What is Subluxation?
A subluxation occurs when a spinal bone (vertebra) moves out of position and causes an irritation to the surrounding spinal nerves. These nerves, which branch off of the spinal cord and exit between the bones of the spine, then malfunction and cause interference with the signals that travel to and from all parts of your body. It’s similar to an electrical short-circuit that can happen within the wiring system of your home.
Vertebral subluxations can stem from physical, chemical, and emotional causes:
- Physical causes are related to the physical stresses of day-to-day living—bad posture and workstation habits, weak or imbalanced spinal musculature, repetitive motions, acute trauma/injuries, and the “bumps and bangs” of daily life.
- Chemical causes are related to chemicals and toxins that are introduced into our body on a daily basis. These toxins come from the foods we eat, the liquids we drink, and the air we breathe. Sometimes they are intentional through drug or alcohol abuse. Other times they are unintentional such as poor diet and nutrition. Harmful chemicals and toxins decrease the body’s ability to function and impede our ability to deal with both internal and external stresses.
- Emotional causes pertain to stress. Medical research has proven that emotional stress adversely affects physical health. When stress levels grow to extreme levels beyond management, the body responds with neurological, chemical, and hormonal changes that diminish function and immunity, leading to injury and disease.
The brain and spinal cord are made of billions of nerve cells. These cells form a cord of nerve fibers that create the spinal cord. This cord is protected by the bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column as it extends down your back. From there the cord branches into smaller nerves that travel to billions of destinations in your body. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body is under the direct control of the nervous system.
As well as controlling and coordinating the functions of the body, the central nervous system allows us to live in our environment by adapting to the various stimuli that surround us every minute of every day. In order to live healthy lives it is imperative to ensure the nervous system functions properly and free of subluxations.
Subluxations aren’t just about spots of pain in the back, neck, or sciatica. Subluxations eventually lead to systemic dysfunction and disease. These “silent killers” often start out painless—just like cavities, cancer, and many other diseases. When faced with untreated subluxations the human body reacts by performing poorly on every level. The immune system weakens, strength and coordination are negatively affected, and organs may cease to function normally. There can be an increase in pain levels and pain consistency as well as stiffness and fatigue. As if the physical symptoms weren’t bad enough, there may now also be an increase in stress, which would negatively impact one’s emotional well-being.
Infants and children need to have their structural systems checked, as neurological and other health problems have been traced to the structural stress of birth, as well as all of the bumping, banging, falling, and accidents of toddler and childhood years. Even minor falls can cause nerve-damaging subluxations with potential long-term consequences.
We cannot stress this enough: Chiropractic checkups are essential! Doctors of Chiropractic are the only health professionals trained to detect and correct subluxations. Because subluxations are often painless, periodic Chiropractic checkups should be a part of every family’s healthcare routine. Correcting silent subluxations today will help ensure greater physical and emotional health now and may well prevent serious health problems in the future.