What Do Chiropractors Specialize In?

Subluxation: What Chiropractors Do and Why It Matters

When you think of a chiropractor you may think of someone who deals with your neck and back. If you’ve been to the chiropractor, you may be familiar with having pressure applied to those areas and having your neck or back move or sometimes “crack.”

But what is really happening and what do chiropractors actually do? While it seems to be about just the spine, it is actually about the entire body.

Dr. Mike and Dr. Rion talk a bit about it in the video below.

What is a Subluxation?

A subluxation is “the result of spinal bones with improper motion or position affecting nerve communications between your brain and your body,” according to the International Chiropractors Association.

When proper nerve communication is disrupted it can result in pain and poor function in the neck, back and organs, as well as illness. Our nervous system runs through our entire body so when something is misaligned in one place it can easily affect other parts of our body.

What Causes a Subluxation?

There are three main causes of subluxation, also known as the “Three Ts”: Trauma, toxins and thoughts.


Physical trauma, such as a fall, car accident or even poor posture like “tech neck” can negatively affect our spine and our nervous system.


Toxins in food, body products and our environment can also throw things out of whack in our body.


Stress may seem like it’s in just our brain but our brain affects the rest of our body. Stress, anger, depression and anxiety can manifest themselves as tight muscles, pain, poor posture and other conditions as our body goes into a fight or flight response.

How Can a Subluxation be Treated?

During a chiropractic adjustment spinal manipulations help realign the spine, relieve tension and fight subluxations and their effects. This can be achieved by a chiropractor applying pressure to an area or moving a patient’s neck a certain way.

You may hear a popping sound during an adjustment, similar to the sound you hear if you crack your knuckles. This is called cavitation and “is caused by a release of gas when the joint is pushed a short distance past its passive range of motion.”

Since a subluxation involves the whole body, regular chiropractic adjustments are an important part of maintaining overall wellness.