A chiropractic subluxation involves five main ideas:

1. Spinal mechanical abnormalities that include more specifically alignment and joint motion irregularities. These include hypomobility (joint fixation) or hypermobility (excessive movement of a joint). These result in a pathological ‘end feel’ of the joint on stress testing.

2. Joint motion abnormalities due to trauma (micro/macro) result in inflammation and swelling of the tissues local to that area. If uncorrected, this may lead to fibrosis and degeneration.

3. When a subluxation exists, the spinal nerve in that area may be compressed / pinched and become hypoactive or the nerve may become irritated and hyperactive. Either way, this results in acute pain or chronic pain if uncorrected.

4. Muscle spasm, muscle weakness and muscle atrophy are all responses that may occur when a subluxation develops and the nervous system is affected.

5. Bone and soft-tissue degeneration is an inevitable consequence of uncorrected subluxation and results in shifted postural alignment.

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A chiropractic vertebral subluxation occurs when one vertebra moves out of 'alignment' between the vertebra above it and the vertebra below it. This results in pressure on the nerve that exits between the vertebrae and results in dis-ease in the human body.