When it comes to chiropractic care, Doctor of Chiropractic Brett Gottlieb aims higher—where the neck meets the skull, to be exact. This branch of chiropractic that focuses exclusively on the top of the spine is called upper cervical chiropractic, an area Dr. Gottlieb has been specializing in since 1993. The top of the spine features a free-floating vertebra called the atlas. As the only moveable vertebra in the spine, the atlas can become easily misaligned, making it difficult to swivel the skull or send along signals and head pats from the brainstem to the organs and muscles. To compensate, the rest of the spine often contorts itself to keep the atlas directly under the skull, causing one leg to become shorter and leading to more pain down the road.
Dr. Gottlieb looks for such signs of misalignment during examinations. To pick up on each patient’s physical nuances, he administers hands-on exams, computerized nervous-system analyses, and postural exams. Afterward, he reviews findings and works with patients to devise a treatment plan, which may include National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) adjustments to balance out the spine and pelvis or massage-therapy treatments to loosen stiff joints.