Symptoms: There are five stages to Vertebral Subluxation Complex, a condition that worsens over time. The first stage is kinesiopathology which often is felt as nerve irritation. The second stage is neuropathology which is increased nerve irritation, often referred to as a pinched nerve resulting in a ‘pins and needles’ or numb sensation around the spine. The third stage is myopathalogy, which affects the muscles causing them to either atrophy or become too tight which can lead to muscular imbalance, back spasms, and/or back pain. The fourth stage is histopathology, which affects the soft tissue areas and can lead to long-term swelling of structures like ligaments, disks and other soft tissues. The fifth stage is pathophysiology which transforms the joints into solid blocks of calcium.
Overview: Vertebral subluxation complex (VSC), often referred to as a subluxation, involves five recognized components. In its early stages, patients might not even know they have a problem because there may be no pain or discomfort in its early stages.
Vertebral Subluxation Complex can affect every part of the spine, including the thoracic spine, or middle back. (The thoracic spine the part of your spine from the bottom of your neck to the top of your lower back.) As vertebral sublaxation complex develops, you may feel pain along your thoracic spine, and movements such as leaning back may aggravate it.
As its name implies Vertebral Subluxation Complex is complicated and because it’s a condition affecting the spine, it can affect other areas of the body as well. Your brain communicates with the rest of your body via the nerves and research suggests that subluxations interfere with these brain-body communications.
Trauma (car accidents and falls), toxins (alcohol, drugs, environmental pollutants) and emotional stress (worry and anxiety) have been identified as primary causes of subluxation. When any of these is present, it can lead to vertebral subluxation complex.
In the first stage of VSC, kinesiopathology, the spinal joints become stuck, which forces the surrounding joints to compensate by working harder in order to compensate. The fact remains that the spinal joints aren’t functioning properly—this can distort the spines curvature and the stuck joint can cause nerve irritation as the malfunctioning spinal bones stretch, twist or pull nerve tissue.
Neuropathology, the second stage of VSC, is an escalation of the first stage and usually involves extreme nerve irritation or a pinched nerve which include “pins and needles” or a numb sensation surrounding the spine. Irritated nerves can also increase a person’s susceptibility to disease.
This interference in the nervous system can lead to myopathalogy, the third component of VSC, which involves abnormalities in muscle function. As your body tries to compensate, nerve impulses may diminish to the point that they under stimulate muscles, causing them to weaken and atrophy, or the nerve impulses may become too strong and over stimulate muscles, causing them to work too hard and tighten, potentially leading to a muscular spasm. This in turn may lead to muscles and joint inflammation. From there, problems may spread to the rest of the soft tissues in the spine.
Once the problems spread to the soft tissues, the fourth component of VSC, histopathology, comes into play. Histopathology occurs when the abnormal spinal joint function diminishes blood supply to the soft tissues, leading to long-term swelling of ligaments, disks and other soft tissues.
Left untreated, Vertebral Subluxation Complex can affect the whole body in the fifth stage of VCS, pathophysiology. In this stage of VSC, calcium deposits build up as your body attempts to compensate for a malfunctioning or traumatized joint by creating bone spurs or other abnormal growths. In time, your immobile, untreated joints can turn into solid blocks of calcium. This is known as subluxation degeneration, the final component of VSC, which gets worse as you
It can take many years for someone to develop the problems associated with the latter components of Vertebral Subluxation Complex, but the condition can begin at any age. Therefore, it’s important to visit Dr. Suzan Starler, D.C. as soon as you feel any symptoms of VSC, for a thorough examination to determine the optimal care plan to care for your condition.