Vertebral subluxations happen when vertebrae are out of their proper position or lose normal motion to the point that nervous system function is impaired. Specifically, problems occur when misaligned vertebrae put pressure on nerve roots encased by the spinal cord. Subluxations can be caused by accidents, over-exertion, toxins, tension, stress, or injuries to the spine.
The purpose of the nervous system is to control and coordinate the function of every system, organ, tissue, and cell in our bodies. Displacements of vertebrae irritate and put stress on the nerves that regulate and control the rest of the body, causing the affected tissues and organs to not function properly. Even slight misalignments in the spine may alter the regular transmission of nerve impulses, preventing the afflicted portion of the body from responding with its full capacity.
Spinal misalignments can leave the body susceptible to health problems when decreased nerve function does not allow it to work properly. Some of the effects of spinal misalignments are listed below. The bones in the tables are from the top of your spine to the bottom. There are seven cervical vertebrae of the neck, twelve thoracic vertebrae of the mid back, five lumbar vertebrae of the lower back, and the base- or tailbone.
Left uncorrected, vertebral subluxations can lead to arthritic changes called subluxation degeneration. This is a relentlessly destructive process caused from neglected spinal misalignments or injury. Because pain is not always present, this condition can go undetected for a long time, just like a cavity decaying in a tooth.
Notice the forward curve with equal disc spacing allowing normal function of the nervous system.
Here a spinal misalignment has caused calcium deposits, arthritic decay, narrowing discs, bone spurs, & advanced nerve irritation.
Warning Signals of Spinal Degeneration
1. Limited range of motion: Can you turn your head so your chin is nearly parallel to your shoulder? Can you bend your head so that your ear is within 1-2" of your shoulder? Without moving your feet, can you swivel your hips and turn your upper body 45 degrees both left and right? Can you swivel from your waist 45 degrees both directions? Keeping your body straight, can you bend forward at the waist until you are parallel with the floor? Can you bend backwards from the waist until you're looking straight up?
2. Imbalance in hips, shoulder, or head. Hips or shoulders that are not level, or a head that tilts to one side are abnormal conditions.
3. Difference in the wear of heels on hard soled shoes. This could be a strong indication of a spinal/hip imbalance due to spinal subluxation.
4. Difference in leg length. One leg being longer than the other is an important clue to a larger problem.
5. Palpation: This test requires a partner. Lie face down in a relaxed position. Have your partner press with the blunt end of his fingers (not the tips but the fleshy part where the fingertips are) on the "bumps" along your spine. He should use moderate pressure - about the same amount you'd use to check the ripeness of a melon. Work from the base of the skull to the lower back feeling for each individual vertebrae. Any tenderness, soreness, or discomfort could be a sign of nerve interference.