When vertebral (vertebra are the bones that make up the spine) joints become irritated so they can't function properly it is referred to in the chiropractic profession as a subluxation, or more precisely, the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). VSC can be caused by a wide range of issues ranging from a minor slip or bump to a car accident or any sudden trauma. When a vertebrae is subluxated, it may cause a wide variety of problems. Symptoms patients feel are often pain, stiffness or other discomfort in their back or neck. Spinal dysfunction can cause symptoms in almost any part of the body but most commonly in the arms or legs, hips, shoulders and head.
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 can begin to degenerate.
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 function.
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 the manipulation of soft and hard tissue. Small, quick movements to the spine can restore the vertebrae into its natural function. Through treatment, a vertebral subluxation can be corrected back to healthy functionality.