What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations.
The word “subluxation” comes from the Latin words meaning “somewhat or slight” (sub) and “to dislocate” (luxate). So the term ‘vertebral subluxation’ literally means a slight dislocation or misalignment of the bones in the spine. The spinal cord is surrounded and protected by the spine (the bony segments of the spine that protect the spinal cord are called vertebra). Because of the spine’s physical relationship to the spinal cord, the entire nervous system can be affected by the chiropractic adjustment. Similarly, a dysfunctional or improperly moving spine can have devastating effects on the nervous system which moderates pain and equally important, controls all hormonal, organ, sensory and muscle function.
It is common for Vertebrae to move out of place
There are many ways in which a vertebra may move out of place. The pressures exerted on the body at birth can sometimes cause the vertebrae to move out of their proper position. A fall, an auto accident or other trauma very often cause the vertebrae to move out of position, causing irritation of the spinal nerve which in turn may cause pain.
Stress, emotional factors, nutritional factors, poor posture, repetitive motions, improper lifting of a heavy object, and many of the activities of daily life often cause the vertebrae of the spinal column to move out of their proper place.
The Chiropractic Adjustment
When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone i.e. vertebrae, and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a “crack.” The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible “cracking” does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. However, the chiropractic adjustment is still important. It allows the information from the brain to the body, and vice versa, to flow again. By realigning the bones of the spinal column, the nerves from the brain stem through the spinal cord, which control the health and function of virtually every other cell, tissue, organ, and system in the body, are able to function properly and the path to overall health is restored. The leak is fixed. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again. To keep the wiring fixed, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In the chiropractic world, keeping the spine aligned and the problem fixed to prevent its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.
There are actually 5 components that contribute to subluxation or in other words the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC):
- Bone Component -where the vertebra is either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing degeneration. This frequently leads to a narrowing of the spaces between the bones through which the nerves pass; often resulting in irritation or impingement of the nerve itself.
- Nervous Component -is the disruption of the normal flow of energy along the nerve fibers, causing the messages traveling along the nerves to become distorted. The result is that all of the tissues that are fed by those nerves receive distorted signals from the brain and, consequently, are not able to function normally. Over time, this can lead to a whole host of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, constipation and other organ system dysfunction.
- Muscular Component -since nerves control the muscles that help hold the vertebrae in place, muscles have to be considered to be an integral part of the vertebral subluxation complex. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. A subluxation can irritate a nerve, the irritated nerve can cause a muscle to spasm, the spasmed muscle pulls the attached vertebrae further out of place, which then further irritates the nerve and you have a vicious cycle. It is no wonder that very few subluxations just go away by themselves.
- Soft Tissue Component -the VSC will also affect the surrounding tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues as the misaligned vertebrae tug and squeeze the connective tissue with tremendous force. Over time, the soft tissues can become stretched out or scarred, leaving the spine with either a permanent instability or restriction.
- Chemical Component -is the change in the chemistry of the body due to the VSC. Most often, the chemical changes, such as the release of a class of chemicals called “kinins,” are pro-inflammatory; meaning that they increase inflammation in the affected area
These changes get progressively worse over time if they are not treated correctly, leading to chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, muscle trigger points, the formation of bone spurs, loss of movement, as well as muscle weakness and spasm. Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxations have on the tissue of the body. In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations.
At Health 1st Center we remove nervous system interference from your body, helping your body to function optimally. Our core belief and therapy center around the chiropractic philosophy: that the source of life is innate flowing from the brain through the nervous system and distributed to the entire body; that true health is not achieved through the ingestion of chemicals or the cutting away of diseased tissues, but is something that comes from within, ultimately it is the body that is able to maintain and heal itself. Based on this philosophy, Dr. Shalabi’s unique approach focuses on the relationship between nutrition and the spine & central nervous system as the key to complete well-being. Our therapy also concentrates on treating musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries represented by pain in your neck, lower back, shoulder, hip and other areas.
Chiropractors are the only healthcare professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care. Your nervous system controls and regulates every cell in your body. When your nervous system doesn’t work right, your musculoskeletal system won’t work right, and neither will you which is why we all need Chiropractors and Chiropractic Care.
Get your spine aligned today and step into a healthy and balanced life with us!