There are many questions which we are asked on a regular basis about chiropractic. We aim to answer some of those questions here, but please feel free to contact Dr. Pritchett with any of your questions at 925-281-3889 or send us a message via our contact page.

Simply click a question below to find your answer.

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Chiropractic Questions

No. There are numerous techniques used to correct the spine. Even those trained to correct the spine in the same way all have their own unique way of adjusting or interacting with patients. People who may have had a bad experience with one chiropractor may find they are pleasantly surprised with the dramatic changes that are often the result of the gentle approach taken in this office.

No. Chiropractic deals with the spinal column, nervous system, meninges, and body structure. Massage therapists deal with muscle tension, circulation, and body fluid drainage. Simply put, chiropractors move bones and massage therapists work with the muscles.

It’s important to get checked by a chiropractor to determine if you need to be adjusted. Adjustments are made to the spine only when a misalignment is found and needs to be corrected. Very few people make it through life without an injury that causes a misaligned spine. Most of the nerves control ‘function,’ rather than pain, making it frequent for someone to be pain-free or have no noticeable sickness and still be misaligned. Many people have a misaligned (subluxated) spine for years before the crisis occurs that makes them aware of the problem. It is much easier to prevent the damaging effects of the misaligned spine before it breaks down than to recover from its degeneration. It is important for everyone to have a spinal examination annually to make sure that the spine and nervous system are functioning normally.
It is important to stay on the schedule recommended for your care, in order for your body to heal properly. Recommended frequency is determined by lifestyle and how long the spine was misaligned. The goal of NUCCA upper cervical chiropractic is to stabilize your spine so that your body begins to maintain its own alignment. The frequency of visits is then decreased. After the initial healing period and the spine’s stabilization, it is recommended that people maintain their health through check ups by coming in every three to six months. It is normal to get used to feeling more balanced, less stressed, and more energetic as a result of regular NUCCA care. It is always the patient’s decision to remain under care to ensure benefits from a properly functioning nervous system. For more information about what to expect and how often you’ll need to be adjusted, click here.

The NUCCA Technique

We take X-rays only if it is medically necessary. The X-rays reveal the internal structure and alignment of the spine. We are concerned about underlying disease processes and disorders of the spine such as degenerative disc and joint disease, arthritis of the spine, congenital anomalies, bone spurs, disc disorders, tumors, and spinal curvature. X-rays provide a blueprint for correcting the spine back to an aligned position. The precise X-rays taken in our office are necessary to make the measurements used in the vectored analysis necessary to correct the spinal misalignment. We use principles of engineering, mathematics, and physics to realign spines, thus making both before and after X-rays an essential part of our procedures. Without X-rays there is no way to know exactly what the spine looks like, and we don’t want to guess with your health.

Many conditions are the result of a misalignment of the body structures, leading to nervous system problems. Some issues may not be directly related to the spine, but correcting the subluxated/misaligned spine will enable the body to heal itself, better deal with stress, and provide overall health. A consultation with the doctor, a detailed health history and a spinal postural examination can usually determine if you have a misaligned spine and if it relates to the trouble you are having.

If your symptoms are the direct result of the misaligned spine, you will experience some relief shortly after your first spinal correction. Recovery from the long-term effects of the misaligned spine, however, takes about one month for each year the spine has been misaligned. Symptoms are relieved as you recover. Different conditions recover at different intervals. For more information about what to expect during your time at our office, click here.

Misaligned Spine

During the course of our lives (many times in childhood), accidents and injuries tear loose the connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) that hold the spine together, resulting in a weakness that allows the spine to break down and lock into a misaligned/stressed position. This misalignment may not be detected by the individual, because in the early stages, it can often cause problems other than pain, and may be mistakenly disregarded as merely a slight inconvenience. Read more about a misaligned spine in our Health Information section.

Body posture is changed when the spine is misaligned. When lying down, one of the legs appears shorter than the other leg. While standing up, there is a high and low hip and shoulder, the body weight is distributed more on one foot, and there is often a leaning of the body or a tilting of the head to one side or the other side. Oftentimes, shoes may wear unevenly.

If your head and neck have misaligned due to an injury, your entire spine breaks down into an aberrant position, causing your pelvis to tilt and/or rotate, causing one leg to become shorter than the other. In most cases, the legs are physically the same length, they simply function as though they are different lengths. NUCCA is very good at correcting the position of the spine and causing legs to even out.

Back Surgery

In many cases, “Yes!” This is because NUCCA is an effective and conservative approach to spinal problems. It restores normal movement of the spine, as well as the proper alignment, leading to a reduction in symptoms. If NUCCA doesn’t relieve the problem, surgery, or other less conservative means of solving the issue can be performed. Surgery, because it can never be reversed, should be entered into after considering more conservative therapies first.

It’s perfectly safe for many people who have had back surgery to see a chiropractor. In fact, for many people, the symptoms return after surgery – or never go away. NUCCA can also reduce the chances that someone will need another surgery five to ten years after the first.


Anytime is a good time for a better-functioning nervous system. Pregnant mothers find that spinal adjustments improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their baby, as well as helping the baby to be healthier at birth. Women usually respond quickly and their spines stabilize quickly, requiring fewer adjustments. The NUCCA adjustment is performed with the woman on her side, so there is no thrust or pressure on the abdomen or uterus.

It’s important for your chiropractor to have a complete medical history and an accurate picture of your health and any changes that occur. During the initial exam, you must notify your doctor if you know, especially in light of the possibility of having X-rays taken. Even so, X-rays are only taken of the neck, and therefore no radiation is directed at the abdomen.


Children generally respond very well to chiropractic care, because the misalignments have not been present for as many years and their spines haven’t degenerated. Chronic ear infections, stomach aches and leg cramps (growing pains) may be the first signs to appear from a misaligned spine. These may be followed by chronic respiratory problems like allergies, bronchitis, and asthma. Many of the learning disorders and behavioral problems may also be related to the misaligned spine. The distress to the brain and brain stem may affect the ability to focus attention, comprehend, and process information. For more information, click here.

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