The word "subluxation" comes from the Latin words meaning "to dislocate" (luxare) and "somewhat or slightly" (sub). A subluxation means a slight dislocation (misalignment) or biomechanical malfunctioning of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine). These disturbances may irritate nerve roots and the blood vessels which branch off from the spinal cord between each of the vertebrae. This irritation may cause pain and dysfunction in muscle, lymphatic and organ tissue, as well as neurologic imbalance in the normal body processes.
Chiropractors commonly recognize five categories of components present in the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC).
Spinal Kinesiopathology – the loss of normal vertebral positioning and motion in relation to neighboring vertebrae.
Neuropathophysiology – irritation or injury to spinal nerve roots through compression, stretch or more commonly chemical irritation from nearby spinal structures.
Myopathology – pathological changes occurring in the spinal musculature which includes hypertonicity, spasming, fibrosis, weakness and improper or inappropriate functioning. When muscle function declines muscles that support the spine respond in different ways, the spine can weaken or even atrophy.
Histopathology – pathological changes which occur to the spinal tissues such as abnormal bony growths off the vertebral bodies and joints, fibrosis and adhesions of spinal muscles and ligaments, as well as dehydration and degeneration of spinal discs.
Pathophysiology is when there is a trauma to a joint, one of the ways your body responds is the stabilization of the area by forming new bone! With time, calcium deposits build up, eventually as abnormal bony growth. This arthritic 'splinting' of bones is nature's attempt to stabilize the injured joint.
Studies are being conducted on an ongoing basis in the areas of aging, immune system response, hromonal involvement and even genetic consequences, due primarily to the intricacies of the nervous system. The Vertebral Subluxation Complex may be one of the most regular yet overlooked source of health problems.
Chiropractors are skilled in identifying and treating subluxations of the vertebrae. This is achieved through a series of specifically designed chiropractic adjustments used to correct the vertebral subluxations in the patient's spine.
Doctors of Chiropractic are the only healthcare professionals that are thoroughly trained in detection, location and correction of vertebral subluxations. Years of training and clinical practice are required for a chiropractor to master the procedures and analysis needed to fully understand and correct these subluxations.
The information presented on these pages is only a small preview into the scientific and clinical understanding of subluxation. We present these pages just to offer an initial orientation into the complexity effects of subluxations. If you have additional questions, please ask us.