August 31, 2020

Dr. Jose E. Portela-Berrios | Balanced Spine Center

3.3 min read| Published On: August 31st, 2020|

By Akers Editorial

Dr. Jose E. Portela-Berrios | Balanced Spine Center

3.3 min read| Published On: August 31st, 2020|

Q. What is the NUCCA procedure?

A. The NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) procedure is a non-invasive specialized technique that focuses on analyzing the craniocervical junction (upper cervical spine). The goal is to reduce interference to the nervous system and restore balance to the entire spine.

There are only 24 board certified NUCCA doctors worldwide. We are proud to say that, currently, we are the only office in Florida with this designation.

Doctors certified in the NUCCA procedure/correction – done solely by hand and without twisting, turning or popping of the spine – use precise and objective X-rays of the head and neck, along with mathematical measurements to analyze the biomechanical misalignment of the spine and understand how it needs to be restored to its normal position to naturally return it to a balanced and unstressed state. 

Q. Who is a candidate for NUCCA care?

A. Your spine protects your nervous system, and your nervous system is the master controller of your entire body. Therefore, everyone should receive an evaluation to determine whether their body is functioning optimally, effectively and if treatment is necessary. 

Q. Do I need to be in pain to receive an evaluation?

A. Although NUCCA doctors frequently end up seeing patients when they are in pain, the evaluation and measurements that are performed allow the doctor to visualize and correct the misalignment before it even generates symptoms, such as pain. I often refer to the dental profession and how we get our teeth evaluated a minimum of twice annually, regardless of pain levels. This is to ensure that our dental hygiene is preserved, and that, if there are problems, they can be addressed before becoming severe. The same applies to our spine and nervous system, which should be measured and checked regularly to avoid pain and before it affects or minimizes your ability to enjoy daily life or decreases spinal function. 

Q. I have migraine headaches, can NUCCA help me?

A. Although NUCCA care is not focused on any symptom or problem, NUCCA doctors often care for patients who suffer from migraine headaches. The doctor will focus on determining whether there is a biomechanical misalignment affecting the integrity of the upper cervical spine and how that is reducing the body’s capacity to function properly or optimally, whether it is by causing, for example, migraines, neck pain or lower back pain. Although the evaluation and treatment are not focused on any particular symptom, misalignment of the upper spine can lead to spinal and postural distortion, which when subjected to gravity generates stress to multiple tissues of the body, such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, discs, etc. Prolonged stress to these tissues can generate numerous amounts of symptoms, including migraine headaches. 

Q. I have bulging discs and stenosis, Is NUCCA safe for me?

A. NUCCA is generally safe for most patients. However, before the doctor can determine if care is necessary and adequate for them, patients will go through a process. This process involves a consultation, evaluation, exam, and a report of findings. The NUCCA correction is very gentle, therefore it is generally safe for patients suffering from bulging discs, stenosis, and/or arthritis. 

When the head and neck are not properly aligned and the weight of the skull is not evenly distributed on our neck, the body will reflexively react by contracting musculature to attempt to maintain its upright position. 

Your body and postural muscles are constantly working to maintain an upright position. When there is a breakdown in the integrity of your alignment, it will result in uneven weight distributed in all joints and surfaces of your body. Often, this area tends to be the discs of the spine or the lower back. When present for a prolonged period, it can lead to stenosis, arthritic changes, and therefore pain.

As NUCCA practitioners, we focus on restoring on the relationship between the head and neck to restore balance and sustained posture. Although NUCCA focuses on the upper cervical spine, restoring posture and balance results in less stress to all areas of your body including your lower back. 

Q. How can misalignments of the spine affect my nervous system?

A. Your posture reflects your spine, which is what protects your nervous system, which keeps every tissue, cell, organ, and organ system in your body working properly. When there is a misalignment of the spine, whether caused by a prolonged period of improper posture or trauma, it can lead to stress, inflammation, or soft tissue compensation. Changes in the integrity of these tissues, can lead to misalignment of the spine, bulging discs, stenosis, arthritis, pain, and lack of function. Because of the spine’s role in protecting our nervous system, it is advised that spinal integrity be checked, regardless of pain or symptoms. 

Balanced Spine Center


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