"Dry Needle" Acupuncture & Chiropractic of Tyler
Dr. Charles R. Dixon, MS, DC
Call 903-570-7080 and for an appointment.

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The Subluxation Complex

The concept of Subluxation is an important one when it comes to the health of your spine. Subluxations are really a combination of changes going on at the same time. These changes occur both in your spine and throughout your body. For this reason chiropractors often refer to vertebral subluxations as the "Vertebral Subluxation Complex", or "VSC" for short. There are five components that contribute to the vertebral subluxation complex.

In the VSC, various things are happening inside your body simultaneously. These various changes, known as "components," are all part of the vertebral subluxation complex. Chiropractors commonly recognize five categories of components present in the VSC. These five are:

The osseous (bone) component is where the vertebrae are either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing physical changes such as degeneration. This component is sometimes known as kinesiopathology.

The Nerve Component is the malfunctioning of the nerve. Research has shown that only a small amount of pressure on spinal nerves can have a profound impact on the function of the nerves. This component is scientifically known as neuropathology.

The Muscle Component is also involved. Since the muscles help hold the vertebrae in place, and since nerves control the muscles themselves, muscles are an integral part of any VSC. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. This component is known as myopathology.

The Soft Tissue Component is when you have misaligned vertebrae and pressure on nerves resulting in changes in the surrounding soft tissues. This means the tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues undergo changes. These changes can occur at the point of the VSC or far away at some end point of the affected nerves. This component is also known as histopathology.

The Chemical Component is when all these components of the VSC are acting on your body, and therefore causing some degree of chemical changes. These chemical changes can be slight or massive depending on what parts of your body are affected by your subluxations. This component is often known as biochemical abnormalities.

Chiropractors have taught about the dangers of subluxations for over one hundred years. Today, more scientific evidence is showing the dangers of subluxations and the health benefits of correcting them. To be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Our goal is to allow your body to return itself to the highest level of health possible by correcting the VSC.  Chiropractors are the ONLY health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the VSC.

 

More on the Vertebral Subluxation Complex

 

A subluxation, as defined by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges is:  "A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health."   When a subluxation occurs it causes nerve interference in some portion of the body affected by those nerves.  The subluxation causes changes to the structure as well as the nerves.  These changes get progressively worse as time is allowed to work on the subluxated area of the spine.  These changes take the form of ongoing degeneration known as "subluxation degeneration".  By understanding the type and amount of changes, it is possible to reasonably estimate the time subluxations may have been present in a spine.  Having this information is useful in understanding the time and effort needed for correction.



 

Near Normal

 

This is a side x-ray view of the neck.  As with all the pictures you will see on this page, the patient is looking to the right of the screen, so you are viewing the right side of their neck.  We will call this picture a "near normal" spine.  Compare this spine with the ones you will see below on this page.  Notice the normal forward curve of the neck.  This curve helps absorb shock.  Notice how each of the disc spaces between C2 (second bone in neck) and C7 are thick and even, this again is normal.  Also notice how the front portions (right on the x-ray) of each of the vertebrae (called the 'body' of the vertebrae) are fairly square with clear and well defined borders. This type of arrangement is normal in the neck.  Normal vertebrae in other parts of the spine also have similar characteristics to what we see here. When subluxations occur and are left uncorrected, ongoing relentless changes occur that result in damage to the structure and function of the spine along with nerve damage and the resulting problems caused from improper nerve supply.


 

Phase One Subluxation Degeneration 

 

Phase One Subluxation Degeneration is seen in subluxations that have been present for up to twenty years.  This phase is characterized with a loss or change in the normal curve in the spine.  On this example you can see that the normal forward (lordotic) curve is lost.  This spine even has developed a reverse curve in the neck.  The disc spaces have also begun to exhibit a slight change in shape.  One good point is that the bodies of each of the vertebrae (the square part in front) still exhibits clean clear borders.  Segmental motion  may be abnormal but overall motion is probably not affected.  Chiropractic reconstructive care for a phase one can take from 6 to 18 months.  More than 80% of people with Phase One Subluxation Degeneration have no pain.  Therefore, if left uncorrected, phase one continues to progress with time until it eventually reaches the next phase.


 

Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration 

 

Phase two subluxation degeneration is normally seen in subluxations that have been present between 20 and 40 years.  This phase has some of the same characteristics of the previous phase including a loss of normal curvature and position as well as an alteration in segmental motion.  In addition, spines with Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration many times show a reduction in the patient's range of motion in that area.  X-rays of a phase two begin to show calcium changes or buildup at certain levels of the spine.  These changes are sometimes called by many names including spurs and arthritis.  Disc spaces between the affected vertebrae are noticeably narrower and may appear to be flattening out.  Although most people with Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration may not exhibit any symptoms, some may start to feel stiff or achy.  Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase two ranges from 1.5 years to 2.5 years.  Again, if Phase Two Subluxation Degeneration is left uncorrected it slowly advances to the next phase.


