At the Upper Cervical Research Foundation, we focus on the link between the upper cervical spine and optimal well-being because decades of research shows that problems in the cervical spine can cause progressively degenerative structural, neurological, physiological and pathological symptoms. Yet, when a small but measurable misalignment of the first neck vertebra, also known as the atlas or C-1, is detected and corrected, a return toward good health and normal activity can be realized.

The atlas is a small donut-like ring located at the top of the spine in close proximity to the brain stem which is the part of the central nervous system responsible for controlling vital body functions. When the atlas is subjected to stress or injury, it can become partly misaligned in relation to the skull and the other vertebrae in the neck. We call this the Atlas Subluxation Complex or the ASC. Even a slight structural misalignment of the upper neck will result in a muscular response that shifts body balance from normal and adds stress to the spinal column. This misalignment can block the communication between the brain and body causing progressively degenerative structural, neurological, physiological and pathological symptoms. But proper correction of the ASC restores spinal balance and has a profound and vast impact on the body and overall well-being.

The Procedure

Spinal balance is critical to good health as well as the prevention and recovery of disease and chronic conditions. Therefore, improved postural balance is one of the major physiological outcome measures used to determine the success of upper cervical intervention, particularly with the NUCCA procedure. A well-balanced body allows more energy to be available for natural self-maintenance, self-healing, and better biomechanical and neuro-physiological functioning.

NUCCA stands for the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association, and is a form of chiropractic care that uses a specific procedure to correct the Atlas Subluxation Complex. This subtle correction ultimately restores optimal balance to the entire spinal column.

NUCCA History

In 1941, two chiropractors from Michigan, Dr. Ralph R. Gregory and Dr. John Grostic Sr., joined together in developing an accurate method of rebalancing the body by correcting a misalignment in the upper cervical spine. This procedure effectively helped reduce pain and discomfort and worked to enhance overall well being.

After the death of Dr. Grostic, Dr. Gregory formed the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) organization in 1966 in order to present educational seminars. He also established The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research Association (NUCCRA)in 1971, which later became the Upper Cervical Research Foundation in 2007, to conduct extensive research related to spinal corrections of the upper neck region and its effects on improved health. Until his death in 1990, Dr. Gregory continued to develop the procedure by researching and instituting critical changes that continue to be utilized in many chiropractic practices today.

Upper Cervical Research

Extensive research and clinical studies conducted through the Upper Cervical Research Foundation show that improved body balance effectively reduces structural and neurological stress throughout the entire body. It also shows improved function and overall well-being for a variety of conditions such as lowering blood pressure and reducing physiological stress. Since its inception, the NUCCA procedure has helped thousands of people of all ages regain and maintain their health throughout their lifetime. It is an important part of our health care system and offers a conservative approach to healing that dramatically enhances the body's innate ability to be well.

In order to conduct ongoing research to further the study, implementation, and awareness of upper cervical correction work and its effects on health, UCRF seeks grants and accepts contributions from individuals, corporations, institutions and government sources to support selected projects. We use consultants when necessary and partner with other institutions and organizations, both academic and non-academic, private and public, and with individual practitioners depending on the scope and needs of the research program.

For more than six decades, our research continues to demonstrate that significantly improved health and enhanced well-being can result from the integration of the NUCCA procedure into individualized healthcare programs.

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