An upper cervical (vertebrae) doctor is a chiropractor who focuses on the top two vertebrae in your neck, the atlas and the axis, that support your head. When these two vertebrae become misaligned, it affects the rest of the spine and body. Which is why upper cervical care is important yet different from regular chiropractor care.

  1. They take x-rays

Upper cervical doctors will take three x-rays to form a 3-dimensional view of the neck in order to provide the most accurate assessment of misalignment of the upper cervical area. Additional x-rays are typically not needed. So you won’t be charged for something you don’t need.

  1. Measure your body imbalance and nervous system function

At each visit your doctor will perform a series of tests to determine the extent of your misalignment and any improvement that has been made after a correction. They may use paraspinal thermography (heat readings) to measure your nerve function as well as reviewing your posture pre- and post- correction. Your doctor may also use tools to measure your hip height and rotation, leg length, shoulder height, and the lean of the spine.

  1. They won’t adjust you at every visit

Upper cervical doctors work on the belief that healing comes from within and from maintaining your alignment correction. You will only receive a correction when your body shows definitive signs of needing a correction.

  1. Measure the effectiveness of your correction

Immediately following a correction your doctor will review the effectiveness of the correction. They may do this with another thermographic scan, visual inspection of your posture, or another one of their nervous system function tests.

  1. Painless adjustment

Receiving an upper cervical adjustment is pain free unlike other chiropractic corrections. There is no twisting, popping, or cracking.

  1. Concentrates on your head-to-neck balance

Upper cervical doctors focus on just that – the upper cervical or upper vertebrae of your spine. This area is susceptible to injury because they are free floating vertebrae and can affect the health of the body when they are not properly positioned between your head and the spine. Focusing on the upper cervical, these doctors try to help others heal at the root of the problem.