Upper Cervical Chiropractic
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NUCCA Videos

What is NUCCA?

NUCCA is a gentle and safe form of chiropractic care, with a focus on permanent results. The NUCCA procedure was designed to correct the entire spine back to a balanced unstressed position. This repositioning reactivates the transmission of healing messages from the brain to the affected part of the body (via the nervous system) so the body's natural self-healing process can begin.

Why is body balance so important?

The spinal column remains straight and balanced as long as the weight of the head is centered over the neck. When the weight of the head is shifted off center, due to an accident or injury, the body will compensate and move into an imbalanced position. In an effort to keep the head centered over the neck, the spine and pelvis will twist and lock into a stressed position. This imbalance shows up with one of the legs being longer or shorter, one hip higher or lower, twisting of the body framework, muscular imbalance, abnormal movement, and over time progressive wear and tear.
This body position can cause stress, tension and pressure on the entire nervous system, most importantly the brain stem (base of the brain).  This is very important because our body shuttles millions of electrical and chemical impulses back and forth from the brain to every cell of our body each day. Any restriction or distortion of those messages (nerve impulses) can affect every body function. Many of these messages are unconscious such as breathing, digestion, and circulation. If this is not corrected, the long term effect is degeneration of that part of the body serviced by those restricted messages-resulting in mild to severe pain, lowered resistance to illness, behavioral changes, organ dysfunction, loss of mobility in limbs, and ultimately-disease.
A partial list of health problems that have responded to NUCCA Health Care:


Arm Pain
Athletic injuries
Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD or ADHD)
Back Pain
Bed wetting
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy
Child Development Problems
Child Sensory Disorders
Chronic Facial pain (Bell 's palsy)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic infections
Circulation problems
Digestive problems
Epileptic seizures
Ear infections
Ear ringing or buzzing
Eye infections
Fibromyalgia symptoms
Flu symptoms
Frequent colds
Growing Pains
Hand Pain
Hay Fever
Headaches (all types)

Herniated or Protruded Disc
High Blood Pressure

Hip Pain
Immune system deficiency
Irregular Menstrual cycles
Joint Pain
Knee Pain
Learning disability
Leg Pain
Low Back Pain
Migraine headaches
Multiple Sclerosis
Muscle Cramps
Muscle Spasms
Neck Pain
Pain (chronic)
Poor vision
Shoulder Pain
Sinus problems
Sleeping problems
Tight muscles
Tingling sensations
T.M.J. Syndrome
Tourett's syndrome
Whiplash injuries

How is body imbalance and brain stem compression corrected?

The main objective of a NUCCA Chiropractor is to restore the entire spine back to a balanced unstressed position. Let us explain how it works at LEI. The doctor will calculate the exact position the entire spine has tilted, shifted, or rotated from its normal anatomical position. The slightest degree of displacement of the spine from its normal position can cause body imbalance and brain stem compression-resulting in increased health problems felt throughout the entire body. By utilizing a formula calculated from physics, geometry and mechanics of x-ray, the doctor is able to make the NUCCA Correction.  The doctor then applies a slight pre-determined pressure just below the ear at the atlas vertebrae (first neck vertebrae) to gently re-position the head over the center of the neck. This re-positioning is what restores body balance and removes brain stem compression.

The NUCCA Correction requires NO FORCEFUL TWISTING, POPPING, OR CRACKING, and is barely felt by the patient.

By correcting the spine with this specificity the entire nervous system begins to function differently. This happens because it no longer has the stress of the entire spinal column affecting it.  It is this balanced unstressed position that allows the body to stabilize and begin a process of recovery (healing). It is the long term stability of the NUCCA Correction that reverses the progressive degenerative effects that body imbalance and brain stem compression has on the entire body.

A NUCCA Correction cannot be made until exacting measurements of body imbalance are determined. After the exam, if it's determined a patient can be accepted for care, precise x-rays are taken and analyzed before the correction. The x-rays taken prior to the correction allow the doctor to determine the exact magnitude and direction the entire spine has shifted from its normal position. These x-rays are unique to the NUCCA Correction and require exacting standards of x-ray alignment, performance and measurement. It should be noted that because of the care and quality of these films, and by using a patented filtering system, patient exposure is reduced significantly over standard medical x-rays (see FAQ).