 

Phase Three  Subluxation Degeneration 

 

Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration is caused by subluxations that have been continuing on for between 40 and 65 years.  This phase has all of the attributes of the previous phases, only worse.  The curvatures are abnormal, the disc spaces are vastly decreased and changed.  Calcium changes on the spine are abundant in this phase.  Normally, people in phase three have a restricted range of motion and probably exhibit symptoms of some kind.  In phase three the vertebrae show obvious changes and mutations in shape.  Projections made of calcium, sometimes referred to as "spurs or lipping", can be readily seen on x-ray.  Chiropractic reconstructive care for patients in phase three ranges from 2.5 years to 3.5 years.  This does not mean that at the end of this time that any or all of the calcium changes will be gone.  In many instances the body adapts to the presence of the calcium and positive changes can only be measured from a functional standpoint.  As before, if Phase Three Subluxation Degeneration is left unchecked it slowly advances onward into the next phase.


 

Phase Four Subluxation Degeneration 

 

Phase four subluxation degeneration is seen with subluxations that have been raging on uncorrected or altered for over sixty five years.  Phase four is a grave condition that will negatively affect the patients longevity and quality of life.  The massive amount of neurological damage caused by years of subluxation that have lead to phase four are probably taking a serious toll on this person's health status.  X-rays in phase four show serious severe structural changes.  Vertebrae exhibit massive calcium changes, disc spaces appear blurred, and the bones themselves appear fused.  In this scenario the patient will have a severe restriction of range of motion in addition to probably a number of other health issues.  Reconstruction may not be possible in phase four, but care can be directed to some reduction in subluxation with the goal of improvement in the quality of life remaining.  Patients in Phase Four Subluxation Degeneration have a serious situation both structurally and neurologically, but they are certainly not beyond hope.  Many patients in phase four report significant improvements in symptoms, conditions, mobility and quality of life.
 


There are three "phases" of care for a Chiropractic patient.

1.  Relief Care

Relief care is the first stage of care for most patients. The primary goal during this initial stage is to provide the individual with symptomatic relief. Treatments focus on those techniques and therapies which most quickly and effectively reduce pain and other discomforts. This will allow the majority of individuals to continue their activities of daily living. Patients are generally recommended to "take it easy" but are encouraged to stay mobile and functional so long as there is not a risk of further injury or tissue damage. Therapies that reduce inflammation and muscle spasm are also used during this stage when present.

2. Corrective Care

The second stage of care consists of correcting the problems which caused and contributed to the condition and healing and rehabilitating the injured tissues. Unless these events take place, a favorable outcome is unlikely and future recurrences of the problem are likely. It is extremely important that the patient comply with and follow the instructions given by the doctor during this stage of care. Tissues and structures that are not fully healed and rehabilitated are prone to future problems. Sticking to appointments, complying with home exercises and instructions and following all other recommendations will help insure this occurs. Patients should also be aware that once pain and discomfort have subsided, tissue healing and functional correction is many times still incomplete and will often require additional treatments.

3. Wellness Care

Once the spinal tissues are healed and spinal biomechanics have normalized the patient will be recommended to continue with periodic spinal checkups. For some this might mean once per year, for others this may mean once per month or more. Chiropractic spinal checkups provide similar benefits to the spine that dental checkups provide to the teeth. Namely, catching minor problems and disturbances before they have the opportunity to cause pain, discomfort and irreversible tissue changes. Just like with cavities and heart attacks, irreversible tissue damage has generally occurred before the symptoms of spinal pain and discomfort become apparent. 

 

I am happy to consult with you if you have more questions about Chiropractic, Subluxation and the Chiropractic Adjustment.

 Get in here today!

Sincerely,

Charles Dixon DC

 

Charles R. Dixon, MS, DC  ~  903-570-7080
1324 S. Beckham Ave. (Corner of 2nd St, Building #2, Suite #244) Tyler TX 75701
Mail: PO Box 1894 Chandler, TX 75758

We feature " Acupuncture Dry Needling for Pain Management" as taught to Dr. Dixon personally by Dr. Yun-Tao Ma PhD.  Dr. Ma teaches Acupuncture Dry Needling based on Neuroanatomy rather than energy meridians. I believe, based on my many years of personal experience treating patients on a daily basis (with acupuncture since 2003), that this is the most scientifically solid acupuncture technique for pain control in a Chiropractic and/or Pain Management office setting. We also feature Spinal Disc Decompression with the Chattanooga DTS Disc Decompression System for Complete Spinal Rehabilitation in cases of Degenerative Disc Disease and Bulged or Herniated Disc in the Lumbar Spine.

Dr. Dixon has proudly served Tyler, Chandler, Brownsboro, and the entire Lake Palestine area since 2001. 
He continues to serve you from Tyler at his new clinic location on Beckham just a few blocks from UT Health & Christus Mother Francis's main hospital campuses. 
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Copyright 2000-2019 ~ CHARLES R. DIXON, MS, DC
Dr. Charles R. Dixon is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic, has a Masters of Science in Human Anatomy and Physiology Instruction, was Trained directly under Acupuncturist & Author Dr. Yun-tao Ma PhD,
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the thoughts and opinions of Dr. Charles R. Dixon MS DC, unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Charles Dixon. Dr. Dixon encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. No portion of this website may be copied, reused or plagiarized in any way.  It is the sole intellectual property of Dr. Charles R Dixon MS DC with all rights and privileges reserved.