Vertebral Subluxation Defined

Posted on Sep 22, 2019


If you visit a chiropractic office like Lakewoods Chiropractic you might hear people talking about “vertebral subluxations.” Or you might see posters on the wall with those words. To the average person, they might as well be another language. So, what are they, anyway? What’s the definition?

In layman’s terms, a vertebral subluxation is a misalignment of a person’s spinal column. In the medical world, the term subluxation refers to an incomplete or partial dislocation of a joint or organ.

How did the term come about? Back in 1910, the founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, wrote about nerves and how they carry impulses outward and sensations inward. He wrote that the activity of these nerves (more specifically their fibers) could become excited or allayed by impingement, with the result being that they couldn’t function as intended… leading to disease. Meanwhile, Palmer’s son B.J. wrote around the same time that chiropractors could find a cause for every disease in the spine. He believed that in the spinal column a chiropractor could find a subluxation corresponding to every type of disease. Of course, this was rudimentary– but it gives you some perspective on where the idea for vertebral subluxation came from over a century ago.

Nowadays, we take a more refined approach to defining what a chiropractic vertebral subluxation is… According to the World Health Organization, it’s a lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact. It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity.

If that sounds like a lot of big words, it’s perhaps best to sum it up this way: chiropractic involves adjusting the spine to get rid of nerve impingement (pressure) so people feel better. If you’ve got a misaligned spine and there’s nerve interference, you’re likely going to have pain, which could be in your neck, shoulders, back, etc. A chiropractor uses his or her hands to correct that misalignment, helping coax your body to move everything into its right and proper position for optimal functioning.

If you’d like to know more about vertebral subluxation(s), you’d like to ask questions, and/or you’d like to know how chiropractic care can help you, please make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, by calling 651-464-0800 or emailing [email protected]

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