When a vertebrae becomes misaligned or moves out of its normal position, this is referred to in the chiropractic profession as a subluxation, or more precisely, a vertebral subluxation. Vertebral subluxations can be caused by a wide range of physical and emotional issues ranging from a minor slip, to a car accident, or even being "stressed out." When a vertebrae is subluxated, it begins to put pressure on nerves, blood vessels and other surrounding structures.
The subluxation interrupts the natural nerve pathways that carry messages to and from the brain. In addition, as time goes by and the subluxation remains untreated, the spine and surrounding features such as discs will begin to degenerate at a faster rate.
This degeneration becomes more difficult to reverse as time goes by and the surrounding muscles, nerves and bones begin to adjust to the new shape. Because the body is a remarkable machine, it will start to accommodate these changes by compensating in other areas. The longer the subluxation is untreated, the longer it will take for treatment to return the vertebrae to its normal position.
A vertebral subluxation can be identified by its five components:
- Spinal Kinesiopathology (movement of the bones)
- Neuropathophysiology (nerve dysfunction)
- Myopathology (muscle changes)
- Histopathology (tissue damage)
- Pathophysiology (abnormal growth)
Chiropractors are experts in spinal adjustments. Small, quick movements to the spine can help the body re position the vertebrae into its natural position. Through treatment, a vertebral subluxation can be corrected back to healthy functionality.