A subluxation (a.k.a. Vertebral Subluxation) is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) lose their normal alignment and function and create pressure on, or irritate the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves causing those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves. This results in a LOSS of proper connection between brain & body and the LOSS of the normal expression of innate intelligence which causes your body to LOSE the ability to intelligently and purposefully organize all the cells and tissues to work harmoniously together. So, when you are subluxated you have LOST your natural state of "ease" (health).
How does this affect you?
Your nerve system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100% of their innate abilities. In other words, some part of your body will not be working properly. You are in a state of dis-ease (incoordination/dysfunction).
Whenever you are in a state of dis-ease, the problem is not that you have something you shouldn't have, but that you are missing something you should have in order to be healthy and happy. You've lost normal function of your spine, lost the connection between your brain and your body, lost your ability to keep your body organized, lost your natural state of ease (health).
Vertebral subluxations are caused by your body's inability to handle and adapt to various daily stresses placed on the body. (Stress is anything that can cause a need for your body to respond or change in some way.) These everyday stresses we are all exposed to, from birth until the time we die, could potentially cause subluxations. They are characterized as physical, chemical, or emotional/mental stresses. Subluxations occur regularly and in everyone and one of the scariest things about a vertebral subluxation is that they very rarely have any obvious symptoms associated with them. Because of this many people are walking around with subluxations and may not even know it.
It is the responsibility of the Chiropractor to locate subluxations, and apply a series of specific adjustments (forces to restore normal alignment and function in the spine), which re-establish the neurological CONNECTION between the brain & body and help to normalize the expression of innate intelligence. This increases the ability to purposefully organize your body and to better adapt to the stresses of your environment. This allows you to gradually return to harmony, ease (health). A process most call HEALING.
Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be the experts at locating, analyzing, and assisting in the correcting of vertebral subluxations.
By helping restore and maintain function and alignment in your spinal column throughout your life, chiropractic helps you maintain your vital connection and maximize the expression of Life in your body. The reason for getting adjusted and keeping your neurological connection clear is so that something WILL happen - a more complete expression of innate intelligence, health, and LIFE! Allowing you to be all you can be in all areas of your life.
To get a general idea of where nerves branching off from certain areas of the spine may go please check out this Spine and Nerve Chart.