The brain stem and spinal cord are the primary pathways for nerve impulses to and from the brain. Messages back and forth through these nerves control the health and function of virtually every other cell, tissue, organ, and system of the body.
Nerve tissue is so important, it is protected by bone. The brain is encased by the skull, and the spinal cord is covered by 24 moving bones of the spinal column.
Many everyday things can cause these bones to lose their normal motion or position. This sets off a chain reaction affecting the spinal bones, nerves, muscles, soft tissues, and results in degenerative changes throughout the body. Doctors refer to this as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.
The five parts of vertebral subluxation complex occur simultaneously, like the notes of a musical chord.
The Vertebral Subluxation Complex is the underlying cause of many health problems and is recognized by its five component parts.
- spinal kinesiopathology (abnormal motion or position of spinal bones)
The bones of the spine are designed to move, while protecting the spinal cord and nerve roots. Sometimes they can become “stuck,” not move enough, or move too much.This can be caused by physical trauma (repetitive motion, car accidents, slips, fall, etc.), emotional stress (worry, negative thoughts, fear, etc.), or chemical imbalances (alcohol drugs, toxins, pollution, etc.).
- neuropathophysiology (abnormal nervous system function)
Abnormal spinal function can rub, pinch, irritate, or choke the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots. While commonly associated with spinal problems, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually quite rare. Researchers suggest that only 10 – 15% of spinal-related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue. Sometimes, this problem can result in numbness, burning, or a “pins and needles” feeling. More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesion) by improperly functioning spinal structures.
- myopathology (abnormal muscle function)
When muscle function is impaired from too much or too little nerve supply, muscles that support the spine respond in different ways. When nerve impulses are diminished, muscles supporting the spine can weaken or atrophy. When muscles are overstimulated from nerve irritation, supporting muscles can become tight and go into spasm.
- histopathology (abnormal soft tissue function)
When there is spinal joint malfunction, the discs, ligaments, and other connective tissue are affected, too. While technically you can’t have a “slipped” disc, the soft pulpy discs that separate each spinal vertebra can tear, bulge, herniate, and degenerate.
- pathophysiology (abnormal function of the spine and body)
When there is malfunction or trauma to a joint, one of the ways the body responds is to stabilize the area by growing new bone. Over time, calcium deposits can build up, eventually recognizable as bone spurs and other abnormal bony growths. This arthritic “splinting” of adjacent bones is nature’s attempt to stabilize the malfunctioning joint. If ignored or neglected long enough, the body can turn a once mobile joint into a solid block of calcium.
Prevention of the vertebral subluxation complex should be part of every family’s health management strategy.