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What is a Subluxation?
 

Subluxation (misalignment):

A problem with the spine where an abnormal position or movement of the vertebrae disturbs communication within the Central Nervous System causing a disturbance in the body.

How does this affect you? Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages  and will not be able to function at 100% of their innate abilities. In other words, some part of your body will not be working properly.

Doctors of Chiropractic are the only health care professionals who are thoroughly trained in the detection, location and correction of vertebral subluxations.  It requires years of training and clinical practice for a chiropractor to master the analysis and procedures needed to understand and correct subluxations.


Subluxation Degeneration:

Near Normal

 

We will call this picture a "near normal" spine. Compare this spine with the ones you will see below on this page. Notice the normal forward curve of the neck. This curve helps absorb shock. Notice how each of the disc spaces between C2 (second bone in neck) and C7 are thick and even, this again is normal. Also notice how the front portions (right on the x-ray) of each of the vertebrae (called the 'body' of the vertebrae) are fairly square with clear and well defined borders. This type of arrangement is normal in the neck. Normal vertebrae in other parts of the spine also have similar characteristics to what we see here. When subluxations occur and are left uncorrected, ongoing relentless changes occur that result in damage to the structure and function of the spine along with nerve damage and the resulting problems caused from improper nerve supply.
 

Phase One

 

Phase One Subluxation Degeneration is seen in subluxations that have been present for up to twenty years. This phase is characterized with a loss or change in the normal curve in the spine. On this example you can see that the normal forward (lordotic) curve is lost. This spine even has developed a reverse curve in the neck. The disc spaces have also begun to exhibit a slight change in shape. One good point is that the bodies of each of the vertebrae (the square part in front) still exhibits clean clear borders. Segmental motion may be abnormal but overall motion is probably not affected. Chiropractic reconstructive care for a phase one can take from 6 to 18 months. More than 80% of people with Phase One Subluxation Degeneration have no pain. Therefore, if left uncorrected, phase one continues to progress with time until it eventually reaches the next phase.
 

Phase Two

 

Phase two subluxation degeneration is normally seen in subluxations that have been present between 20 and 40 years. This phase has some of the same characteristics of the previous phase including a loss of normal curvature and position as well as an alteration in segmental motion. In addition, spines with Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration many times show a reduction in the patient's range of motion in that area. X-rays of a phase two begin to show calcium changes or buildup at certain levels of the spine. These changes are sometimes called by many names including spurs and arthritis. Disc spaces between the affected vertebrae are noticeably narrower and may appear to be flattening out. Although most people with Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration may not exhibit any symptoms, some may start to feel stiff or achy. Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase two ranges from 1.5 years to 2.5 years. Again, if Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration is left uncorrected it slowly advances to the next phase.
 

Phase Three

 

Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration is caused by subluxations that have been continuing on for between 40 and 65 years. This phase has all of the attributes of the previous phases, only worse. The curvatures are abnormal, the disc spaces are vastly decreased and changed. Calcium changes on the spine are abundant in this phase. Normally, people in phase three have a restricted range of motion and probably exhibit symptoms of some kind. In phase three the vertebrae show obvious changes and mutations in shape. Projections made of calcium, sometimes referred to as "spurs or lipping", can be readily seen on x-ray. Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase three ranges from 2.5 years to 3.5 years. This does not mean that at the end of this time that any or all of the calcium changes will be gone. In many instances the body adapts to the presence of the calcium and positive changes can only be measured from a functional standpoint. As before, if Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration is left unchecked it slowly advances onward into the next phase.
 

Phase Four

 

Phase four subluxation degeneration is seen with subluxations that have been raging on uncorrected or altered for over sixty five years. Phase four is a grave condition that will negatively affect the patients longevity and quality of life. The massive amount of neurological damage caused by years of subluxation that have lead to phase four are probably taking a serious toll on this person's health status. X-rays in phase four show serious severe structural changes. Vertebrae exhibit massive calcium changes, disc spaces appear blurred, and the bones themselves appear fused. In this scenario the patient will have a severe restriction of range of motion in addition to probably a number of other health issues. Reconstruction may not be possible in phase four, but care can be directed to some reduction in subluxation with the goal of improvement in the quality of life remaining. Patients in Phase Four Subluxation Degeneration have a serious situation both structurally and neurologically, but they are certainly not beyond hope. Many patients in phase four report significant improvements in symptoms, conditions, mobility and quality of life.


Have you or your family checked for vertebral subluxation today!  Call for an appointment with Dr. Greg Nelson at:

(763) 856-2600


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Chiropractic Terms and Definitions.

Adjustment:
The controlled pressure applied to a specific area to correct a misaligned (subluxated) vertebra.

Assessment:
The process of discovery before each treatment is given. By motioning out the spine problem areas are found that need correction.

Cervical:
When discussing the spinal column, this refers to the region of the neck.

Degeneration:
A wear and tear phenomena. When the joints of the body wear out, it is referred to as osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease.

Disc:
The soft tissue between that separates each vertebra.

Ergonomic:
Correct posture and positioning of the body while at work, rest and play.

Herniation:
Condition of the intervertebral disc, whereby some of the material which makes up the disc shifts to a position which irritates the nearby nerve for that spinal area.

Histopathology:
The health and function of soft tissues.

Intervertebral Disc:
This is the soft tissue found between the bones of the spinal column. They help cushion the spine from everyday stress.  Through improper posture, discs can wear out (degenerate). This can lead to the condition known commonly by the laymen, as a "slipped disc", or a disc herniation.

Lumbar:
When discussing the spinal column, this refers to the region of the low back.

Motioning out:
The assessment done by your chiropractor before treatment is giving.

Myopathology:
The health and function of muscles.

Nervous System:
The communication system of the body. Your spine is the main conduit for the nervous system.

Pathophysiology:
The health and function of the entire body as it relates back to the health and function of the spine.

Spinal Kinesiopathology:
Total function of the spine, including mobility, alignment and posture.

Subluxation:
Improper alignment of the spinal bones (vertebrae) irritating or choking some of the nerves.

Vertebrae:
The 24 moveable bones that make up the spine.

Whiplash:
Trauma to the soft tissue in the neck, such as over stretching or tearing, as a result the head jerking in one direction and then the opposite.