Chiropractors remove Subluxations. A subluxation is a bone out of alignment relative to its neighbor causing nerve impingement and dysfunction. In order for a Subluxation to occur, the ligaments holding the joints of the bones in alignment must be torn and stretched. The disc between the vertebrae or bones in many cases will begin to protrude and bulge. These two causes create tissue damage resulting in inflammation. The inflammation causes nerve pressure, creating dysfunction through alteration in Nerve transmission. Because nerves travel throughout the body, effects can range from local sensory to radiating pain, organ dysfunction or vascular dysfunction. Essentially, there are many possible external symptoms that are possible. Sometimes there are no outward symptoms at all and only organic dysfunction occurs.
Analysis and correction of Subluxation varies by Chiropractor (DC, Doctor of Chiropractic). There is no generic approach utilized from one Chiropractor to the next. Sometimes there is a varying approach within the same visit by the same DC. These approaches vary by analysis and by correction, as well. Some DCs use high velocity (more force) while others use less to nearly none. Some use their touch, some use indicators or tests, some use X-Rays, some use instrumentation, some use a combination.
Some DCs make the correction with their hands, some with fingers or thumbs, and some with an instrument. Some DCs use more than one of these methods. Each Chiropractic approach has a name, such as Directional Non Force Technique®, Upper Cervical Specific, and Gonstead. Some are combinations of other methods, such as the commonly practiced Diversified Technique. Whatever the approach is, the goal is to remove Subluxation.
While in a perfect world, one visit to a DC would align all of the vertebrae and extremities, this is often not the case. Several alignment issues can be corrected in a visit, but it typically takes a series of visits to correct them all, as the human body and its articulations are a complex and dynamic series of interactive parts.
Once this has been accomplished, it is important to reintegrate gently back into the resumption of activity. This is guided by the treating Chiropractor, as it takes time for ligaments and other supportive structures to heal. Often, patients cheat and try and return to regular activities too soon and require further Chiropractic care. Sometimes, activities or work cannot be resumed, while other times rehabilitation must be done first. The reintegration of the patient to home and work activities can be more complex than the correction of Subluxations.