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Talk:Vertebral subluxation/Draft

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This page's role is to preserve a copy of Vertebral subluxation Approved Version 1 editing discussions

For discussions on subsequent Vertebral subluxation versions V1.1, 1.2... see Talk:Vertebral subluxation/Draft

Approved. Well done! --Mike Johnson 13:37, 14 February 2007 (CST)

Hi Matt, well done. I've done a first run copy edit, culled out some bits that seemed to me to be rather introspective argument, and tried to put in a couple of bits based in part on the comments in the Talk page on WP. I'll come back to this, but I've bust my specs so ...Gareth Leng 07:23, 12 January 2007 (CST)

No problem! You probably needed a break:) It is really neat to watch things transform and "mature" as you make your changes. Like always, you've kept the concept and said it better. I am curious about the science section (more as a student:), did I misinterpret it, or did you think it wasn't necessary? --Matt Innis (Talk) 07:35, 12 January 2007 (CST)

No, no misinterpretations. I guess I saw the general case as mainstream established science, not new or controversial, and I thought that presenting it there made it seem new or controversial, especially by picking a few primary studies rather than quoting reviews. I'll come back to this though, and think again.Gareth Leng 09:58, 12 January 2007 (CST)

Okay, as long as I didn't read it wrong. After listening to critiques for so long, I begin to doubt myself sometimes;) Just wanted to make sure I was interpreting the information the way it was presented. If you don't think it is necessary from an editorial POV, I'm okay with that. I could go on for hours, but surely don't want to bore the audience:) --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:18, 12 January 2007 (CST)
I added some in the intro as well. Feel free to work with it. --Matt Innis (Talk) 15:59, 12 January 2007 (CST)

Matt, here's the problem I have with this article, its the same problem I have with vertebral subluxations- I can't grasp it because it always seems to be presented with circular reasoning. Here's what I mean: as far as I can tell a vertebral subluxation is something that must exist because fixing it cures a problem. But- there does not seem to be anything concrete presented about how to objectively tell a vertebral subluxation is there, The "scientific proof" does not address identifying a vertebral subluxation, in other words- granted that a misalignment of a vertebral joint can lead to arthritis, but vertebral subluxations are treated by chiropractors all the time when there is no measureable misalignment of the joint. I'm not saying that your working on the back is not effective, I'm saying that the theoretical basis may be imaginary. I was bringing this up in the Chiropracter article, believe me in medicine many physicians avoid having their examining skills tested, but some don't. In those who don't, if there is a diagnosis that is made on clinical examination the exams of many physicians can be compared. This is a lot of work, but not expensive and so, I don't buy that chiropracters don't have the support of major grant makers and that explains the lack of these kinds of studies. Maybe they do exist and you and I are not aware of them. Bottom line- what's the evidence that one chiropractor finds the same problems in a back that the next one does? It doesn't make sense to me that we say vertebral subluxations exist because of history and Palmer. Nancy Sculerati MD 18:45, 12 January 2007 (CST)

Okay, so what you are saying is that you would like to see some sort of solid information on how a subluxation is found and maybe some proof that there is some degree of certainty that several blinded doctors would find the same thing. I think there were some tests done in the 80's on this very thing. I'll see what I can find. --Matt Innis (Talk) 23:28, 12 January 2007 (CST)
Dumping ground as I find some. Feel free to view and let me know if you see something you like in particular.
I'm going to have to stop there for now until I have a chance to go through some of them.
--Matt Innis (Talk) 00:54, 13 January 2007 (CST)

Are physicians leery of the claims made by chiropractors? What about Osteopathic Docs and Physical Therapists? I know that in terms of osteopathic manipulation, I trust the DOs coming out of the number 4 school in the nation for primary care - MSU COM, and one really good physical therapist who works in Okemos, MI. However, I definitely benefit from having T3-T5 joints "loosened up" about once a week - but I can do this sitting in a chair and pushing inferiorly and stretching my spine that way - pop, pop, pop. I'm interesting in reading more, even though I'm biased. I'm also really interesting to read some of the really new and interesting physical therapy research that is starting to get published. -Tom Kelly (Talk) 20:16, 12 January 2007 (CST)

