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  • Writer's pictureSoma Chiropractic

What is Subluxation?

Updated: Feb 6


Why are so many kids so sick today? 

It’s been a long time since I remember a child presenting to our clinic with just one singular health challenge or condition. Nearly every child over age 3 has intake paperwork with check boxes next to gut and digestive issues, respiratory and immune challenges, and neurological conditions such as sensory integration disorder, ADHD, and anxiety.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking seeing so many kids with multiple chronic health conditions at such a young age.

If you know what you’re looking for, in just a matter of minutes, you can see an absolute “perfect storm” pattern emerge, with each and every condition linked to the one thing we’ll discuss in this article – subluxation.

This article will explain exactly what subluxation is, where it comes from, and how the stress and dysfunction it causes within the nervous system correlates with a multitude of health challenges in kids and families.

But first, let’s quickly run through how that ‘perfect storm’ plays out for so many kids who end up with subluxation and neurological dysfunction early on.

Time and time again, we find subluxation present in the colicky infant who struggles with latching, nursing, digestive issues, and sleep. Then if that stress and subluxation remain on the nervous system, soon that infant starts to suffer from chronic ear infections, constipation, food intolerances, and allergies.

Even then, it doesn’t stop. It continues on to the child struggling with sensory processing disorder, speech delays, developmental delays, gut issues, sleep disturbances, and chronic immune challenges.

And finally, our poor teenagers. Anxiety, ADHD, OCD, depression, and emotional dysregulation run rampant in teens and young adults today.

The numbers were unacceptable before everything happened with Covid, with rates of anxiety and depressive symptoms at 11.6% and 12.9%, respectively. Now they are estimated to have doubled to 25.2% and 20.5%.

For many years, we’ve referred to that cascade of stress and illness as The Perfect Storm. And the Perfect Storm is the story of one primary thing – subluxation.


What Exactly is a subluxation?

We like to teach our patients that subluxation has three (3) main components:

  1. Misalignment

  2. Fixation & Tension

  3. Neurological Interference & Imbalance

While the first two components comprise the biomechanical elements of subluxation within the NeuroSpinal System, the third component causes all the trouble.

Breaking down that third element even further, we see that the neurological interference comes from the effect that the fixation and decreased range of motion has on the central nervous system. You may have heard the phrase “motion is life” before, and it’s absolutely true.

The #1 thing that keeps the brain and nervous system active, engaged, and functioning at a high level is stimulation from movement and physical activity. The term for this is proprioception, which is the perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body.

The spine has by far the highest density of proprioceptors in the body. The upper neck has more than any other area, making it especially sensitive to any physical injury leading to misalignment and tension (subluxation). This is why we feel by far, the #1 most overlooked cause of subluxation and both acute and chronic health conditions in kids is physical birth trauma to the neck, brainstem, and spine during labor and delivery.

Putting it all together, when subluxation is present, there is decreased proprioceptive input into the brain and nervous system, which in turn allows increased nociception to get in. Nociception is noxious, stressful, and potentially harmful stimuli reaching the central nervous system, and it causes the nervous system to move into sympathetic fight-or-flight mode, known as dysautonomia.

It goes so far beyond just looking at spinal joints and partial dislocations. Those who understand the role of subluxation in health look deeper into the neurological disruptions and dysfunction and get to work restoring and improving those components with each and every chiropractic adjustment.

Subluxation is the most overlooked cause of various health issues that can be helped and cared for by a neurologically-focused chiropractor. One of the surest signs a patient’s condition is primarily linked to subluxation is when all medical tests and treatments come up empty. Despite seeing a long list of doctors and specialists, parents still do not have the answers and action steps they seek!


What causes subluxation?

So what causes subluxation, exactly? Put simply – stress and toxicity overload.

While stress is actually a normal, healthy part of life, helping us to gain resiliency, strength, and adaptability from infancy on… what the Perfect Storm teaches us is that we have far too much stress and toxicity in our current environments. And if a child is exposed to high amounts of stress and toxicity early in life before their nervous system has developed enough to handle it, then subluxation and dysautonomia set in, and the storm starts to brew.

What does that look like exactly for millions of children today?