The calculated vector the doctor determines from the x-ray analysis is as individual to the patient as their fingerprints. No two formulas are the same. After the correction, the doctor will immediately re-measure the patient's posture and exam findings. If an unacceptable correction was made the doctor will recalculate the x-rays and make another correction to be assured the best correction was made on the very first visit to the office. Most patients can begin to feel relief following their first visit.

There are over 250 peer reviewed research articles on upper cervical chiropractic, which have been used to further the NUCCA Spinal corrections effectiveness.  NUCCA is one of the few techniques within the field of Chiropractic to have established it's own research branch within the organization, NUCCRA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research Association). This non-profit arm of the organization consists of a board of directors who's total years in the field combine for over 100 years worth of clinical and research experience.

Changes you might expect following the NUCCA Correction

As soon as the NUCCA Correction is made and body imbalance is restored, IMMEDIATELY, muscles begin to relax, blood and oxygen circulation is increased, healing messages are transmitted from the brain to the affected area and the body's self healing process begins.

The body has now begun a process of recovery from the long term effects of body imbalance. The body may express itself in many different ways following the NUCCA Correction:


Alleviation of pain and symptoms


Tired and/or relaxed feeling


Light headedness/headache


Sinus drainage or popping in the ears


Joint popping as muscles relax


Throbbing or tingling sensations in various areas of the body


Muscle soreness over the first few days as the body has moved into a different position


Pain in the area of an old injury


Skin temperature changes, sometimes perspiration changes


Body elimination-diarrhea or constipation


Painful areas will shift to other areas of the body


Many times discomfort in limbs will begin to move toward the hands and feet and eventually leave the body

Should I see relief instantly?

The severity of the spinal condition will determine the amount of recovery time an individual will need. Some see relief immediately and while others take more time. Being out of pain doesn't mean your body has healed. Usually it takes a month to recover (heal) for every year the spine has been in an imbalanced position (misaligned).  
The Three Phases of NUCCA Care
1. The Acute Phase
The NUCCA doctor's first objective is to correct the entire spine back to normal and restore body balance. This reactivates the body's self healing process in order to relieve pain and symptoms as quickly as possible.

2. Body Stabilization and Healing Process

Most patients get results with the first spinal correction, but the first six weeks after the initial correction is considered a process of recovery and healing. Body balance will be closely monitored during this period to ensure the correction is maintained and healing continues.

3.  Health Maintenace Phase

During this time your body is going to take approximately a month to recover for every year your spine has been misaligned providing the NUCCA Correction is maintained. This phase is where people will begin learning new ways to take better care of themselves, which often times aids in the stability of the NUCCA Correction.If patients maintain their correction by visiting their NUCCA doctor periodically, you can live a pain free life, strengthen your body's natural defense system, and increase the quality and quantity in which you live life.

How often must a patient get a NUCCA Correction?

During the initial stabilization period, a number of NUCCA Corrections may be necessary. Once the spine is in a stable holding position many NUCCA patients may maintain their corrections for weeks or months at a time.  Recovery will continue as long as the NUCCA Correction is maintained. Patients, who allow adequate time for the correction and stabilization of body balance, will see the best long term results.

Final Note

If you have read through all of this intense information we would like to congratulate you. Dr Tumminello is committed to helping you with whatever health goals you have for yourself.  If you have any questions for our office please don't hesitate to call or email us. If you are ready to become a new patient we welcome the opportunity. 



A special thanks to Dr. Daniel O. Clark, D.C., for much of the educational material and illustrations within this website. He has an outstanding commitment to patient education and helping upper cervical doctors get their message across to their patients.

The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) was founded in 1966 by Dr. Ralph Gregory, a Chiropractor from Monroe, Michigan. NUCCA since that time has developed into one of the most well respected spinal correction procedures in all of health care. The NUCCA procedure has its own research organization (NUCCRA) and holds conferences around the U.S. and Canada teaching students and doctors how to more effectively correct spinal misalignments.