In the simplest of terms, the word Subluxation is used to describe a misalignment of one or more spinal vertebral segments resulting in irritation or pressure being put on your spinal nerves. Spinal nerves regulate and provide a two-way signal between many complex systems of your body. If that signal is interfered with or altered as a result of pressure on the nerve, communication becomes disrupted leading to numerous health related problems.
Chiropractors commonly refer to five categories being present in the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) / Joint Dysfunction. These same principles apply to the joints of the extremities as well.
- Spinal Kinesiopathology – is where the vertebrae are either out of position or not moving properly (moving too little or too much). There is often a great deal of mechanical stress here.
- Neuropathophysiology (abnormal nervous system function) - irritation or injury to spinal nerve roots through compression, stretch or more commonly chemical irritation (inflammation) from nearby spinal structures will cause nerves to be overexcited and hyperactive
- Myopathology (Abnormal Muscle Function) - good muscle tone is essential for proper spinal stability and structure. When there is over or under developed muscles on one side of the spine this will lead to a pulling or rotating effect of the vertebrae affecting the supportive and protective properties of the spine.
- Histiopathology (Abnormal soft tissue function) - 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, inflammation of the joints as well as dehydration and degeneration of spinal discs
- Pathophysiology - when there is repetitive stress to a joint one of the ways your body will try and protect itself is by undergoing adaptive changes in bone in order to stabilize and wall off the area from irritation. Essentially nature is trying to keep the bully at a distance. This is done by adding new bone to the area of spinal stress. With time this bone growth becomes abnormal, resulting in degenerative changes we call arthritis.
Our chiropractors are not only trained in identifying and treating vertebral subluxations but there is a significant amount of specific soft tissue work performed in order to properly address the muscular imbalances and soft tissue abnormalities that often accompany these subluxations. Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be the experts at correcting subluxations.