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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

How Pain Became Gain: Dr. George Gertner’s Recovery from Back Injury Inspired His Treatment Specialty

Dr. George Gertner

Twenty years ago, George Gertner, a chiropractic student at Life University, injured his back while weight lifting. The pain was debilitating and, for a while, seemingly incurable. But the injury led to a discovery that changed Gertner’s life and the trajectory of his chiropractic career. An advanced spinal correction procedure developed by NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association) enabled him to heal from the injury, inspiring him to learn the technique himself. Now, as owner and founder of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York, in White Plains, Gertner is one of only 200 doctors worldwide who perform the NUCCA procedure.

A graduate of Hofstra University, Gertner was weeks from completing his chiropractic training when the injury occurred. “I ended up with two herniated discs in my lower back, with pain that radiated down both legs to my feet,” he recalls. “It was so severe that sitting, standing and even sleeping was unbearable. For more than a year, I was adjusted using every traditional chiropractic procedure available, but I still suffered with severe pain.”

After almost giving up on the profession to which he had dedicated the previous four years of his life, Gertner met Dr. Russell Friedman, an Atlanta chiropractor who is considered the world’s leading specialist in the NUCCA correction. Gertner says Friedman changed his life.

“Immediately after the first visit, I began to feel the amazing results of upper cervical care,” he says. “My body began to heal itself, and the relentless pain that had plagued me now quickly left my body. After my first visit, I’d say I felt 50 percent better, and after only two visits, 95 percent of my pain was gone.”

Unlike other types of chiropractic, the NUCCA procedure is very gentle and does not involve any popping, twisting or cracking, he says. “The primary work is done in the topmost vertebra in the spine, known as the atlas. If the atlas vertebra is out of alignment, the entire spine will twist and compensate underneath it. Correcting that very important area of the spine can provide relief for some of the most severe cases—and many times offer permanent relief.”

For two years after that life-changing treatment, Gertner worked with Friedman in the same office where he’d been a patient. Together they treated all kinds of chronic neck and back pain, as well as headache cases that did not respond to traditional medicine or chiropractic care. In addition they saw improvement in more severe neurological cases, such as fibromyalgia, trigeminal neuralgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. After working with Friedman, Gertner moved back to New York to open his own office in White Plains.

“In my 17 years of practice, I’ve seen more than 10,000 of some of the most severe and chronic cases from all over the world,” he says. “If it weren’t for the pain I went through almost 20 years ago, I would not have had the opportunity to learn about the amazing healing potential through the NUCCA procedure.”

He has written about the procedure, which he calls “the best-kept secret in health care,” in a book, The Gift of Hope.

For more information, visit


Free Dinner Lecture on Advanced Chiropractic Procedure for Pain

Dr. George Gertner, owner and founder of Upper Cervical Chiropractic of New York, will host a free dinner lecture on the NUCCA procedure on March 13 at Westchester Hills Golf Club, in White Plains. His 45-minute lecture will begin at 7 p.m. and be followed by a complimentary dinner. “Anyone who is suffering with severe and chronic pain that has not responded to traditional treatments is welcome to attend,” he says. 

To reserve a seat please call 914.686.6200. For more information about the NUCCA procedure, visit