The Vertebral Subluxation Complex Explained

Doctors of Chiropractic are the only health care professionals trained at the detection, locations and correction of vertebral subluxations. It is truly difficult to explain what a spinal subluxation is and all of the different ways that a persons body can be affected. It requires years of training and clinical practice for a doctor of chiropractic to master the analysis and procedures needed to understand and correct vertebral subluxations. It is Dr. raymond’s personal goal to help patients understand these events and just how his practice can help each person.

The vertebral subluxation has been the focus of years and years of scientific study, research and clinical trials in the attempts to understand the complexity of it.


In the simplest terms, a vertebral subluxation is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of their normal position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. There are 24 bones that make up your spine and between each adjacent bone; spinal nerves exit the spinal cord on both sides. Any pressure or irritation of these spinal nerves causes a malfunction to occur and signals traveling out from those nerves are interfered with, or interupted. The best visual explanation of the pressure buildup that occurs with a vertebral subluxation is to think about a garden hose. Without kinks, the water flows normally and easily, but begin to bend the hose and the flow of water slows. As that bend in the hose gets harder and sharper, the water flow continues slowing until there is just a trickle left. The hose represent the spinal nerves, the water represents the flowing information and signals, and the kink represents the effects of a spinal subluxation.

Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If any signals traveling by way of nerves are interfered with, parts of your body will not get the proper messages and function levels will drop off. A healthy body functions at 100% of its innate abilities, but with interferences, there is no possibility for 100% functionality.

The Doctor of Chiropractic accepts the responsibility of locating, reducing, and correcting spinal subluxations. This is done through a series of chiropractic adjustments, or manipulation, specifically designed to correct subluxations of the spine. Chiropractic physicians have spent many years of learning and training to become the expert at correcting subluxations.

Subluxation: Detailed Explanation

A subluxation literally means “partial dislocation.” This term is used in the chiropractic profession to define a spinal vertebra that is misaligned from its normal positioning, which in turn is interfering or distorting normal nervous system functionality. There are five components that combine to create a spinal or vertebral subluxation complex, or VSC. These five are:

  1. The Osseous Component is where the vertebra are either out of position, not moving properly or are undergoing physical changes such as degeneration. This component is sometimes known as kinesiopathology.
  2. The Nerve Component is the malfunctioning nerve. Research has shown that only a small amount of pressure on the spinal nerves can have a profound impact on the function of nerves. This component is scientifically known as neuropathology.
  3. The Muscle Component is also involved. Since muscles help hold the vertebrae in place, and since nerves control the muscles themselves, muscles are an integral part of any VSC. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. This component is known as myopathology.
  4. The Soft Tissue Component is when you have misaligned vertebrae and the pressure on nerves resulting in changes to the surrounding soft tissues. This means the tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues undergo changes. These changes can occur at the point of the VSC or far away at some end point of the affected nerves. This component is known as histopathology.
  5. The Chemical Component is when all of these components of the VSC are acting on your body, and therefore causing some degree of chemical changes. Theses chemical changes can be slight or massive depending on what parts of the body are affected by your subluxations. This component is often known as biochemical abnormalities.

Chiropractors have known about the dangers of subluxations and the effects caused by them for over 100 years. Today, scientific evidence continues to show the dangers of subluxations and the health benefits of correcting them. To be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference form subluxations. The goal of chiropractic healthcare is to allow your body to function at the highest levels possible. Chiropractic physicians are the ONLY healthcare professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex.