What can you expect on your first visits?
During your first visit, Dr. Elan will sit down with you to discuss your health concerns, including the history of how it developed and what medical treatments you have received to date. Although this initial consultation paints a picture of your problem, if it is determined you are a candidate for NUCCA care and Dr. Elan accepts your case a detailed examination is necessary to determine the root cause of your health concern. This examination helps Dr. Elan determine if you are a candidate for NUCCA care.
During the examination, Dr. Elan will be focused on exploring the neurological links between your condition and the upper cervical spine. As a NUCCA trained doctor, he is focused on identifying and correcting nerve interference in the upper cervical spine. The examination may include three-dimensional postural evaluation, digital thermography, and a series of non-invasive neurological tests designed to identify potential nerve interference in the upper cervical spine.
If nerve interference is identified through these tests, a 3-dimensional CT scan is taken of your upper cervical spine and carefully analyzed by Dr. Elan. This new technology allows Dr. Elan to evaluate the complete structural situation surrounding the nerve interference around the upper cervical spine and calculate a precise, personally customized adjustment that will influence the entire spine. Schrier Family Chiropractic is currently the only chiropractic office in South Florida utilizing this advanced technology to assess your spine. The 3D CT scan will be analyzed after the initial visit to determine how to start correcting the spine on the 2nd visit. Just like getting braces for the teeth, analysis and measurements are necessary for best results.
The NUCCA adjustment is a correction to the alignment of the upper cervical spine. This correction is done by Dr. Elan placing a specific angled pressure on the side of the upper neck to gently move the atlas bone back into its proper anatomical position. The amount of pressure is just enough to slightly dimple the skin. There is NO cracking or twisting of the neck or spine in the NUCCA upper cervical adjustment. The adjustment is done in a side lying position, so your whole body and neck are in a neutral position.
Once the initial correction is made, Dr. Elan will perform some of the initial neurological and postural tests to determine if the correction improved neurological function and function of your body, and further improvement can be expected. A second CT scan is also taken of the upper cervical spine to determine if the correction has properly repositioned the atlas bone.
Further corrections will be necessary if proper structural balance was not achieved. This is determined by the post CT analysis. These CT scans are NOT taken during every visit. They are only taken during the initial 2 visits and if the spinal misalignment changes though the course of care.
Your plan for full spinal stability is carefully determined by Dr. Elan and is unique to your case. Dr. Elan will adapt this care plan as your level of personal stability and functional improvement are observed following your initial correction. The goal of this care is to restore proper body balance and neurological function, allowing the body to heal its own conditions.
Do you take insurance?
A copy of your insurance card will be made when you arrive at the office. It will be verified while Dr. Elan is reviewing your health history with you at no cost to determine if you are a good candidate for care. Dr. Elan will then review your benefits with you and any costs for care going forward depending on your coverage and what you need. There are many plans within each insurance company, so just the name of the company does not give us enough information to know what the benefits are. We offer a complimentary initial consultation, which means to sit down with the doctor, review your health history and find out if you are a good candidate for care. Examination and testing is not included in the complimentary consultation.
I don’t have a “cervical” problem. Can you still help me?
Yes. Sometimes the name “upper cervical” is confusing. It refers to the neck part of your spine, specifically the top two vertebrae where the head joins the neck. That is the point of application of the NUCCA procedure. However, the effects can be felt across the entire body, including in the low back.
That is because the area where the doctor works has a lot of control and influence on important posture control centers for the body. The NUCCA procedure expects to change the level and rotation on the hips, and the amount of muscle tension traveling down the whole back. Even if your problem is on the other end of the body from the neck, like the low back, knees or feet, the doctor may be able to help.
Can I just come in for a quick adjustment or crack?
At Schrier Family Chiropractic, Dr. Elan specializes in difficult cases and reoccurring health problems that haven’t responded to other types of care, including medical, PT and other forms of chiropractic. Chances are if you are reading this you’ve already tried something else that either didn’t work for you, got you some temporary relief, or got you long term relief but the problem keeps coming back again. If any of those are you, it’s likely that you will need more than one treatment, and instead of doing a quick “crack” that might get you some temporary relief, only to come back or get worse, Dr. Elan would rather carefully study your case to figure out what you need, and deliver high quality care with tailor made adjustments, based on measurements, instead of just guessing. If a quick one time adjustment with no measurements, or analysis is all you want, we may not be the right office for you, and we would be happy to refer you to other chiropractors in the area that may be a better fit. Our standard of care is high, because your health is at stake.
