History of Chiropractic Subluxation Terminology

Below is a quick rundown of the history of how the terminology and concept of subluxation evolved over time.

In 1688 Randle Holme coined the term subluxation.

Then, in 1746 Hieronymous defined that a subluxation can be recognized by three factors: lesser mobility, change in position of the articulating bones, and and pain. So we observe a functional, structural and urological component of the evolution of the term subluxation.

Thomas Brown in 1828, coined the term spinal irritation.

1843 J. Evans Riadore, was known as the “father of nerve compression”, said that if any organ is deficiently supplied with nerve energy of blood function in the structure sooner or later becomes deranged.

1894 Sir William Gowers propose that the function in the body depends upon the release of the nerve force.

1895 In this year, chiropractic profession was born. DD Palmer talked about the misalignment, occlusion, pressure on the nerve and how mental impulse is impeded. We need to understand that during this time medical doctors were using cauterizing to burn nerves in the use of leeches to help patients reduce the pain. Hence, chiropractic was seen as a more conservative approach to the treatment of pain.

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Medical Dictionaries have several synonyms to describe subluxation: partial dislocation, semi-luxation, altered contact between joint surfaces and reduced motion.

1975 National Institute for Communicable Disorders and Stroke (NINCDS) defined subluxation as the alteration of normal dynamics, and anatomical and physiological relationships of contiguous articular structures. During this time, petition was me to Medicare to provide chiropractic insurance coverage for chiropractic care.

1975 strong>Houston Conference Listings/strong> defined the 4 Major Categories of Subluxations:

strong>Static Intersegmental Subluxations/strong>
li>extension malposition/li>
li>rotational malposition/li>
li>lateral flexion malposition/li>
li>flexion malposition/li>
li>osseous spacing altered/li>
li>foraminal encroachment/li>
strong>Kinetic Intersegmental Subluxations/strong> has 3 components which include: hypermobility, hypomobility and aberrant motion.

strong>Sectional Subluxations/strong> includes functional scoliosis, structural scoliosis and the adaptational curves and aberrant motion.
Paravertebral Subluxations/strong> include costovertebral and sacroiliac joints.

1987 strong>Wyndham Conference/strong> issued the definition that a misalignment of one or more articulations of the spinal column or its immediate weight-bearing articulations, to a degree less than a luxation which by inference causes alteration of nerve function and interference to the transmission of mental impulse resulting in lessening of the body’s innate ability to express its maximum potential.

1995 strong>ACC Position Paper/strong> proposed pay complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that organ system and may influence nerve function and general health.

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