Little Rock, AR-For over a century, Chiropractic physicians have been diagnosing and treating a deadly and mysterious condition. In fact, you might not even know you have it. This entity, the subluxation, has been linked to virtually every disease process known to medical science yet it often is asymptomatic and undetectable.
Dr. Frank Grimes, D.C. explains, "That is what makes a subluxation such a threat to public health. Medical doctors call high blood pressure the silent killer but at least that condition, whatever it is, is rare. Studies have shown that every single person that visits a chiropractor is found to have a subluxation. That's pretty scary because a lot of people don't even see a chiropractor regularly. They see a dentist twice a year but ignore the recommendations of the World Chiropractic Alliance, International Chiropractors Association, and American Chiropractic Association on regular spine exams."
The exact definition of the spinal subluxation has changed somewhat over the years as chiropractic science advanced. Earlier notions of a spinal segment having to be demonstrably out of alignment and pinching a spinal nerve were discarded for the more exact Vertebral Subluxation Complex or VSC. This is a complex of functional and/or structural and or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system and general health. Dr. Grimes points out that "The process of coming up with a unified definition of the subluxation was very scientific, involving a show of hands and I believe someone had a calculator."
The difficulty in locating these spinal subluxations even with advanced imaging such at CT scans and MRI has, in large part thanks to chiropractic researchers over the years, been overcome by the development of a number of high-tech diagnostic modalities such as low resolution electronic chiropractic thermography and supine leg length differential estimation. Some chiropractors with advanced training are even able to locate subluxations on xrays of the spine that regular medical radiologists would miss.
But the most vital aspect of any chiropractic evaluation remains the hands on palpation required to diagnose more subtle subluxations. Grimes reveals, "This is where the art of chiropractic, as opposed to the science, comes into play. Sorting out those hard to find subluxations can be difficult but eventually you'll find one in pretty much everybody. It's a nice feeling to catch one early before any catastrophic nervous system damage or immune dysfunction has taken place."
Typically, subluxations can be easily treated with a series of chiropractic adjustments, which consist of a series of highly skilled, manipulations of your spine with varying degrees of force, or with certain instruments, and in a variety of locations depending on where the subluxation is found along the spine and what particular technique your chiropractor uses. There are hundreds of different adjustment techniques, all of equivalent efficacy at treating subluxations and improving health. Patients tend to respond better to more frequent visits, some even requiring daily and weekly adjustments. Grimes adds, "Once the patient is out of danger, visits to maintain alignment and prevent subluxations are a must. You don't stop brushing your teeth once a cavity is filled!"
Of growing concern to the chiropractic community is the increasing incidence of adjustment resistant subluxations, and the recent discovery of subluxations resistant even to advanced chiropractic treatments such as non-surgical spinal decompression systems and Applied Kinesiology. Grimes explains, "If this trend continues, we may soon see a day where chiropractors become obsolete. It's a good thing I know how to do acupuncture."