Vertebral subluxations – that is, slight misalignments of the bones of the spine – have often been present and neglected since childhood. If the vertebral subluxation has been present for years, or even decades, the spinal bone gets very used to being where it is. The muscles and ligaments around the spinal bone adapt and become accustomed to holding it in that position. The boney joints can even grow and change shape. After a number of years, what feels like the “comfortable” position for the bone is actually the wrong position.
Initially, when the chiropractor helps the body’s own spinal muscles move the spinal bone back to its healthy position, it will do so easily. This is called an adjustment. However, it won’t stay there very long. Because of the shape of the joints and the pull of the muscles and ligaments around the spinal bone, it will want to move back to where it is used to being and where it is most comfortable. So it has to be retrained to stay in the correct position, and that is why there has to be some degree of repetition with the adjustments initially.
As the spinal bone stays in the healthy position longer, then it can be adjusted less frequently. When the spinal bone is staying in place well, maintenance adjustments are advisable to help keep it that way. This is due to the fact that if it has been misplaced for a long time, the spinal bone will have a tendency to misalign again over time. Maintenance checks are also recommended given that new subluxations may arise as a result of the activities of everyday life.