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Helping Dr. Norris Golberg of KORU Chiropractic in Louisville, Colorado attain Level One in the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) Certification Program has been one of my greatest honors. The NUCCA technique is known as the most difficult and rigorous chiropractic discipline — as is the NUCCA Certification Program. Doctors and students of NUCCA are a rare breed of perfectionists in pursuit of the easiest, most predictable and consistent reduction/correction of the Atlas Subluxation Complex (A.S.C).


Our new patients are most pleased with NUCCA’s precision and its benefits, and then surprised to learn that NUCCA is not a chiropractic standard which is taught and practiced everywhere. That conversation is enormously important, but this article is a celebration of an achievement by an extraordinary doctor of chiropractic. Suffice it to say that competitive, market-driven economics and politics pervade all areas of life.


For me, NUCCA training and practice, and its integration with other advanced chiropractic principles, requires commitment to lifelong personal growth. For me, that growth is in my ability to work with both sides of my brain, and become a scientist and an artist. Firstly, NUCCA practice requires detailed, technical focus upon the highest standards for pre and post- X-ray production, X-ray analysis and mechanisms of the NUCCA treatment procedure — and once that first NUCCA treatment is provided, taking post-X-rays (repeating two of the original 3 upper cervical pre-X-rays) and translating the post-X-ray analysis into verifying the calculations for correcting the Atlas Subluxation Complex (A.S.C) , or making any modifications indicated for refining that treatment procedure. Then, paying close attention while taking patient’s case histories, performing their physical examinations, diagnosing and providing them with my report-of-findings, accurate prognosis, effective treatment plans, and managing those plans through the diagnostic, corrective, stabilization, healing and wellness phases of care are different matters altogether. 


Here are Dr. Goldberg’s achievements from meeting the NUCCA Level One Certification Candidate Requirements:

An online examination passing grade of 80% demonstrating knowledge and applicable skills in:

  • Understanding of x-ray alignment procedures
  • Theory about distortion, magnification and collimation
  • Structural identification on x-ray
  • X-ray filtration
  • Proper x-ray technique and exposures, image quality
  • Patient adjusting steps and purpose of the individual steps
  • NUCCA Historical perspective
  • Use of NUCCA equipment for patient care
  • Leg check and Anatometer procedures
  • Neurological mechanisms of the cervical region
  • Patient positioning for cervical x-rays

 X-ray requirements for Candidates in Level One:

  • Four views of alignment films. Format can be found in the NUCCA textbook and past monographs. X-ray equipment must be aligned to NUCCA standards to participate in all three levels of certification.
  • Five pre-unanalyzed, consecutive sets of patient x-rays demonstrating necessary protocols for patient placement in all three views (Lateral, Nasium, Vertex).
  • Two consecutive sets of both pre and post x-rays, demonstrating necessary protocols for patient placement.

Critical points of consideration include proper exposures, the use of the appropriate filters, proper views of structures, (i.e. posterior arch on the nasal view), and minimal distortions (i.e. rotation and location of structure on the x-ray film).

Any submission provided for review, must be a current submission and the films taken must be within 30 days of the submission date.

Previously reviewed x-rays may not be resubmitted.

Once a doctor has completed and passed the online exam, alignment films, five consecutive pre x-rays, two consecutive pre and post films, they are eligible as a candidate for the second level of the NUCCA Board Certification process.


Our first step toward Dr. Golberg’s NUCCA Level One Certification was the alignment of his X-ray equipment — a daunting consideration for new NUCCA doctors. This required forty-hours of our time. Then there were the many hours of planning, design, construction, testing, critique and practice using the lead, NUCCA X-ray attenuating filters we made specifically for Dr. Golberg’s X-ray machine. There were hours-and-hours of studying the NUCCA textbook, coaching and refinement of his patient X-ray positioning and X-ray technique, of coaching and practicing the eight-step NUCCA corrective procedure, and the extensive self-assessment process required for achieving the NUCCA X-ray production and analysis standards. Then, Dr. Golberg submitted and re-submitted his X-ray machine alignment X-rays and his patient X-rays to NUCCA for critique and certification, and passed the NUCCA Level One Certification online examination. All of this was accomplished while Dr. Golberg was providing the best care for his patients, successfully promoting and managing his clinic, serving his community, and being an excellent husband and father.

Congratulations to Dr. Goldberg. And thank you for this opportunity for me to “pay it forward” from my NUCCA mentors and my mentor’s mentors to you.