Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers

We take pride in delivering scientific and precise care with the goal of removing interference from your body’s natural innate healing capacity. The basic premise of upper cervical chiropractic is that your body is a self-healing and self-regulating organism as long as the neurological system is free of interference. True healing is a process that takes place from ‘above down and inside out’, contradictory to the ‘outside in’ paradigm our society is currently familiar with. Barrett Chiropractic recognizes that symptoms, syndromes, and most diseases are the end result of a body that is not functioning properly. While most forms of conventional care focus on removing the effects, Knee Chest Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care is designed to increase the healing potential of the body so that it can heal and repair to the best of its ability without the use of potentially dangerous drugs or surgery. We are here as a partner in your healing process and look forward to helping you achieve your health goals.
  • What is a Subluxation?
    Simply put, a Subluxation is when either the first or second bone (atlas/C1 or axis/C2) in the neck have moved out of place three dimensionally, causing pressure and torsion on the brainstem and nervous system. The cascade effect due to a Subluxation can be numerous, but more importantly, this causes an interference in the communication between the brain and the body not allowing the system as a whole to function optimally. (Sub=Lack of; Lux=Light)
  • Why does the doctor wait until the second visit to adjust me?
    Due to the specific nature of the adjustment, Drs. Derek and Andrea must analyze and measure your X-rays before any correction can take place. The X-ray analysis takes about 30 minutes to complete and Drs. Derek and Andrea can always have these finished by your next appointment. Your atlas and axis are the top two bones that surround the brainstem, which is a very delicate and vital area to work with; there cannot be any guessing about how to adjust you. No two people are the same, every individual is unique and requires different needs.
  • Does being adjusted hurt?
    With a Knee Chest Upper Cervical adjustment, there is no torquing or twisting of the neck. This offers a safe correction that can be very easy to accept. It is a very fast adjustment and some people can be a little startled for their first correction, but almost always comment about how easy it actually was.
  • Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractors focus on C1 and C2 in the cervical spine, does the doctor adjust other areas of the spine as well?
    Although Drs. Derek and Andrea specialize in Upper Cervical Chiropractic, they are also trained in full spine Chiropractic. Our office starts with C1 and C2 (the top two bones in your neck) as proper adjustments to this area tend to address the whole spine. When necessary, Drs. Derek and Andrea will address other parts of the spine as well to ensure proper joint motion.
  • How long will it take in order to feel better?
    After your initial visit, Drs. Derek and Andrea will have a better idea of what length of care will be necessary for your individual case. The first month is typically where you will experience a major change in symptoms, but our main goal is to have you ultimately start holding the adjustment as soon as possible so that your body can start the healing process.   We aren’t trying to achieve a quick fix by covering up symptoms, all proper healing takes time. Your particular case depends on your health history, what other health challenges you may be facing, past accidents and injuries, and other factors like your current medications and stressors in your daily life. Generally speaking, children respond a lot faster than adults because they do not have the same level of spinal degeneration, wear and tear, excessive inflammation, ligament instability, or poor postural habits that are found in many adults.
  • My neck doesn’t hurt, can you still help me?
    Yes. The effects of an upper cervical misalignment can be felt across the entire body, including the low back as well as other structures and functions you are not currently experiencing “pain” or “symptoms” with. You don’t have to have a specific condition in order to benefit from upper cervical chiropractic care other than a misalignment of your upper neck. The upper cervical chiropractic procedure intends to restore proper balance to the spine and nervous system, even if you don’t have pain. Those concerned with human well-being and performance, including athletes, have found this type of spinal care to be beneficial in the achievement of body balance.
  • What should I expect on my first appointment?
    Your initial consultation will be about 45 minutes long in which the Doctor will take a history of your current health status, go over past traumas that may be associated with your health problems, and answer any questions you may have. A thorough examination will be performed that consists of postural evaluation, range of motion testing, orthopedic testing, a thermographic exam of the brainstem to evaluate brainstem function, and X-rays. It is on your next visit that we will have a detailed explanation of our findings with you, and the first adjustment will take place.
  • Does your office take X-rays? Why?
    With the exception of young children, yes. Since the skin in the neck is so thin, there is very little radiation that penetrates through in order to see the cervical vertebrae (neck bones). Upper Cervical Doctors take specialized x-rays in order to get a 3 dimensional view of a patient’s listing. This listing determines the type of adjustment the patient needs in order to clear out their subluxation. X-rays allow us to avoid any guessing as to how to correct your specific misalignment. All x-rays are developed digitally to eliminate the use of film and chemicals. Digital x-rays also significantly reduce the amount of radiation needed for an exposure.
  • What can I expect after my first adjustment?
    Everyone tends to react a little bit different to their first adjustment. A common but normal occurrence following your first correction can be soreness. This can be a different soreness than you might be use to. Since the nervous system is re-calibrating, it will activate different muscle fibers in order to try and hold the adjustment and realign the spine on it’s own. These fibers can get sore, just like working out a new muscle for the first time in a while. The doctors recommend drinking lots of water, applying ice if necessary, and relaxing for that first day after the adjustment. Drs. Derek and Andrea will likely give you a call within the first few days to check in on you and see how you are doing.
  • I’ve been seeing a Chiropractor for years, how is Upper Cervical Chiropractic different?
    The main differences you will find with Upper Cervical Doctors is that we use objective measures to know when and when not to adjust the spine, in other words, these objective measures help us determine if you actually NEED an adjustment. Much like you don’t want to always have to have cavities filled every time you visit your dentist, you must think of the adjustment as something that you ultimately don’t want. When you are holding your adjustment is when you are healing.   Another difference is that we don’t twist or torque the neck to make the adjustment. We try to make the adjustment as quick and easy as possible. You will rest following the adjustment in our recovery suite in order to allow the nervous system to re-calibrate as well as allow the muscle fibers and cells to respond to the correction for the goal of getting it to hold longer.
  • How often do I need to come back?
    Upper cervical procedures are meant to restore proper body balance and allow the body a greater ability for self-healing without the use of potentially dangerous drugs or surgery. For most people, that does not come from a one-time adjustment. A proper care plan specific to your needs, is necessary to make sure that you’re progressing under Drs. Derek and Andrea’s care.   While everyone responds differently, generally speaking, those who choose upper cervical care make fewer repeat visits than with other forms of chiropractic care. The emphasis in this form of spinal care is not on getting adjustments repeatedly, but instead making sure that your adjustment is holding.
  • I’m pregnant, is it okay to see a Chiropractor?
    Absolutely! Both Drs. Derek and Andrea have undergone extensive training in pre and post natal chiropractic care, and are also trained in how to adjust women in all stages of pregnancy in order to help you stay comfortable and to allow proper room for your child to grow healthy and happy.

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