What is a Subluxation ? (pronounced sub-luck-say-shun) Subluxations are problem areas of your spine that affect your entire nerve system. In these problem areas the spinal bones are misaligned or have lost their normal range of movement. This irritates or puts pressure on local nerves which interferes with the communication between your brain and body (and vice versa). How do Subluxations Happen? The stresses and strains of everyday living such as housework, gardening, desk work, lifting, or even sleeping on the couch, can cause spinal problems. So can falls, accidents (especially car accidents), sports activities and injuries. In children, subluxations may occur during the birth process, while they learn to walk and play, and from everyday childhood activities. What are Some Warning Signs of Subluxations? Symptoms such as headaches, back pain, neck stiffness, pain in your shoulders, arms or legs, numbness in your hands or feet, or nerveness are the most common signs of subluxations. But like a tooth cavity, most people will have a subluxation long before they notice any symptoms. How are Subluxations Corrected? Your chiropractor will reduce and correct subluxations with highly skilled adjustments to your spine. If the subluxations have been present a short time, you may need only a few adjustments. However, long-term, chronic subluxations will require more frequent adjustments to retrain the problem areas of the spine to hold the vertebrae in their normal, healthy positions. As subluxations are corrected, your nerve system starts to function properly again and your body heals itself. How can I Avoid Subluxations? If you want to keep subluxations from recurring, or new ones from developing, it's best to have periodic adjustments. Combined with a sensible diet and moderate exercise, chiropractic care can help you enjoy the best of health for the rest of your life. Seeing a chiropractor should go with everyone's job! Subluxations prevent you from enjoying the best of health. Only a chiropractor is trained to correct them. Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) Introduction The brain stem and spinal cord are the primary pathways for nerve impulses to and from the brain. Messages back and forth through these nerves control the health and function of virtually every other cell, tissue, organ, and system of the body. Nerve tissue is so important, it is protected by bone. The brain is encased by the skull, and the spinal cord is covered by 24 moving bones of the spinal column. Many everyday things can cause these bones to lose their normal motion or position. This sets off a chain reaction affecting the spinal bones, nerves, muscles, soft tissues, and results in degenerative changes throughout the body. Doctors of Chiropractic refer to this as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Besides describing how the spine can affect your overall health, the Vertebral Subluxation Complex explains why it takes time to restore optimum health. The Vertebral Subluxation Complex is the underlying cause of many health problems and is recognized by its five component parts: Spinal Kinesiopathology Neuropathophysiology Myopathology Histopathology Pathophysiology Spinal Kinesiopathology - abnormal motion of the spinal bones. The bones of the spine are designed to move and protect the delicate spinal cord and nerve roots. But, sometimes their movement is altered, they either become stuck or start moving too much. Abnormal spinal movement is can be caused by physical trauma (repetive motion, car accidents, slips, falls, improper lifting, poor sleeping habits), emotional stress (worry, negative thoughts, fear), or chemical imbalances (alcohol, drugs, toxins, pollutions.) When spinal joints are fixated ('stuck'), other joints must compensate and move too much. This results in distorted normal spinal curves and compromises proper function, causes problems in other areas of the spine. Doctors of Chiropractic can detect this aspect of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex by analyzing your posture, taking diagnostic X-rays, measuring your ability to turn and bend, plus other tests. The primarily effect of the spinal adjustment is to restore proper spinal motion. Neuropathophysiology - abnormal nerve system function Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function can rub, pinch, or irritate the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots. While commonly associated with spinal problems, an actual pinched nerve is quite rare. It is estimated that only 10-15% of spinal-related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue. Nerve tissue irritation can result in numbness, burning, or a 'pins and needles' feeling. This nerve system impairment can affect the tissues, organs, and other systems of the body, increasing the susceptibility of disease and ill health. When the communication lines from the brain to the rest of the body are not functioning properly, you can suffer from hypertension, indigestion, pain, and numbness. Myopathology - abnormal muscle function When spinal joints stop moving properly, muscles have to work much harder to control your spine's movements. As a result some muscles will atrophy (waste away) while others are forced to work harder and go into spasms. In chronic or long standing cases scar tissue can form in these muscles, changing their ability