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What are subluxations
"A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes
that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health."
Instead of treating your symptoms, your chiropractor is primarily interested in detecting,
reducing, and preventing the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
A subluxation, or more precisely, the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, describes what happens
when spinal bones lose their normal position and motion from stress, trauma, or chemical
The vertebral subluxation complex is the underlying cause of many healthcare problems.
When one or more vertebrae lose their normal position and/or motion, they can interfere with
the normal function of the nervous system that the vertebral bones were meant to house and
protect. This interference can occur as pressure or irritation on the spinal cord, or on the nerve
roots as they pass out of the spinal column. This nerve injury, or interference, is what doctors of
chiropractic call the Vertebral Subluxation Complex - "vertebral" meaning relating to bones of
the spine; “subluxation" meaning the improper motion or position of the vertebra; and
"complex" meaning that the condition consists of many elements.
Chiropractic is not the only health care discipline that recognizes the effect of the Vertebral
Subluxation Complex. The effects of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex are generally relied
upon and accepted among different healing disciplines, and are being studied in many parts of
When the Vertebral Subluxation Complex is present, many things can happen to the spine, to its
related soft tissues, and to the organs and tissues controlled by the affected nerves. The
Vertebral Subluxation Complex usually has five major interrelated components. (Look for the
common Latin roots in these words: kine - movement; patho - disease; neuro nerve; myo -
muscle; histo - tissue.)
This is a serious condition identified by its five parts:
This is fancy way of saying the bones of the spine have lost their normal motion and position. It
restricts your ability to turn and bend. It sets in motion the other four components.
Improper spinal function can choke, stretch, or irritate delicate nerve tissue. The resulting nerve
system dysfunction can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.
Muscles supporting the spine can weaken, atrophy, or become tight and go into spasm. The
resulting scar tissue changes muscle tone, requiring repeated spinal adjustments.
A rise in temperature from an increase in blood and lymph supplies result in swelling and
inflammation. Discs can bulge, herniate, tear, or degenerate. Other soft tissues may suffer
Bone spurs and other abnormal bony growths attempt to fuse malfunctioning spinal joints. This
spinal decay, scar tissue, and long-term nerve dysfunction can cause other systems of the body
The Vertebral Subluxation Complex describes what happens when spinal bones lose their
normal position and motion.
Automobile accidents, improper lifting, alcohol, emotional stress, chemical imbalances, and long
periods of sitting can cause the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
The primary job of the doctor of chiropractic is to detect, reduce, and help prevent the Vertebral
Subluxation Complex using chiropractic manipulation as the primary form of treatment.
Applying a carefully and precisely directed pressure to the spine in a quick manner by hand or
special instrument, the doctor of chiropractic is able to restore normal motion and function to
the spine, thereby reducing or eliminating the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.