What is a Subluxation?

A subluxation is a term in the medical world that means 'small dislocation'. Or 'minor misalignment'. In the chiropractic realm, we use the word subluxation or 'vertebral subluxation complex' to describe a bone that is out of alignment that also affects the nervous system in some way. Not only will a subluxated bone cause changes that lead to arthritis, but it also causes overstretching of the muscles and ligaments that attach to the bone. If a misaligned bone is left untreated for a certain period of time, the body inevitably suffers.

How does the body suffer?

Here are the 5 major physical changes at accompany a vertebral subluxation. Acute indicates the initial changes while chronic is a long-standing untreated injury.



Acute - Injury that causes a joint to be overstretched (strain/sprain) with possible tearing or rupture.

Chronic - Injury that has become less mobile (stuck) with decreased joint spacing, scar tissue formation, and improper function.



Acute - Increased sensation of a nerve causing increased pain and reflex signals. Also increased blood flow to that region causing swelling and more pain.

Chronic - Nerve and blood deprivation to the injured area with decreased ability to sense joint position and increased sensitivity to pain.



Acute - Muscle stretch with increased nerve firing. This leads to muscle splinting to protect the area (This can be felt as a "knot" in the muscle). Blood supply becomes trapped and muscles lose nourishment. The joint is held in misalignment.

Chronic - Muscle splinting over time causes atrophy and lost stretching ability.



Acute - Torn tissues become swollen and inflamed. The tissues may continue to be overstretched due to swelling. The immune system is used to heal injured tissues.

Chronic - Immune system begins laying down fibrous scar tissue in a disorganized fashion that is weak and injury-prone. Calcium deposits begin forming in the region.



Acute - Signs and symptoms of disease

Chronic - Signs and symptoms of disease


Put simply, the changes that occur are loss of motion, poor nerve communication and blood flow, muscular injury, cellular and tissue changes, and disease.