When spinal vertebrae become misaligned or move out of their normal position and exert pressure on nerve tissue, this is referred to in the chiropractic profession as Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC), or more simply, a subluxation. VSC is caused by 3 types of stress: Physical, emotional and chemical. Examples of each type of stress are:
Physical- slips and falls, car accidents or similar 'mobile' traumas, sports injuries, over-strenuous work exercise, poor posture and sleeping in an awkward position.
Emotional- work related pressure/deadlines or incompatibility, financial stress, moving, worry, marraige/divorce, death/illness, a traumatic event.
Chemical- smoking, drugs/medications, excessive alcohol, fumes, preservatives/additives that are consumed and food allergies.
Physical stresses are likely the most obvious to many people. However, it has been my experience that emotional stresses are the most common cause of VSC. This is likely because of the frequency of its occurrence, daily for many, and because of its manifestation into tension within physical body 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 undetected, the spine and surrounding structures, 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 adapt to the new position. Because the body is a remarkable machine, it will start to accommodate these changes by compensating in other areas. The longer the subluxation is left uncorrected, 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 the detection and correction of the VCS. There are numerous adjusting techniques which can realign the vertebrae into its natural position. Through careful and precise adjustments, the spine and nervous system can be corrected back to healthy functionality.