Hey Tom! Yes, I think it is safe to say that we are all leery of each other;) I don't blame you for being biased, DCs don't have the best reputation - mostly because we have some that keep shooting us in the foot:) Feel free to add whatever you like, and certainly at least check my spelling! I'm thinking "subluxation" in the upper thoracic region;)lol. --Matt Innis (Talk) 23:28, 12 January 2007 (CST)
I'd be wary of having this article become a representation over the debate about whether subluxations are real or not because its clear that as the term is used with such different intents even within chiropractic it is going to get confusing and will go nowhere. Nancy's difficulty seems to me to be that she's understood it exactly, yes, for some chiropractors, subluxation is simply whatever explains why chiropractic works - i.e. for them its an empirically evolved treatment with a rationale (subluxation) that seems to them to be a useful explanation of why it works, not least because patients can understand and be reassured by this. So I think the article should describe how the term is used 9in its various ways paerhaps) rather than try to make a consistent "scientific" definition of something that is not always used as such..???? Matt?????...Gareth Leng 05:53, 13 January 2007 (CST)
Good point. I think your consolidation on the science section does sum up the science pretty well, which is probably close to all we should try to do, because otherwise we open the door to a boatload of back and forth science that only adds volume but not content. Hopefully those that are interested can read the references - and we can add some there as we find them. We will end up with the same "feeling" that you have summarized already: that the "proof" is lacking - which doesn't bother most chiropractors because if they are science oriented, they are using subluxation in the somatic sense anyway and only use the visceral sense as a "lets watch and see" attitude. If they are "subluxation" based then they probably feel like BJ and think that if it is ever proven, medicine will steal it. Keep in mind that physical therapeutics was pioneered by chiropractors and a lot of the "really new and exciting stuff" has been around for awhile in chiropractors offices. A lot of what is now conventional thought has it's roots in chiropractic. Just as DOs have been drawn toward allopathy, PT has inevitably been drawn toward chiropractic. The fear was that if they prove it, scientific medicine will steal it and call it their own and chiropractors will have nothing to practice - after all they could not practice in hospitals or use any of the equipment until after 1991 - that was only 15 years ago. Along that same line, I think Nancy's POV is one that a lot of people have about chiropractic (including some chiropractors) that we need to handle - at least the subluxation part on this page. In the early 80's, chiropractors made an attempt to clarify what a subluxation was and went from subluxation to vertebral subluxation complex. I can at least put some of that in and then we can see if it makes more sense. I am glad for the discourse because this is where I get bogged down trying to decide what needs to go into the 32Kb article;) I need both your POVs. Thanks. --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:54, 13 January 2007 (CST)
Well, the PT research I was referring too mainly deals with peripheral nerves and the neuromuscular repair process, but I'm sure there are always great clinicians who have "theories" long before any research is ever done to prove it. And we all know that the world is driven by money. Just like there isn't as much money funding cranberry research as there is in other Drug related fields, there is less money in chiropractic research as in other fields. "Stealing?" How is that really possible if one person gets it published in a journal before "medicine steals it?" -Tom Kelly (Talk) 14:11, 13 January 2007 (CST)
Good comment, Tom. It is a really interesting story with lots of personalities and drama. If your interested, check out Chiropractic History, it will give you a better feel for how chiropractors think and why they think that way. "Steal" might not be the right word, but you'll see what I mean. --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:01, 15 January 2007 (CST)

Hi Matt, I looked at the JVSR site and saw that they dad some thumbnails of covers from Historic Print Editions _ wondered if one of these might be appropriate? On the science side, think it's important to stay quite light. There is no doubt that the spinal nerves do a lot more than just control muscles, so the idea that nerve dysfunction might have wide consequences is certainly credible, but on the other hand giving this too much weight may tend to make it appear that the subluxation theories are accepted, and that,s also not true - my reading is that they are credible explanations for things that we don't understand, but they might be wrong - we just don't know enough to be sure. As a wholly personal and unexpert bias I'd say that I think its very likely that spinal dysfunction in some cases does cause some of the "unexplained" symptoms in peripheral organs, but whether this is common or uncommon I'm not remotely qualified to judge. So I feel the right path is to acknowledge the credibility of the explanations without seeking to imply that they are necessarily true explanationsGareth Leng 10:25, 13 January 2007 (CST)

Okay, I think I'll just try and handle Nancy's concern without making judgements either way. I can't find the pictures your talking about. Can you point me in the right direction? --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:14, 15 January 2007 (CST)

