cervical care?

THIS WILL NOT BE A SHORT ANSWER, BUT IT’S IMPORTANT!  The perspective for many is that once they get the pressure removed or the pain disappears after an alignment, they think that their problem is fixed and that they don’t need further care – and that’s fine. But it is important to remember that life does still happen and stress along with it. When stress builds up, we typically shift back into a stressed position and out of alignment. Then things can start to become dysfunctional again. Pain and discomfort return. The reason that people go to an upper cervical doctor on a regular basis is the same reason you go to a dentist regularly. Just as people go to the dentist to correct cavities and tooth decay, people seek out upper cervical care to correct misalignments around the brain stem and spinal decay. When the dentist has corrected the cavities, THEN we continue to have regular maintenance check-ups to ensure cavities have not returned, cleanings and reminders about dental hygiene. Similarly, in upper cervical care, there are maintenance check-ups to ensure you are misalignment-free and utilizing spinal hygiene to maintain your nerve system health.

It’s not a forced thing. It is a choice. Some people choose to have their alignment checked on a regular basis to make sure that they continue functioning properly. They realize that sometimes there is dysfunction but we just haven’t noticed the symptoms yet. Think of it like this: When the check engine light comes on in the car, it’s usually because there is something majorly wrong. You better pull over to the side of the road and call for a tow truck.  In reality, there’s likely been something wrong for some time now and you just were not aware of the symptoms leading to your car’s breakdown. You might not want to treat your body the same way. You want to make sure you are getting regular scheduled maintenance to make sure things are staying on track.


If the pain is in my legs, why am I getting an adjustment in my neck?

The misalignment of the neck and spine can cause repercussions throughout the whole of the body. The hip can become distorted in order to compensate for the misalignment and as a result pain can be perceived in the legs.

Getting an adjustment makes me feel better, why can’t I have one when I am not feeling well?

You will only get an adjustment when your body actually needs one, based on the tests conducted in our office. The human body is complex and persists in a constant battle to create a healthier you. Sometimes the decisions we make or the circumstances in which we find ourselves create challenges for our body. Upper cervical care takes this into consideration and does not make unnecessary adjustments based on the feeling of sickness or wellness.

How will I know if I lose my alignment?

During your visit, we will go over your recommended treatment plan as well as ways to keep your neck stabilized and when to recognize when the alignment is lost. Not everyone will be able to recognize a lost alignment and if you ever feel that something is wrong, call to make an appointment to have your spine checked.

How do people become misaligned?

People can become misaligned many different ways. Most of the time from some sort of accident or injury that occurred at some point in their life. Other times it is exposure to stress or poor posture. The longer the body remains misaligned the more the rest of the body feels the repercussions.

After getting an alignment, it can be lost because we are still subjected to stress on a daily basis and are at risk, even if it is not great, to an injury. Posture while walking, standing, or sitting can cause the neck to become misaligned again as could over exerting yourself while lifting.

Do I have to wear a soft collar and for how long?

Yes, but only for a few hours. After your first correction, the collar should be worn for 4 hours and 3 hours for follow up corrections.

Some people have even worn their collars at additional times when they felt that their neck muscles were weak. This is fine to do but should be done in moderation. Wearing the collar too long, too often can actually weaken the neck muscles and the correction because they are not learning to properly support their head.

How much does each visit cost?

The first visit is to determine if somebody is a candidate for care and is usually around $215 and includes the consultation, examination, and x-rays.

The second visit is for the follow-up consultation to go over the results of your x-rays and your recommended treatment plan.  The cost is $175 and it includes the correction, post x-rays, and soft cervical collar.

Do you have payment plans?

We do not offer payment plans at this time. We do require payment in full at the time of service.

Will my insurance cover the visit?

It depends. Health insurance can be a of a roll of the dice depending on your plan. We use codes that insurance companies recognize, so we can print out a detailed receipt (super-receipt) that will give the insurance company the information they need to know to reimburse patients. We do not bill the insurance company directly. Services are paid for by our patients and then our patients are reimbursed by their insurance company for their care, based on their coverage. It is best to check with your carrier to see what “out of network” benefits you have toward chiropractic care.