The vertebral subluxation complex happens when the joints in your spine don't move properly. This occurs when the spinal bones (called the vertebrae) move out of their normal position. This is known as subluxation.
The spinal cord is the communication pathway for nerve impulses to and from the brain. Messages passing back and forth through the spinal cord control the health and function of virtually every cell, tissue, organ, and system of the body.
Because vertebrae protect this primary nerve, even a small change in the position of the spinal bones can profoundly affect delicate nerve tissue. The resulting impairment to the nervous system can cause tissues and organs throughout the body to work poorly. This degenerative chain reaction--vertebral subluxation complex--is the cause of many health problems.
The goal of chiropractic is to treat the underlying cause of your problem, not just its symptoms. Your chiropractor will focus on detecting, reducing, and to restore your good health.
Subluxations can be caused by falls, car accidents, improper lifting, poor posture, sports injuries, sitting too long, repetitive work, sudden or violent movement, chemical or emotional stress, lack of exercise, or even hereditary factors. Subluxations are found at all ages; however early stages of subluxations can be found even in very young children.
Diagnosing the subluxation complex
Your Doctor of Chiropractic has years of education, training, and experience focused on conditions of the spine. Your doctor can:
Once the condition is diagnosed, your chiropractor will prescribe a course of treatment to reduce spinal subluxation and prevent further damage.
Your chiropractor's primary tool in treating spinal subluxations is the use of adjustments (spinal manipulation). Applying precisely directed force to the joint that is out of position or not moving properly gradually restores it to a more normal position and function. Depending on what your individual condition requires, the doctor's hands or a special instrument may be used to deliver quick, therapeutic thrust to the affected joint. Other adjustments may use slow, constant pressure.
Your chiropractor may also recommend a program to complement your adjustments. This may include strengthening and flexibility exercises, hot and cold compresses, message, traction, and even diet changes, relaxation techniques, and other behavior modifications.
What you can do
Make a commitment to your recovery by following your doctor's prescribed treatment program. Most importantly of all, keep all of your scheduled appointments. Even after your symptoms ease, regular treatment is needed for complete healing. Stopping treatment prematurely not only delays your full recovery, but can also cause a return of the subluxations.