Bone Out of Place

The bone out of place model of chiropractic is outdated and does not explain the additional benefits of chiropractic care. Yet, this explanation is still commonly used because it is still one of the easiest ways to explain what we do as chiropractors when we have a patient in the middle of an episode of low back pain or neck pain. “Miss Jones, you have a bone out of place. I’m going to adjust it.” “O.K.” Unfortunately, this is an extreme oversimplification of what we do as chiropractors.

What is a bone out of place?

Subluxation is the term used by chiropractors to describe a “bone out of place” in the spine. The primary role of a chiropractor is to detect and correct subluxation and for some insurance companies like Medicare, subluxation is required as the primary diagnosis.

What Is A Subluxation?

Over a hundred years ago chiropractors started to use the term subluxation to define areas of the spine that felt “stuck” because those areas appeared to be partially dislocated. In medical literature subluxation is the literal term for a partial dislocation. Fast forward to modern times and we now know these joints are rarely “partially dislocated”. Instead these stuck bones have a mixture of neurologic discoordination, tight muscles, inflammation and restricted movement.  This is one reason the term subluxation is controversial, even in the profession of chiropractic. Unfortunately, the term subluxation does not encompass all the important problems associated with a spine being “stuck” or “out of alignment.”

Will the Term Change?

As controversial as the term subluxation is in the chiropractic profession, it will likely not change anytime soon. Currently, there is no term to identify all the important components of a subluxation. And, trying to get over 100,000 chiropractors worldwide to agree upon a new term that identifies with the core of who they are as a profession is unlikely to come into fruition anytime soon.

So, What’s Wrong with Your Spine?

You have a subluxation. You have a misalignment of the spine causing discoordination, tightness, restricted motion, inflammation and most importantly neurologic changes that impair your health.