In life there are 3 T's (thoughts, traumas, and toxins) that cause vertebral subluxation complexes to from in a person's spine. As a chiropractor I concern myself with finding and removing these from the spine.
DEFINITION of a vertebral subluxation complex (VSC):
A significant disruption in normal joint bio-mechanics (movement) which compromises the ability of the nervous system (brain & spinal cord) to optimally adapt to the thoughts, traumas, and toxins of every day life.
Ex: Have you ever had an injury or noticed an injury in someone else that took "forever" to go away or maybe it didn't go away at all? Someone who permanently walks with a limp or their head hangs to one side more? Someone who has a "bad knee" or says their low back pain is "normal" and the live with it? These are all examples of the body not being able to ADAPT optimally to the physical stresses of life.
HOW a VSC occurs in the body:
Throughout life the tissues in our joints experience various forms of misuse, disuse, and overuse. This may occur from physical or emotional trauma. It may have been repetitive or a one time experience, regardless of frequency or time, the tissues around the joint will accumulate significant damage (ex=joint capsule tightens, intervertebral disc material deranges, or tears occur in tissue as with sprains/strains).
In response to the tissue damage, the body produces an inflammatory response in the joint which causes vascular congestion, swelling, localized ischemia, pain signals, and reflexive muscular contractions or spasms.
Now within any given joint there's only so much space for your anatomy to move and function optimally. Therefore, the problem with the inflammatory process is that the joint space will swell up with excess fluid. When enough fluid builds up, the joint will lose its normal range of motion and the bio-mechanics become disrupted. Furthermore, pressure and tension are placed on the adjacent nerve roots exiting the joint.
The longer the joint is immobilized and inflamed, the more the tissues around the joint will atrophy & degenerate, the intervertebral discs will degenerate, the bones will begin degenerative joint disease changes, and the ability of the nervous system to signal optimally to target tissues (ex=organs/muscles/ligaments/tendons) will decrease. If the nervous system fails to adapt to the injury, the body will fall further away from homeostasis (the body's internal balancing system) and numerous symptoms will be experienced throughout the body
***Subluxations are only experienced in the spine but joint dysfunction can occur in any of the extremities. We treat extremity issues as well!
SYMPTOMS of the VSC include:
loss of range of motion, pain upon movement, pain upon touch, visible swelling, increased muscular tension or discomfort, muscular weakness, and/or traveling of pain, numbness, or tingling into the extremities.
FINDING the VSC:
We use a combination of objective and subjective assessments when evaluating every single patient. This is accomplished through an array of objective functional neurological assessments as well as skin thermography readings. We do this so that we can get as specific as possible when deciding which joint(s) to treat and how to best treat them.
Subjective examinations search for signs of a VSC, such as swelling, muscle tone increases, tender joints, skin texture changes, and tissue prominences.
REMOVING the VSC:
This is done by hand, as specifically and gently as possible through the Gonstead Method of Chiropractic. This is a very quick and precise adjustment to the joint requiring correction.
Once we remove the interference and restore proper joint motion, the body can go back to its balanced and continuously healing state. The body's communication between the nervous system and the target tissues (ex=organs/tissues) is optimally restored.
OUR PLAN for success includes two major treatments:
1. The removal of the VSC is done by hand with a specific corrective adjustment. This removes the pressure that was on the nervous system so that it can now adapt to the stresses of life effectively.This is the passive part of our treatment protocol.
2. Movement based treatments that will empower the body to heal the injured tissues in the joint(s). Each patient will have their current movement capacity assessed at their joints to find out where their body is unable to express life (movement). Then they will be given specific movements to perform each day to help restore proper tissue function and increase the capacity of their joints to move without injury. These movements will prepare the joints to be able to handle the stress that originally hurt them. This is the active part of our treatment protocol.