Upper Cervical Chiropractic vs. Traditional Chiropractic: What’s the Difference?

On the surface, all chiropractic care may appear to work similarly — patients receive adjustments to fix spinal misalignments. While the well-known “popping” and “cracking” of the spine can be an important part of general chiropractic care, other areas of the field utilize more delicate approaches. One kind of chiropractic care that demands a specialized focus revolves around the upper cervical region of the spine.

Learn more about upper cervical chiropractic care and how it differs from regular chiropractic care.

What Is an Upper Cervical Chiropractor?

Not all chiropractic care is the same. Therefore, patients must find a chiropractor who can provide the right care for their spinal issues. Like in any area of health care, chiropractors can learn about and become proficient in specialized fields and methods, such as the upper cervical care, allowing them to provide more specific care and general care. Upper Cervical techniques rely on precise calculations and are typically delivered without “twisting, turning or popping” the spine. Instead, the Upper Cervical doctor will rely on specific biomechanics and gentle leverage to align the entire spine through the neck. One of these techniques is called Quantum Spinal Mechanics3 (QSM3) www.QSM3.com.

An upper cervical chiropractor has specialized knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the upper cervical spine and methods of correction. As a result, they can provide gentle care options for patients dealing with pain or discomfort stemming from this complex area. Spinal misalignments in the upper cervical area can impact the rest of the body, meaning specialized upper cervical chiropractic care will impact the entire spine; not just the neck. Paired with their general chiropractic knowledge, upper cervical specialists offer a distinctive perspective that can help restore your well-being.

How Do Upper Cervical Chiropractors Differ From Traditional Chiropractors?

To understand the difference between an upper cervical chiropractor and a general chiropractor, you first must have an idea of the upper cervical part of the spine. This area is located right between the head and neck. The top-positioned neck bones here are called C1 and C2, or atlas and axis. Unlike the rest of the spine, the upper cervical space doesn’t feature a disc between vertebrae, which gives us the mobility we need to turn our heads and bend our necks.

However, the composition of the upper cervical vertebrae and the intense, frequent movement of the head and neck make this area more susceptible to spinal misalignment.  Spinal misalignments can occur during the birthing process, childhood falls, sports injuries, studying, poor posture, car accidents or arise from chronic stress. That’s when upper cervical chiropractic care is vital for optimal spinal and neurological health. A chiropractor specializing in that spinal region can offer the proper corrections to get patients on the path to recovery.

Here are some more specific ways to differentiate between a regular chiropractor vs. an upper cervical chiropractor:

1. Focus on Head-Neck Alignment

As stated, upper cervical chiropractors work to correct the specific area between the head and neck. This kind of care is crucial for overall health, as every nerve that stems from the brain passes through the upper cervical area. If your upper cervical spine becomes misaligned, it will always affect the rest of your body. Possible symptoms may include neck pain, headaches, vertigo, disc problems, osteoarthritis and migraines.

2. Offer Precise Corrections, Not Intense Alignments

A regular chiropractor may pop or twist certain areas of the body to provide spinal adjustments. This approach works for many people. However, many people would like a more gentle approach that doesn’t make an audible sound. Others have advanced neurological conditions and/or chronic pain that respond better to les forceful approaches. Because the upper cervical is a unique part of the body, upper cervical chiropractors must handle the area with the utmost care.

These specialists focus more on accurate corrections to ensure they take a more delicate approach. Further, corrections offer stabilization that require less care over time. With precise corrections, many patients a resolution for their ailments that stem from that location of the spine.

3. Provide Additional Testing

Since the upper cervical area can impact the rest of the body when it’s misaligned, upper cervical chiropractors often use additional exams to inform the care process. For example, a specialist will run an X-ray to analyze the neck area and may monitor nervous system function. These tests allow upper cervical chiropractors to create an individualized care plan for each patient and provide the most specific care possible. Additional testing may include neurological instrumentation such as Infrared Thermography and Surface Electromyograghy (sEMG).

4. Can Provide General Chiropractic Care

Although, Upper cervical chiropractors focus on Upper Cervical techniques, they can also offer general chiropractic care as well. You can think of upper cervical chiropractors as general chiropractors who simply have specialized knowledge of the cervical spine. These practitioners are still well-versed in general chiropractic techniques, so they can offer it to their patients, too.

The Benefits of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care

Receiving upper cervical chiropractic care offers numerous advantages for your overall health. If you’re experiencing a stiff, painful or sore spine (neck or back) that doesn’t go away, it may be worth scheduling an appointment with a specialist. Many can benefit from chiropractic care when they have an upper cervical spine issue.

Relief from an upper spine problem can truly change how you feel physically and mentally. Because nerves provide essential functions for circulation, breathing, movement and feeling, it’s critical to ensure they don’t receive any stress. Correcting and stabilizing a spinal misalignment in the upper cervical spine can remove that stress on your nerves and improve your quality of life.

Contact Us to Learn About the QSM3 Approach

At Upper Cervical Chiropractic of Monmouth, LLC, our doctors use the QSM3 approach to gently and precisely correct upper cervical spine issues. This method is highly effective for healing, as it affects one of the most influential parts of the body — the brain stem and central nervous system. Through careful diagnostics, our team can locate where problems exist and how we can correct them individually.

To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic care and if it can fix your pain, call us at 732-617-9355 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.


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