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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Healing from the Top Down : A Conversation with Dr. George Gertner, DC, President of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York

Nov 11, 2011 12:07AM ● By Marilee Burrell

Dr. George Gertner, DC, President of Upper Chiropractic of New York, located in White Plains

Most people know that chiropractic helps ease chronic pain naturally, without surgery or pharmaceuticals. But many don’t realize that the health benefits of chiropractic extend far beyond the neck and back. That’s especially true of upper cervical chiropractic, a specialized procedure that can ease the symptoms of some neurological conditions, relieve migraine pain, and even help reduce high blood pressure.

We talked to Westchester’s expert on upper cervical chiropractic, Dr. George Gertner, DC, about how the procedure works and how it has changed the lives of his patients.


You specialize in upper cervical chiropractic, which adjusts the top of the spine. Tell me more about this form of chiropractic.

The procedure was developed by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). It’s an advanced spinal correction procedure that enables us to restore the entire spine back to its proper, natural and upright position. This takes pressure off the nervous system and allows the body to return to its natural and healthy state.

A big benefit of this procedure is that it brings relief to people with chronic pain. What types of pain do you treat?
Because the NUCCA correction allows us to treat many conditions at their source, we are able to help severe and chronic conditions that usually only get temporary relief from more traditional methods. Some chronic conditions that respond well to NUCCA care are chronic neck, back and shoulder pain, as well as many severe neurological conditions like migraines, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, trigeminal neuralgia and fibromyalgia.

You’ve also helped some of your patients reduce their high blood pressure. How can adjusting just the top of the spine help turn around a person’s health?

The atlas—the top of the spine—is very close to the brain stem. So when the atlas misaligns, it causes brainstem compression, which can cause elevated blood pressure. The NUCCA procedure removes that compression, reducing blood pressure. A study of the effect of this procedure on blood pressure shows the systolic pressure drops an average of 14 points, and the diastolic 8 points. You can read details of the study in the American Journal for Hypertension and online at WebMD.  

What age do you recommend people come in for their first adjustment? Do you treat children?

I recommend that all children be checked for subluxation, or spinal dysfunction, as early as possible. We usually don’t treat children younger than 2 because they have a hard time sitting still for a chiropractic exam.

What are some of the successes you’ve seen with your patients?

Because the NUCCA procedure is so effective, we see “miracles” on a daily basis. We have helped two deaf people regain their hearing; one patient with MS could only see black and white, but after just one visit was able to see in color again; and several of our patients who were unable to walk are now walking. Those are just a few examples.

Based on those success stories, you’ve written a new book. Tell us about that.

My book is The Gift of Hope: The Path to Healing through Upper Cervical Chiropractic.  It’s a short explanation of how the NUCCA procedure helps many patients with chronic conditions—patients who often have lost hope—get their health back naturally and permanently.

What’s new for UCCNY?

This September, we’ll be moving into a 3,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility. The new location will be at the Westchester Medical Pavilion, located at 311 North Street in White Plains.

Dr. George Gertner, DC, is president of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York. For more information about UCCNY, visit or call 914.686.6200.