What are subluxations (spinal instabilities) and what causes them?
Chiropractic Facts & Figures, Your x-rays.
The most common interference of the flow of information throughout the nervous system is a “subluxation.” A subluxation occurs when a vertebra slips off the elastic disc that cushions it against the vertebra below. This misaligned vertebra then presses down on the nerves, causing a “pinched” nerve, and the nervous system is consequently no longer able to transmit as efficiently as before the messages from the brain to the rest of the body, and this results in loss of function, especially impairment of the immune system.
Subluxations, therefore, can lower the body’s resistance to infection, disease and disability.
What causes Subluxations?
Subluxations are caused by slips, falls, and accidents. They also may be caused by gradual wear and tear brought on by such things as:
long hours of driving
awkward sitting positions
unsafe lifting maneuvers
sudden twisting actions
Pain is only one of the symptoms of spinal instability. Other symptoms of nerve interference are organ dysfunction, respiratory, and digestive problems. If the problems that are caused by nerve interference are treated with medication only temporary relief, if any will be experienced.
One of the more obvious signs of a pinched nerve is decreased mobility and range of motion. Less obviously is the impairment of nerves that are vital in the healing injured tissue, and in the functioning of various organs. Subluxations often go undetected for years because they don’t cause pain in the early stages, and the failure to correct this unnoticed problem often results in serious and permanent damage to organs or to the spine itself. Such spinal damage may include the development of bone spurs, arthritis, spinal fusion finally vertebral degeneration.
Who goes to the Chiropractor?
Blue Collar Workers
People that have health problems and want to enhance their natural healing ability
People that want higher resistance to disease, better sports performance, more energy, emotional well-being, greater relaxation and improved quality of life.
1. Chiropractic Care is Safe and Effective.
The safety of Chiropractic care has been well documented in professional journals of all kinds. Serious side-effects of Chiropractic manipulative therapy occur with approximately one out of every one million adjustments. Compare this to the serious side-effects of medicines and surgical errors to put safety in perspective. Research reveals that some 100,000 people die each year from effects of prescription drugs that were prescribed by their doctors. This isn’t meant to be “M.D. bashing,” it’s just the simple truth about the safety of prescription medications, as reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 1998). The article continues to say, “Discovering new dangers of drugs after marketing is common. Overall, 51% of approved drugs have serious adverse effects not detected prior to approval. Merely discovering adverse affects is not by itself sufficient to protect the public. Each year prescription drugs injure 1.5 million people so severely they require hospitalization and 100,000 die making prescription drugs the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.” So the question was about the safety of Chiropractic care?
2. Chiropractors are real Doctors.
Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.) comprise the second largest health care profession with over 50,000 practitioners in the U.S. They earn the title “doctor” along with Medical Doctors (M.D.), Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.), and Dentists (D.D.S. and D.M.D.).
The educational process leading to the title Doctor of Chiropractic is quite similar to that of an M.D. and D.O. In order to obtain a D.C. degree, a student must complete several years of pre-chiropractic studies at a college or university, followed by four academic years of Chiropractic education (totaling a minimum of 7 years of study). The Chiropractic student’s last year is spent in a clinical internship (similar to M.D. or D.O. “rotations”). During this time the Chiropractic intern, under the supervision of a licensed D.C., will consult, examine and treat patients in a clinic setting. Upon graduation and earning the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. National boards must be passed in order to practice.
Chiropractic students study many of the same textbooks as Medical and Osteopathic students. As a matter of fact, a Chiropractic student accumulates more course hours in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics (how the body moves), neurology, and nutrition than their Medical and Osteopathic colleagues.
3. Chiropractic is part of a wellness lifestyle.
Chiropractic care is like “orthodontics” for the spine. Clinically, repeated Chiropractic adjustments “train” the vertebrae to maintain their proper alignment and movement. Like the time required for braces to achieve correction depends on an individual’s teeth and mouth structure, the time required for proper structural positioning to occur depends on the condition of the patient’s spine, their job and other daily lifestyle activities.
Think of your spinal adjustments like maintaining your car. It’s recommended that you change your car’s oil every 3,000 or so miles. For how long you ask? For as long as you own the car! While some individuals drive 3,000 miles in a week, others do so in a month or two. The point is, however, that we change our oil on a regular basis. The same goes for caring for your spine. Whether to get adjusted weekly, monthly or quarterly depends on each patient’s specific health condition. Remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Don’t let your car’s engine fail before changing its oil!