When a vertebrae becomes misaligned (moves out of its normal position) or becomes "locked up", this is referred to in the chiropractic profession as a subluxation or "segmental spinal joint dysfunctioning." Subluxations can be caused by a wide range of issues ranging from a minor slip or bump to a car accident or any sudden trauma. When a vertebrae is subluxated, fails to move properly, it begins to put pressure on nerves, blood vessels and can irritate everything around it. This pressure comes with a price. The subluxation interrupts the natural pathways that the messages sent from the brain need to be clear in order to be completed properly. Over the years, we have found out that in our practice, only about 15% of my new patients can point to a single recent traumatic event that caused their problem; the majority of my patient's problems are due to an accumulation of many stressors on their spine, such as sitting at a computer all day, stress at work, old injuries/scar tissue, early arthritis, poor pillows and mattresses and being overweight.
As time goes by and the spinal joint dysfunctioning remains untreated, the spine and surrounding features such as discs can begin to degenerate. This degeneration becomes more difficult to reverse as time goes by as the surrounding muscles, nerves and bones begin to adjust to the new shape. The body is an amazing machine. It will start to accommodate these changes by compensating in other areas. The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is and the longer it takes to get back to near perfect position or functioning.