Phases of Vertebral Subluxation
There are four phases of malfunction or subluxation degeneration by which your chiropractor evaluates the progression of VSC. Your ability to return to optimal health is based on how soon the VSC is detected; the unattended phases of degeneration make it more difficult for the body to heal.
Phase I is the misalignment and malfunction of the spine. No recognizable tissue degeneration has occurred and the misalignment is usually completely reversible and preventable through regular chiropractic care.
Phase II is misalignment and malfunction with some tissue (disc) degeneration. Some bony deposition may begin to occur. Complete return to normal cannot always be expected under chiropractic care, but this phase usually gets remarkably better.
Phase III occurs when VSC is left uncorrected and can be described by significant calcium deposition (spurring), leading to fusion. The discs are decreased in height which can cause a myriad of potential problems. A return to optimal function with complete correction is rare, yet the degenerative process may often slow or halt altogether with appropriate chiropractic care.
Phase IV is the fusion and architectural remodeling of the spine, disc degeneration, and nerve damage. This immobilization has many associated health consequences, and a return to full function and correction is very rare, if not impossible. The chiropractor can, however, adjust the spine and protect less affected areas of the spine and nervous system from a similar fate.