Let’s break down spinal damage, or subluxation, into 2 parts. The first part is function or how your spine works. The second part is structure or how your spine looks. Both can cause pain when they get bad enough, and both can be present in your spine without any pain at all. But think of it this way, when I examine your spine in the exam room and report to you what your range of motion is and what your total subluxation value (TSV) is those are measures of the function of your spine…how it works. The higher your range of motion and the lower your TSV the better your spine is functioning. Makes sense right?
And the better your spine functions the longer it’s going to last, right? And the longer it lasts the better it will look on x-ray and MRI, right? So when I see something on the x-ray or the MRI then the only conclusion can be that the subluxation has been there long enough or is severe enough to cause the damage to the structure that we are looking at; things like disc degeneration, disc herniation, bone spurs, joint arthritis. And, therefore, the more damage we see to the structure the longer or more severe the subluxation must be, right? Therefore, anytime we see any of these signs of spinal structural damage they are, by definition, COMPLICATING FACTORS. And if they are complicating factors, what do they complicate?
The way it works is this; let’s say you have a TSV of 100 and you have no complicating factors. Then the goal of Initial Intensive Care (IIC) is to reduce the 100 to 50 and the goal of Reconstructive Care (RC) is to reduce the 50 to 0 (or as close as possible). If you have NO complicating factors all of this will occur in a certain period of time, say a month or two for IIC and 6-9 months for RC. But if you DO have complicating factors then:
1) It will take longer to get the TSV lower.
2) The TSV will not go as low.
3) You are more likely to have residual pain/discomfort even with a low TSV.
4) You are more likely to need other treatments, including drugs and surgery, but I still make it my job to minimize this possibility.
5) The more severe the complicating factors the more severe the complicating effects.
With all of this said, there can be two conclusions. First, complicating factors are bad. Second, get your TSV as low as possible earlier in life before the complicating factors set in. This actually is the best way to prevent the complications in the first place. Thanks for reading.