Subluxation comes from the Latin words meaning “to dislocate” (luxare) and “somewhat or slightly” (sub). A subluxation means a slight dislocation (misalignment) or biomechanical malfunctioning of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine). These disturbances may irritate nerve roots and the blood vessels which branch off from the spinal cord between each of the vertebrae. This irritation may cause pain and dysfunction in muscle, lymphatic and organ tissue, as well as neurological imbalance in the normal body processes.

Subluxation can be caused by a fall, injury, sudden jarring, trauma, or sometimes an inherited spinal weakness can displace a vertebra. Other causes include improper sleeping conditions or habits, poor posture, occupational hazards, incorrect lifting practices, obesity, lack of rest and exercise, and stress.

Doctors of chiropractic are specialists in neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, and are trained to restore the misaligned vertebrae to their proper position in the spinal column. This is done manually utilizing a procedure known as spinal adjustment. Corrective pressure is applied to the spine in a specific direction and location. The manual force or thrust helps restore the alignment and mobility of the vertebrae. In some instances instrumentation is used to detect subluxations and to adjust the spine.