Vertebral Subluxation Complex - it's a mouthful! And what is it, exactly?
When a vertebrae becomes misaligned or moves out of its normal position, the chiropractic profession calls this a subluxation, or more precisely, the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). VSC can be caused by a wide range of issues, from a minor slip or bump to any sudden trauma. It's a problem for our bodies because when a vertebrae is subluxated, it begins to put pressure on nerves, blood vessels and other surrounding structures.
A subluxation interrupts the natural nerve pathways that carry messages to and from the brain. As time goes by, if the subluxation remains untreated, the spine and surrounding features such as discs can begin to degenerate.
Over time, this degeneration becomes more difficult to reverse, and the surrounding muscles, nerves and bones begin to adjust to the new shape. Because the body is a remarkable machine, it will accommodate these changes by compensating in other areas. So the longer the subluxation is untreated, the more changes occur, and the longer it will take for treatment to return the vertebrae to its normal position.
There are five components in identifying vertebral subluxation:
- Spinal Kinesiopathology (movement of the bones)
- Neuropathophysiology (nerve dysfunction)
- Myopathology (muscle changes)
- Histopathology (tissue damage)
- Pathophysiology (abnormal growth)
Chiropractors are expertly trained to manipulate soft and hard tissue. Through small, quick movements, the spine can reposition the vertebrae into its natural position. Through proper treatment, a vertebral subluxation can be corrected back to healthy functionality.