In medicine, you often hear of various syndromes, conditions, complexes, or diseases that may or may not have person’s name tagged to it or is a mesh of alphabet soup. This is done to easily describe a group of symptoms or characteristics without having to list each one individually. But, have you heard of VSC?
The term Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) is used to describe the effects of a “bone out of place,” particularly in the spine. Very simply, it is a group of symptoms or identifiable changes in or around the bony structure of the spine (called vertebra) caused by a subluxation. Now, what exactly is a subluxation? If we break this word down into parts, a luxation is a dislocation of a joint. So, a subluxation is a partial or incomplete dislocation, a bone of out of its proper biomechanical position. This allows the joint surfaces to maintain contact, but it begins to exhibit abnormal joint mechanics.
With a subluxation, the normal motion of the joint will be restricted. It will not be able to move as far or as smoothly as before. The restricted motion causes the muscles used to move that joint to work harder than usual. This leads to another characteristic of a subluxation, the altered tissue changes. They may begin as a spasm or muscle tightness, but over time can lead to chronic soreness and scar tissue development. This can obviously lead to tenderness in the region.
As with any injury, the body’s natural reaction is to develop inflammation. This is its normal defense mechanism to defend and repair itself. This chemical response can irritate any of the nearby nerves. And, if the subluxation is severe enough, a physical irritation of the nerve can also occur. The nerve is such a delicate tissue, that very little irritation is necessary to cause a noticeable change in its function. Dr. Suh with the University of Colorado Biomechanics Department conducted a study in the 1970’s that revealed the weight of a feather could negatively affect the electrical transmission of a nerve by 50%. Now, a nerve does not go to just one point of the body. Many of them will branch and divide off to go to multiple regions and structures. So, if the nerve near its exit point of the spine is reduced in its ability to function, it could have a wide-ranging affect. You can think of this like a car being parked on top of a water hose that is turned on, trying to water the grass. This would inhibit the flow of water which in time will not allow the grass to grow efficiently or even die. So, what does common sense tell us is the solution to this problem? Relieve to pressure off the hose, right? Absolutely. If you let the water flow, it will allow the grass to grow to its fullest potential.
Now, if the joint malposition is not corrected, it over time can also lead to degenerative changes of that joint. It would be like having a bad alignment on your car. If it is not corrected, your car will pull to one side, cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely, and be much harder to handle. These subluxated joints will begin to wear out due to the imbalance of the joint mechanics.
We must care for our bodies as much as we do our cars. Yes, they can do surgery to fuse two or more joints together, but why wait till the problem gets that bad? Besides, I have never heard of anyone having a full spine replacement, have you? So, let’s take care of the one we have. Who do you know that needs to have their spine checked for subluxation and its affects? Tulia Family Chiropractic is ready to help find answers to your questions. Call us at 806-995-4699 or at www.tuliafamilychiro.com to set up an appointment to begin that search.