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What is a Subluxation?

First, the brief explanation

In simplest terms, a subluxation is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine. This irritation on the nerves may causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.

Now, a bit more in depth explanation:

Your brain is made up of nerve cells that organize into a thick cord of billions of nerve fibers to create your spinal cord. Your spinal cord extends down your back, protected by your spinal column, where it branches into numerous nerves that travel to various destinations in your body. This is a vast communication system over which a constant stream of messages flows to keep your body working properly.

These messages fill your brain and nerves, sending energy and information to every part of your body; muscles, bones, heart, liver, stomach, eyes, ears, blood vessels, etc. If this connection stopped, you’d quickly die. If the messages were partially blocked or altered, your body would malfunction and the result would be suffering, sickness, disease and a gradual disorganization and decline.

You can go for many weeks without food, for a week or so without water, for a few minutes without air, but not even a second without the life energy and information streaming across your nerves.

To be fully alive, you need to be fully connected. Chiropractors locate and correct subluxations, the small internal distortions that create “disconnections” in your body that interfere with your nervous system communications.

A subluxation can be present for years without producing any signs or symptoms, or it can manifest as a multitude of symptoms no matter what your age. Unfortunately it’s estimated only 8-14% of all nerves can actually sense pain. This means that you may have a subluxation present and not know it; some refer to the subluxation as “the silent killer” for this very reason. The only way to find out if you have subluxations and get them corrected is to see a chiropractor who is trained specifically to assess the nervous system for subluxations and to correct them with chiropractic adjustments.

How does this affect you?

Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100% of their inborn abilities. It is the responsibility of the Dr. Dufour to locate subluxations, and reduce or correct them. This is done through a series of chiropractic adjustments specifically designed to correct the vertebral subluxations in your spine. Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be the experts at correcting subluxations.

Subluxations are really a combination of changes going on in the body all at the same time. It's for this reason many chiropractors often refer to vertebral subluxations as the "Vertebral Subluxation Complex", or "VSC" for short. In the VSC, various things are happening inside your body simultaneously. These various changes, known as "components," are all part of the vertebral subluxation complex. Chiropractors commonly recognize five categories of components present in the VSC.

These five are as follows:

  1. Kinesiopathology – the loss of normal vertebral positioning and motion in relation to neighboring vertebrae
  2. Myopathology – pathological changes occurring in the spinal musculature which includes hypertonicity, spasming, fibrosis, weakness and improper or inappropriate functioning.
  3. Neuropathology – irritation or injury to spinal nerve roots through compression, stretch or more commonly chemical irritation from nearby spinal structures.
  4. Histopathology – pathological changes which occur to the spinal tissues such as abnormal bony growths off the vertebral bodies and joints, fibrosis and adhesions of spinal muscles and ligaments, as well as dehydration and degeneration of spinal discs
  5. Pathophysiology – the biochemical changes taking place in the spinal region which include inflammatory biochemicals from injured tissues and biochemical waste.

Chiropractors have known about the dangers of subluxations for over one hundred years. Today, more scientific evidence is showing 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 from subluxations. Our goal is to allow your body to return itself to the highest level of health possible by correcting VSC. Chiropractors are the ONLY health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the VSC.

Sleeping Positions play a major role in how you feel the next day

Here are some general guidelines for sleeping

  • Sleep so that your back is in a neutral position.
  • The neutral position keeps the back in its natural 3 front-to-back curves that give the spine an “S” shape.
  • Use a towel roll to support your lower back or place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back.
  • Place a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side.
  • Place a pillow under knees if desired when sleeping on your back.

To rise from bed or anytime you're supine

  • Roll onto your side and bend both knees.
  • Drop your feet over the side of the bed as you push with both arms to sit up.
  • Scoot to the edge of the bed and position your feet under your buttocks.
  • Stand up, keeping your back in the neutral position.

Position to avoid

  • Sleeping on your stomach should be avoided.
  • Puts strain on neck and low back.
  • Improper sleeping positions can undo or decrease the effectiveness of your chiropractic adjustments.


The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your spinal cord to your buttock and hip area and down the back of each leg. The term "sciatica" refers to pain that radiates along the path of this nerve — from your back down your buttock and leg.

Sciatica isn't a disorder in and of itself. Instead, sciatica is a symptom of another problem involving the nerve, such as a subluxated vertebra, Piriformis muscle tightness or a bulged disk . Depending on the cause, the pain of acute sciatica — which you may find considerably uncomfortable — usually can be helped via Chiropractic treatment.

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