Study Suggests Most Subluxations Do Not Cause Symptoms

A study published in the January 28, 2016, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research showed that most subluxations do not cause symptoms of any kind. The study was conducted in Germany using a survey of chiropractic offices.

Study Suggests Most Subluxations Do Not Cause Symptoms - Austin TX Chiropractor best yelp google reviewsThe definition of subluxation according to 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.” In simpler terms, a subluxation (a.k.a. Vertebral Subluxation) is when one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate, spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in the spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.

The study reports that the International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations (IFCO) considers subluxations by themselves to be sufficient reason for chiropractic care. “The correction of vertebral subluxation is appropriate for anyone exhibiting evidence of its existence regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms and/or disease. Therefore, the determination of the presence of vertebral subluxation stands as a sole rationale for care.” The Council of Chiropractic Education also notes, “Vertebral subluxation may be asymptomatic, yet still exert various physiological effects.”

In this study, a survey was sent to 25 German chiropractic offices asking them several questions. Nineteen offices responded to the questions including, “How many of the patients that you treat every day have asymptomatic subluxations?” The intention of this question was not to look for patients that had no symptoms at all, but rather to look for patients with subluxations that were not causing the patient any symptoms. The survey also asked the offices how many patients they saw each week.

The results of the survey showed that, on average, 93.73% of patients who went to the chiropractor had some asymptomatic subluxations. These subluxations could have been in addition to subluxations that were causing the patient symptoms. The offices surveyed represented a variety in the number of patients that were seen with the average being 172 patient visits per week.

In their conclusion, the authors noted the importance of detecting subluxations that may not show symptoms by stating, “From the analysis of the collected data it appears that asymptomatic subluxations that are not consciously perceived are common among patients presenting in chiropractic offices in Germany. This lends support to the widespread belief among chiropractors that people should be checked for subluxations regardless of conscious symptoms being present.”

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