What is a Subluxation?
First, the simple explanation.
In simplest terms, a subluxation (a.k.a. Vertebral Subluxation) is when
one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and put pressure
on or irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each
of the bones in your spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes those
nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.
Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the
functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of
your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100%
of their innate abilities. In other words, some part of your body will not be working
It is the responsibility of the Doctor of Chiropractic to locate
subluxations, and reduce or correct them. This is done through a series of chiropractic
adjustments specifically designed to correct the vertebral subluxations in your spine.
Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be the experts
at correcting subluxations.
The Detailed Explanation
Subluxations are really a combination of changes going on
at the same time. These changes occur both in your spine and throughout your body. For
this reason chiropractors often refer to vertebral subluxations as the "Vertebral
Subluxation Complex", or "VSC" for short.
In the VSC, various things are happening inside your body
simultaneously. These various changes, known as "components" are all part of the
vertebral subluxation complex. Chiropractors commonly recognize five categories of
components present in the VSC. These five are:
The osseous (bone) component is where the vertebrae are
either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing physical changes such as
degeneration. This component is sometimes known as kinesiopathology.
The Nerve Component is the malfunctioning of the nerve.
Research has shown that only a small amount of pressure on spinal nerves can have a
profound impact on the function of the nerves. This component is scientifically known as neuropathology.
The Muscle Component is also involved. Since the muscles
help hold the vertebrae in place, and since nerves control the muscles themselves, muscles
are an integral part of any VSC. In fact, muscles both effect, and are
affected by the VSC. This component is known as myopathology.
The Soft Tissue Component is when you have misaligned
vertebrae and pressure on nerves resulting in changes in the surrounding soft tissues.
This means the tendons, ligaments, blood supply and other tissues undergo changes. These
changes can occur at the point of the VSC or far away at some end point
of the affected nerves. This component is also known as histopathology.
The Chemical Component is when all these components of the VSC
are acting on your body, and therefore causing some degree of chemical changes. These
chemical changes can be slight or massive depending of what parts of your body are
affected by your subluxations. This component is often known as biochemical abnormalities.
Chiropractors have known about the dangers of subluxations for over one
hundred years. Today, more scientific evidence is showing the dangers of subluxations and
the health benefits of correcting them. To be truly healthy it is vital that your nerve
system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Chiropractors are the ONLY
health professionals trained in the detection, location and correction of the VSC.