Research has now clearly shown that pregnant mothers face more stress and anxiety than ever before. With all the added stress and tension on their nervous systems, it can lead to the baby winding up stuck in various abnormal positions in-utero, such as breech or forward-facing, which places added stress on their spine and nervous system.

From there, our labor and delivery system has turned into medical intervention nearly every single time, shoving health and natural birth to the side and significantly increasing the rates of both obvious and hidden birth trauma.

This study even found that 99 out of 100 healthy newborns had at least one “somatic dysfunction” pattern within the first 72 hours of life, which is the osteopathic term for subluxation. The vast majority of the dysfunction was found in the cranial area and cervical (neck) region, which makes sense given how much physical strain, tension, and pulling can be placed on those regions during the birth process, especially if interventions are involved.

Then from there, a stressed and subluxated infant deals with colic, reflux, constipation, and repeated ear infections. Then each use of an antibiotic in a child under the age of three dramatically increases their risk of chronic illness later on in life, and things like Miralax increase unwanted behaviors such as hyperactivity and aggression.

In chiropractic, we summarize and simplify things by teaching our patients about the 3T’s — Traumas, Toxins, and Thoughts.

We’re all going to face these 3Ts in life, but when our kids face so many of them so early on, it allows subluxation to set in. That subluxation creates significant, chronic imbalance and dysfunction within the nervous system, which then, in turn, causes dysfunction in motor tone and development as well as all other major systems — gut, immune, respiratory, mental, emotional, social, and so on.

All forms of excessive stress negatively affect the nervous system similarly, causing it to go into a pattern of tension and a fight-or-flight response.


What are the signs of subluxation?

Because subluxation negatively affects the central nervous system, which is responsible for every single bit of our physiology and function, subluxation can show up in myriad signs and symptoms.

Initially, subluxation creates excessive tension and a “wound up” response, which shows up early in a child’s life as colic, difficulty sleeping, and frequent tantrums and meltdowns. But then, over time, as things turn more long-lasting and chronic, subluxation can cause neurological fatigue and exhaustion.

In addition, these are some of the most common signs of subluxation:

How do you find and Take Care of subluxation?

By far, the most important tool our Pediatric Experience trained chiropractors are trained to use is the INSiGHT Subluxation Scanning Technology. In just a 10-15 minute exam, these scans can find, measure, and locate dysautonomia and other elements of subluxation.

Doing so allows PX Docs to then create an exact, personalized, and customized adjusting care plan for that child and patient. The INSiGHT scans take all the guesswork out of it and bring the chiropractic exam and detection of subluxation into the modern era.

Other modes of finding subluxation include postural, physical, and other neurological exam components. But the PX Doc all starts with our technology pictured below.

Now fixing it is simple yet powerful and complex simultaneously. A trained pediatric and neurologically-focused chiropractor uses an adjusting system that is safe, gentle, and wildly effective at restoring function and balance to the nervous system.

The coolest thing about this kind of chiropractic is that a regular adjusting visit lasts just a few minutes, easily fitting into a family’s busy schedule and also being fun and enjoyable for the child! When whole families come in to get adjusted, the kids fight and compete for who can jump on the table first. They love it so much.


How can it be so simple?

That is by far the top question parents repeatedly ask me after we explain to them what subluxation is and how it’s easily and scientifically linked to nearly all of their children’s health challenges.

Parents today are exhausted and frustrated because their regular pediatrician and medical specialists still can’t find what’s causing their child’s chronic health challenges.

When that’s the case, it’s almost always a story of subluxation.

It’s not that medical doctors are not doing all they can; they just don’t have the training and understanding of subluxation and neurology in the same way Pediatric Chiropractors do. So if you don’t even know where to look, you won’t find the answers that kids today need to heal.

The answers to restoring health to chronically sick kids and keeping healthy kids exactly that way… will not be found on standard height, weight, and growth charts in the pediatrician’s office. We’ve used those as our primary tools for measuring health and development in children for the past generation or two, and it’s left us with the sickest and most stressed-out generation of kids ever.

Get started today!

Reach out to us at Soma Chiropractic today. We'll take the time to really listen, dive deep into your child’s case history to find the cause(s) of their health challenges, and then get right to work finding them via the INSiGHT Scanning Technology! If you are not local to us, check out the PX Docs directory to find an office near you! We can’t wait to hear your child’s story of healing, thriving, and smiling! 



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