What are Vertebral Subluxations?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2019
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Vertebral subluxations are understood to be s situation in which several different symptoms or health issues are taking place as a result of a misalignment in one or more sections of the spinal column. The diagnosis of a vertebral subluxation is usually issued by a chiropractor. There is a difference between vertebral subluxations and the diagnosis of a spinal subluxation that may be issued by other types of healthcare professionals.

In general, vertebral subluxations are understood to be conditions where relatively small but significant misalignments are present in the spinal column. While the subluxation may appear to be somewhat minor, the presence of the misalignment is creating a number of health problems throughout the body that do not on the surface appear to be directly connected. Proponents of chiropractic treatments tend to believe that when the skeletal structure of the back is not aligned properly, it can lead to problems with muscle groups, nerve function, and the efficiency of various bodily organs.

Chiropractors rely on a dual method of determining the presence of vertebral subluxations. One component of the method is taking and reviewing X-rays of the spinal column. Along with the X-rays, the chiropractor will usually also conduct a physical examination. The idea is to identify any areas of the spine that are not in alignment, and may experience pain when physically touched. The range of motion that is possible for the patient to achieve will also come into play.


Upon arriving at a diagnosis of vertebral subluxation, the chiropractor normally will employ a series of adjustment techniques to help restore the properly alignment to the spine. In many cases, this will require several sessions in order to receive the maximum benefit. Since vertebral subluxations are considered to occur incrementally over a period of time, restoring proper alignment and balance may also take some time to achieve. As the treatments progress, the expectation is that the symptoms will also begin to subside.

At present, not all disciplines of healthcare accept vertebral subluxations are a valid root cause for various symptoms. This of course implies that the use of chiropractic measures to correct the problem may be ineffectual. However, patients who have benefited from spinal adjustments from chiropractic treatments note benefits that range from the elimination of muscle tiredness and tingling to a reduction in nasal congestion.


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