Causes of Most Health Problems

Ever wonder what causes most health problems?

Chiropractic spinal alignmentNerve tissue is so important it is protected by bone. The brain is encased by the skull, and the spinal cord is covered by 24-moving bones of the spinal column.

The brain stem and spinal cord are the primary pathways for nerve impulses to and from the brain.  Messages back and forth through these nerves control the health and function of virtually every other cell, tissue, organ, and system in the body.

In addition to sports injuries or automobile accidents, many everyday things can cause these bones to lose their normal motion or position.  This sets off a chain reaction affecting the spinal bones, nerves, muscles, soft tissues, and results in degenerative changes throughout the body.  Doctors refer to this as the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.

Besides describing how the spine can affect your overall health, the Vertebral Subluxation Complex explains why it takes time to restore optimum health.  The Vertebral Subluxation Complex is the underlying cause of many health problems and is recognized by its five component parts.

Click on each of the following five component parts of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex to learn more about them.

Spinal Kinesiopathology





Many researchers have confirmed the far-reaching effects of abnormal spinal function.  Through on-going research, we continue to learn more about the implications of these five component parts.

Because of the intricacies of the nervous system, continuing research is being conducted for interaction in areas such as aging, immune system response,hormonal involvement, and even genetic consequences.

Clearly, the Vertebral Subluxation Complex may be one of the most common, yet overlooked sources of health problems.
The detection, reduction, and prevention of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex is the unique domain of the Doctors of Chiropractic.  If you, or someone you know, are suffering from headaches, back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, elbow pain, knee pain, leg pain, arthritis, sciatica, scoliosis, or pain from an injury (for example, a sports injury or an automobile accident injury), the source of your problems could very well be the Vertebral Subluxation Complex – contact Dr. Hunziker for a thorough examination.

Spinal Kinesiopathology.

Spinal Kinesiopathology is abnormal positioning or motion of the bones in your spine.

The bones of the spine are designed to move, while at the same time protecting the spinal cord and nerve roots.  But, sometimes they become “stuck” and don’t move enough, or they move too much.

This can cause pain, and can be caused by physical trauma (repetitive motion, car accidents, slips, falls, etc.), emotional stress (worry, negative thoughts, fear, etc.), or chemical imbalances (alcohol, drugs, toxins, pollution, etc.).

When spinal joints are fixated (“stuck”) and not moving enough, they force other joints to move too much.  These problems can distort normal spinal curves and compromise proper function.  In some cases, problems in one area of the spine can cause compensation reactions in other areas!

Doctors can detect this aspect of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex by analyzing your posture, taking diagnostic X-rays, measuring your ability to turn and bend, plus other tests.

back to top


Neuropathophysiology is the nervous system damage resulting from stretched, pinched, or irritated nerves interfering with normal nerve function.

Because of the way your spine is designed, abnormal spinal function can rub, pinch, irritate, or choke the delicate tissues of the spinal cord and nerve roots.

While commonly associated with spinal problems, the pinched nerve (compressive lesion) is actually quite rare.  Researchers suggest that only 10% to 15% of spinal-related problems are caused by direct pressure of bone on nerve tissue!

Sometimes, this problem can result in numbness, burning, or a “pins and needles” feeling.

More frequently, nerves are irritated (facilitative lesion) by improperly functioning spinal structures.  This is caused when nerve tissue is stretched, twisted, or irritated by malfunctioning spinal curves.

Nervous system impairment can affect the tissues, organs, and systems of the body, increasing the susceptibility of disease and ill health.

back to top


Myopathology is changes in muscle function due to abnormal spinal movement, or changes to the nerves controlling the muscle function, such as muscle spasm, muscle weakness, or muscle atrophy.

When muscle function is impaired from too much or too little nerve impulse supply, muscles that support the spine respond in different ways.

When nerve impulses are diminished, muscles supporting the spine can weaken, waste away, or atrophy.

When muscles are overstimulated from nerve irritation, supporting muscles can become tight and go into spasm.

In either extreme, fibrotic scar tissue can form in these muscles, changing their elasticity.  This damage to the supporting muscles of the spine is why repeated adjustments are often necessary and adjustments don’t seem to “hold”.  It also explains why long-standing spinal problems are so difficult and time-consuming to correct.  Without proper rehabilitation, many patients experience a relapse of their original health complaint.

back to top


Histopathology is alterations at the traumatized area of your body, such as – inflammation and swelling of soft tissues, discs, and ligaments, and changes in the blood and lymph supply.

When there is spinal joint malfunction, the discs, ligaments, and other connective tissue are affected, too.

While technically you can’t have a “slipped” disc, the soft pulpy discs that separate each spinal vertebra can tear, bulge, herniate, and degenerate.

Ligaments and other connective tissues in the area of the malfunctioning spinal joint are often involved.  Inflammation and swelling accompany the accumulation of blood and lymph, causing a rise in temperature.

Unlike most other tissues of the body, discs and ligaments have a poor blood supply.  This makes the healing of soft tissues a very slow and time-consuming process.

In fact, complete healing often requires continued care even after the relief of obvious symptoms.

back to top


Pathophysiology are the normal body functional changes associated with or resulting from disease or injury.  Seen over time, the damage is cumulative, and is usually seen locally as degeneration, growth and/or erosion of fibrous tissue, and peripherally as a loss of your body’s well being.

For example, when there is malfunction or trauma to a joint, one of the ways the body responds is to stabilize the area by growing new bone!

Over time, calcium deposits can build up, eventually recognizable as bone spurs and other abnormal bony growths.  This arthritic “splinting” of adjacent bones is nature’s attempt to stabilize the malfunctioning joint.  If ignored or neglected long enough, the body can turn a once mobile joint into a solid block of calcium.

adapted from Back Talk Systems, Inc.

back to top

Back to Chiropractic Reference page