How safe is your neck care_ (1)

Is Neck Cracking Safe?


Many professionals working with the spine treat their patients with relief care instead of corrective care. This type of mobilization to the spine is non-specific. It is used to improve movement and temporarily reduce tension and may include twisting, jerking, bending and cracking. Even though built up tension is temporarily released, relief care does nothing to correct the exact origin from which pain and stiffness radiate, but remember that not all chiropractors practice in this manner.

Many people are concerned about the safety of a neck adjustment. This is because when most of us think of a neck adjustment, we recall experiencing an aggressive “twist and crack” or heard painful stories with adverse and dangerous reactions. Some have even heard from doctors never to receive a neck adjustment, and it is important to understand why: there are different types of cervical (neck) care. Most healthcare professionals are familiar with conventional “twist and crack” methods, and have no experience working with qualified Upper Cervical Doctors. In order to make the best possible decision for our health, it is important to understand the different types of treatment available. 

Adjustments in the neck area should only be performed by a trained professional (Upper Cervical Doctor) when absolutely necessary. Upper Cervical Care is a proven and effective alternative to neck cracking that relieves patients from neck pain and tension without risking injury to the delicate structures of the neck. 



Upper Cervical Care Published Safety Findings


The Upper Cervical Safety Study demonstrates that upper cervical specific chiropractic care is a safe approach. It also shows effectiveness and a high level of patient satisfaction. “Dr. Kirk Eriksen and Dr. Bo Rochester published a large prospective study looking at symptomatic reactions, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction associated with upper cervical chiropractic care. Consecutive new patients from the offices of 83 chiropractors were recruited for this practice-based study. A total of 1,090 patients completed the study having 4,920 office visits requiring 2,653 upper cervical adjustments over a period of seventeen days.” -Safety Study

What were the results?

  1. The 83 chiropractors administered >5 million career upper cervical adjustments without one reported incidence of serious adverse effects. Mild symptomatic reactions of less than 24 hour duration occurred in only 5% of adjustments.
  2. Outcome assessments were significantly improved for neck pain and disability, headache, mid-back pain in less than three weeks of care.
  3. 91% patient satisfaction.

      -Safety Study



How is Upper Cervical Care Different?


Image-guided upper cervical corrective care is based on detailed measurements. Not one adjustment is the same, because not one spine is the same. Differences between individuals are accommodated with personally tailored upper cervical adjustments. Structural imaging provides an accurate depiction of spinal structures. “At Clear Chiropractic, we take a full set of 3D images. With five images, all capturing different angles, we can see exactly how each joint angle fits together. Every adjustment is tailored to a person’s genetics and anatomy so that it can be as gentle and specific as possible.” -Dr. Bekki Ellis


Non-manipulative – the technique is so precise, it involves no twisting, cracking, bending, popping, jerking or pain. The joints are not forcefully jarred, which is why there is no crack or pop sound. Dr. Bell and Dr. Ellis use specialized adjusting tables to perform the adjustment from a patient’s personalized measurements and treatment plan.


Neutral position An upper cervical adjustment is performed with a patient lying comfortably on their side, and their spine in its neutral and natural orientation. This allows the doctor to improve the stability of the cervical spine rather than interfere with it– making this approach as safe as possible. Many patients report that the experience is very easy and comfortable. It is the least invasive, most gentle and exact technique available to date. 



Precision = Safety


Doctors at CLEAR Chiropractic are experts in their field. They are trained in precise, gentle, and effective means for correcting the cervical spine. Many detailed calculations are considered before repositioning any vertebrae. Their patients are provided with immediate relief. Intake involves thorough testing to identify and measure upper neck displacements and risk factors. Adjustments are performed only when necessary. An important goal of upper cervical care is for an adjustment to last as long as possible. Instead of depending on a “repeating cracking strategy,” healthcare costs are reduced by eliminating these perpetual and palliative treatment plans. Dr. Bell and Dr. Ellis provide the best possible results with the fewest amount of adjustments; Upper Cervical Care truly is corrective care.

Upper Cervical Care is completely safe for newborn babies and tiny hummingbirds alike. In fact, it is recommended that infants are seen by an upper cervical doctor within the first thirty days after birth. There is no one better qualified to care for the delicate upper cervical spine than CLEAR Chiropractic. Dr. Bell successfully completed her schooling as Student of the Year with clinical honors, and has become one of the first chiropractors with a Diplomate in Chiropractic Craniocervical Junction Procedures (DCCJP) from the International Chiropractors Association. She is the only doctor in the Pacific Northwest with this extensive specialty training.



“Safety Study” UCSpine, Feb. 2020