Chiropractic Objective

  • Chiropractic Objective

Chiropractors stand apart from other healthcare practitioners in that they are the only ones with specialized training to diagnose and treat spinal subluxations. The term “subluxation” originates from Latin words that mean “slight or somewhat” (sub) and “to dislocate” (luxate). Therefore, the phrase “vertebral subluxation” refers to a minor misalignment or displacement of the spinal bones.

When a vertebral subluxation occurs, a chiropractor has the expertise to realign the affected bone and restore it to its correct position. This is known as an adjustment, which facilitates the body’s healing process. An adjustment typically involves a quick, targeted thrust to a vertebra to correct its movement or position, and is often accompanied by a cracking sound caused by the release of gas. While some patients may initially find this sound startling, the sensation is generally relieving. Occasionally, the patient may experience minor discomfort, particularly if their muscles are tense or in spasm during the procedure. Even if no cracking sound occurs, the adjustment remains vital in restoring the body’s proper functioning. To maintain this restored state, multiple adjustments over time may be necessary, along with complementary therapies such as massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In chiropractic, preventing the recurrence of the problem is just as important as addressing the initial issue.

The vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) is comprised of five components, each of which contributes to the condition in its own way. The components include:

  • Bone Component: When a vertebra is out of position, not moving properly, or degenerating, it can narrow the spaces between bones and irritate or impinge the nerve passing through them.
  • Nerve Component: A disruption in the normal flow of energy along the nerve fibers causes distorted messages from the brain to the tissues that are fed by those nerves. This can lead to a range of conditions, including organ system dysfunction.
  • Muscular Component: Muscles play a crucial role in holding the vertebrae in place, and they both affect and are affected by the VSC. A subluxation can cause muscle spasms, which can further irritate the nerve and exacerbate the condition.
  • Soft Tissue Component: The VSC affects the surrounding tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues as the misaligned vertebrae tug and squeeze the connective tissue with force, leading to stretching or scarring of the soft tissues and potentially causing a permanent instability or restriction.
  • Chemical Component: The VSC can change the body’s chemistry, releasing pro-inflammatory chemicals like “kinins,” which can increase inflammation in the affected area.

If left untreated, the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) can worsen over time, resulting in various conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, muscle trigger points, loss of movement, and muscle weakness and spasm. Since the inception of chiropractic care, chiropractors have recognized the harmful effects of VSC. Recent scientific research further supports the negative impact of subluxations on bodily tissues. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals to maintain a healthy nervous system that is free of subluxations. Only chiropractors are trained to detect, locate, and correct VSC through chiropractic care, ensuring optimal bodily function and overall health.