You may have heard us talk of the brain stem, but do you know what it’s in charge of? What its basic function is? The purpose it serves for your body?
The brain stem acts as a bridge between the lower most part of your brain (cerebrum) and your spinal cord; it carries messages through your nerves to your brain and messages from your brain through your nerves back to your body parts. The brain stem is also made up of several different structures that control some of the most basic functions that keep you alive – your breathing, your heart rate and your blood pressure.
The brain stem also coordinates such things as eye movements, movement of the jaw, tongue and larynx, your facial expressions, and sensations and movements of your neck and head; the brain stem accomplishes that through the cranial nerves that pass through it. Basically, all nerve communication between the brain and the spinal cord passes through the brain stem, so you can certainly understand its importance!
Any type of injury to the brain stem could be devastating. More serious injuries can result in a prolonged coma or what is also known as a “persistent vegetative state.”
You may know someone who has had a stroke that affected the brain stem. Depending on its severity, this type of stroke could be fatal because of the major functions that the brain stem controls, or it could affect the person’s vision, speech, body movements, and sensation of pain.
NUCCA specialists are trained to locate and correct nerve interference in the upper (cervical) spine that may interfere with the nerve communication between the spinal cord and the brain stem. The first two vertebrae of the cervical spine (atlas and axis) house the lowest part of the brain stem, which coordinates all communication between the brain and the body. Keeping this area free from any type of nerve interference is, therefore, critical.
Please be sure to have this area of your body evaluated so you can make sure that this area of your spine is properly aligned, to allow your body to function optimally.
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Dr. Dan Spinato of the San Diego Integrative Spine Center in San Diego, California is a Rancho Penasquitos Chiropractor and an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Over the past 30 years, Dr. Spinato has helped many people find natural relief in San Diego, California. His upper cervical clinic also serves the communities of Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Poway, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Bernardo. He is uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia, allergy and sinus problems and temporomandibular joint disorders. More information can be found on his website at http://www.powaychiropractor.net/
What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.
Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.
Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.
The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.
Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed.
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.
The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:
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