4th Annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey

As part of the upper cervical community, we love knowing how UC practices are doing. Well, the data is in from our 4th annual Upper Cervical Practice Survey of UC docs. We see certain trends that we believe will help you gauge how your practice is doing and set your course/goals moving into 2019.

A big THANK YOU for those who participated in this year’s survey!

Here are some of the most important takeaways for 2018 (we’ll unpack each survey question further below):

  • Most doctors who participated have been in practice 6-10 years (roughly 60% have been in practice 15 years or less). Let’s keep empowering and equipping great new chiropractic students to focus on upper cervical as a specialty!
  • NUCCA once again appears to be the largest upper cervical technique group (40%)
  • 3 years straight, internet marketing has demonstrated to be the best investment in external marketing
  • Patient education remains the most significant form of internal marketing
  • The typical upper cervical practice sees about 140 patient visits/week, gains roughly 18 new patients/month, collects around $30,000/month, and operates a predominately cash practice.
  • 57% of UC doctors have 1-2 employees
  • 2 out of 3 practices have no associates
  • 63% of upper cervical doctors are seeing more collections this year compared to last
  • For the 4th year in a row, the #1 challenge facing upper cervical doctors is consistently obtaining new patients


Now, let’s dig into each question and see what this means for Upper Cervical Care. Also, the knowledge in this Upper Cervical Practice Survey can help you in 2019.


Question 1: How long have you been in practice?

Survey question 1














The number one group in this year’s survey was those doctors who have been in practice 6-10 years (22.22%). 58.48% of doctors have been open 15 years or less. We should all keep doing our best to promote UC specific care and encourage and equip students to follow this path!


Question 2: Which upper cervical technique do you primarily practice?

Survey Q2

















Once again the largest group to participate in the survey was doctors who primarily practice NUCCA (39.77%). NUCCA was also the largest group in 2017 with 39.17%, 2016 with 26.99%, and in 2015 with 39.22%. We’re all an upper cervical family and it’s always good to see each technique flourish.


Question 3: What has been the most effective form of EXTERNAL marketing for your practice in 2018 (not referrals)?

Upper Cervical Practice Survey Q3
















Internet marketing was once again the #1 way upper cervical doctors are attracting new patients into their practices from external sources with 35.67% of doctors indicating this was the best return on investment of external marketing in 2017. We saw the same in 2017 (37.73%) and 2016 (36.11%). In 2015, professional referrals (32%) and internet marketing (30%) were the #1 and #2 responses, so we are seeing that each year internet marketing is a key way that doctors get new patients from external sources.


Question 4: What has been the most effective form of INTERNAL marketing for your practice in 2018 (not results or referrals)?

Upper Cervical Practice Survey Q4












Patient education was once again the #1 generator of new patients from internal sources in 2018 with 53.22% of UC docs reporting this as providing the top results in their practices. Every year of our survey, patient education has been definitively #1 for internal marketing. Making sure that you have great UC content that helps your patients “get it” is a huge asset in attracting new patients. Blogs, email newsletters, email blasts, eBooks, doctor videos, new patient orientation classes, health talks, pamphlets, etc are all great tools for you to implement.


Click here if you’d like to grab a free 2019 Marketing calendar and get some ideas for internal and external marketing.









Question 5: How many NEW PATIENTS does your practice see in a typical month?

Upper Cervical Practice Survey Q5

















The majority of upper cervical practices in our survey saw 6-10 new patients per month in 2018 (22.22%). Overall, the average number of new patients is about 18/month. This has been roughly the case for the past few years. How does your office compare? What goals should you set for new patients/month in 2019? How will you achieve your new patient goals for 2019?


Question 6: How many patient visits does your practice see in a typical week?

Upper Cervical Practice Survey Q6