What conditions does NUCCA chiropractic treat?
Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.s) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. Chiropractors are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches. They also get great results with migraines, vertigo, TMJ, fibromyalgia, post concussion syndrome, POTS, dysautonomia, dystonia, brain fog and more. On top of traditional chiropractic training Dr. Elan has completed post graduate training in NUCCA and the Blair technique. NUCCA and Blair doctors have specialized training to give them a more in-depth understanding of the upper neck, brain stem and the relationship between the head and the neck.
Because of this specialization NUCCA doctors tend to help people with a variety of chronic health conditions that have not responded to medical or general chiropractic treatment such as vertigo, migraines, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, trigeminal neuralgia and other conditions. They also care for patients with a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments and joints. These painful conditions often involve or impact the nervous system, which can cause referred pain and dysfunction distant to the region of injury. The benefits of NUCCA chiropractic care extend beyond the care of patients with these conditions. Improving the integrity of the spine has a tremendous impact on maintaining long term health, function and immunity.
Is NUCCA chiropractic treatment safe?
NUCCA Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following NUCCA chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Doctors of chiropractic are well trained professionals who provide patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, even if that requires referral to a medical specialist.
Is NUCCA chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. NUCCA care is always adapted to the individual patient, and its gentle nature makes it highly suitable for the safety and comfort of children.
How is a NUCCA adjustment performed?
A specific NUCCA adjustment requires a significant level of detail to be able to be performed. A 3-dimensional Cone Bean CT analysis allows Dr. Elan to carefully measure the position your skull and upper neck bones. These measurements tell Dr. Elan exactly where and how these bones need to move to restore the balance of your spine and body. Once he has these measurements of your spine, he will place you on your side on a NUCCA adjusting table with your head carefully supported. The NUCCA adjustment is performed using the hands of the trained doctor to apply a pressure on the side of the neck along a specific angle calculated from the CT scan. It is extremely gentle, and there is NO twisting cracking or popping as seen in general chiropractic techniques. This applied force is what repositions the bones of the upper neck, restoring balance to the spine.
What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Doctors of chiropractic are educated as primary health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more. Because chiropractic care includes highly skilled manipulation/adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical technique training to master these important manipulative procedures. In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. NUCCA doctors go on to advanced postgraduate education in the neurology, anatomy and adjusting of the upper cervical spine.
Can I adjust myself?
No. Since a NUCCA adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it is virtually impossible to adjust oneself safely, correctly and accurately. It is possible to turn or bend or twist in certain ways to create a "popping" sound that accompanies some types of chiropractic adjustments. However, this type of joint manipulation is typically counterproductive, and can be compromising in the upper neck area due to the sensitivity of the nerves, ligaments and muscles there. Adjusting the spine is not for amateurs!
Is it OK to see a chiropractor if I'm pregnant?
Pregnant mothers find that NUCCA adjustments help with pregnancy discomforts in their spine, improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby. Careful considerations are taken with pregnant mothers, but it is recommended to consult with Dr. Elan to determine your eligibility and the benefits specific to you.
Why does Dr. Elan use CT scans?
Dr. Elan has stayed on the cutting edge of technology using the most modern imaging available to asses misalignments of the upper neck. Using Cone Beam CT is very new to the chiropractic profession, and this has allowed Dr. Elan to see problems in the upper cervical spine in a true 3-dimensional manner. These scans are used to measure the position of these bones in the upper neck with extreme precision. Using this 3-D technology has also allowed Dr. Elan to have a more complete understanding of all of the factors that can inhibit a patient from making significant progress.
Do adjustments hurt?
Dr. Elan's extensive training in NUCCA allows for extremely gentle adjustments to be performed. This is especially important for patients that have anxiety about getting their neck adjusted. The NUCCA adjustment feels like putting slow pressure on the side of the neck with a finger. There is NO twisting, cracking or popping with a NUCCA adjustment. The only discomfort with the adjustment is related to the way the body responds in the few days following the correction, and it feels similar to after-workout soreness. In most cases patients feel relief immediately following treatment.