to work. This damage to the supporting muscles of the spine is why repeated adjustments are often necessary and adjustments don't seem to 'hold.' It also explains why long-standing spinal problems are so difficult and time-consuming to correct. Without proper rehabilitation, many patients experience a relapse of their original health complaint. The spinal muscles are the guide wires that support the spine. If they can't work properly, the result will be chronic pain, muscle fatigue and swelling. Histopathology - abnormal soft tissue function When there is spinal joint malfunction, the discs, ligaments, and other connective tissue are also affected. While technically you can't have a 'slipped' disc, the soft pulpy discs that separate each spinal vertebrae can tear, bulge, herniate, and degenerate. Ligaments and other connective tissues in the area of the malfunctioning spinal joint are often involved. Inflammation and swelling accompany the accumulation of blood and lymph, causing a rise in temperature. Unlike most other tissues of the body, discs and ligaments have a poor blood supply. This makes the healing of soft tissues a very slow and time-consuming process. In fact, complete healing often requires continued care even after the relief of obvious symptoms. Ligaments, tendons and spinal discs have a poor blood supply and heal slowly. This is why proper nutrition, rest and repeated spinal adjustments are needed to completely eliminate the cause of your pain. Pathophysiology - abnormal function of the spine and body When there is malfunction or trauma to a joint, one of the ways the body responds is to stabilize the area by growing new bone. Over time, boney deposits can build up, eventually recognizable as bone spurs growing from your spine. This arthritic 'splinting' of adjacent bones is nature's attempt to stabilize the malfunctioning joint. If ignored or neglected long enough, the body can turn a once mobile joint into one solid bone. Throughout the body, degenerative changes can be seen in other organs and systems. Many health conditions not normally considered related to 'back problems,' can often be traced back to the nerve system impairment by the spine. While often seen in the aged, this degenerative condition is not part of the normal aging process. This type of spinal decay is the result of spinal problems which have been ignored or neglected for many years. If your spinal joints are not moving properly, degeneration of your spine and health will be the result. What Causes A Subluxation ? Automobile Accidents Emotional Stress Improper Lifting Alcohol Chemical Imbalances Long periods of sitting Poor Posture Poor Ergonomics Car Accidents / Falls The primary job of the Doctor of Chiropractic is to detect, correct and help prevent the Vertebral Subluxation Complex using Chiropractic spinal manipulation (the Adjustment) as the primary form of treatment. Applying a carefully and precisely directed force exerted by his or her hands to the spine, the Doctor of Chiropractic is able to restore normal motion and function to the spine, thereby reducing or eliminating the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. Subluxations prevent you from enjoying the best of health. Your chiropractor is a specialist in the detection and prevention of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. How do Subluxations affect my health? It is known that every cell in your body is controlled by your nerve system. It is also known that stress on the spinal joints or structures results in interference in the functioning of the spinal nerves. Thus when your spine is subluxated the nerves will suffer and ultimately the organs or tissues that the nerves supply will also suffer. The animation below shows 3 different stages of spinal functioning. 1. The green dot represents ideal spinal functioning, and the nerves fire at a normal, controlled and calm rate. In this stage the brain is able to get clear, accurate signals from the organs and is able to respond appropriately to ensure your body is working as close to optimal as possible. 2. In a 'sub optimal state' the spine isn't quite 100%, and neither are the nerves. Often you are no longer in pain, but since only 10% of your nerves carry pain, you are often not aware that the organs are also not functioning at 100%. 3. In the subluxated state, there is so much chaos in your spine and nerve system that the nerves are unable to send or receive accurate information to and from the brain. As a result you will experience pain, discomfort, headaches, back pain and other obvious symptoms. Chiropractors do not consider a lack of pain to be a key marker in your state of health. Chiropractors look at how well you function as an indicator of your state of health. For instance top athletes often don't have pain, but demand more from their body, hence they seek Chiropractic care to ensure their spine and nerve system are working optimally. Many of us are completely unaware of the millions of processes occurring in our body every day. For instance most people are not aware of their heart beating or their stomach working - your body takes care of all that for you. Thus wouldn't you want to make sure the communication lines from your organs to your brain are working at 100%?
Pages to are hidden for
"What is a Subluxation - Download as DOC - DOC"Please download to view full document