The covers are on the website - unfortunately the downloadable ones have draft written all over them, but I was thinking that this cover might be good as a thumbnail, if it's possible to get a clean image? [1]Gareth Leng 04:47, 16 January 2007 (CST)

Were you thinking the whole cover (including the journal name) or just the picture of the spine? I assume you want me to try and get the "draft" off of it? What size do you want it to be - small like 1" or more like the gymnast picture of 4"? --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:19, 16 January 2007 (CST)

No I thought it might be possible to show a thumbnail of the cover, down at the bottom of the page. I have to admit when I went into the website page first the thumnnails were there but blocked and I assumed it was just my overprotective firewall, I later realised that I could access the covers but only with DRAFT all over them. Thought that a thumbnail of a journal cover would be fair use and easy to get - didn't mean to engage you in any hassle (dooh) Gareth Leng 11:50, 16 January 2007 (CST)

No problem! I can dooh that:) I'll put it here on the talk page and you can find the spot you want it. --Matt Innis (Talk) 13:25, 16 January 2007 (CST)

JSVR thumb

This is a small thumb size:

JSVR.jpg without frame

with frame

I can make it bigger without too much a dooh about nothin'.

I guess it has to be readable. What you think? This was just an idea, might have been a bad one. One of the problems is that red on black is not very readable at the best of times....Gareth Leng 04:17, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Flesnia....hmmmm...think I know what this stuff means, but there's a mish mash of jargon and hype here. It reads a bit like scare mongering in places and needs care and caution I think :)Gareth Leng 05:07, 17 January 2007 (CST)

OK. I'm not sure that I "get" this.

I think this is about the motor programmes that are learned in the spinal cord and in the cerebellum and brainstem. This motor learning occurs when networks of neurones are trained to behave in a new way. Actually we know quite a lot about this, but basically it involves strengthening connections between some neurons and weakening other connections, and this depends on "feedback". This type of learning is happening everuwhere in our nervous system all the time. In this case, if an injury forces some restriction of movement, initially the person may consciously move in a way that avoids pain, using a strange or unfamiliar sequence of muscle commands. Initially these movements will be planned and directed by higher centres of the brain, but with repetition, lower centres learn these sequences and take over, and the new set of movements then becomes instinctive.

Now this happens all the time and there's nothing irreversible or pathological about any of this. I think the suggestion here is that a subluxation means that the feedback information needed to train these networks is wrong, and so the new programmes that are formed are not optimal adaptations?? Gareth Leng 05:36, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Yes, it does happen all the time. And yes, I think you have the concept. Also note that even if the feedback information was correct initially, damage to the facet capsule results in fixations and that results in adaptations that result in changes in load bearing on the facet joints that are forced to adapt. The information coming from the facet capsules - which are loaded with mechanoreceptors and nociceptors - is either fascilitated or inhibited, either one having an altering effect on the rest of the system... One of the ways of detecting is because heat can be detected (Neurocalimeter, thermography, palpation) and it will be tender to the touch (palpation, patient feels it, sympathetic nervous system facilitated pain). Make sense? --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:29, 17 January 2007 (CST)

More -
  • nothing irreversible - so long as the abnormal joint function/fixation is removed. If it remains, the process cannot reverse to "normal", right? It may adapt to something that is fine, but it is never optimal again.
  • nothing pathological - not as far as being a normal response by the nervous system - but, the degenerative effects of fixating the joint develop into osteoarthritis - won't kill you but can make life less enjoyable by itself - add to that:
  • facilitated and/or inhibited autonomic nervous system as a result of the overactive or underactive feedback from mechanoreceptors and nociceptors within the joint capsules of these osteoarthritic joints (and, yes, even in the beginning stages when there are no visible changes on xray). Does this affect the end organ (the organ that receives its innervation from the same spinal segment)? DCs think yes, perhaps via lamina I and IV where the "spillover" of neurotransmitters affects the facilitation of or inhibition of the sympathetic ns that have some effect on the "end organ" per a mechanism such as we describe in the next section. We don't know, yet.
Helpful? --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:49, 17 January 2007 (CST)

OK, I'll have a go - I have some problems with the way it's written, so will edit out somephrases or words the meaning of which isn't clear to me or seems wrong, just scream if I take out something importamnt and we'll try to work it out. First problem is in knowing exactly what is meant by homeostasis here. Is this just a loose buzzword or is something very specific meant? But maybe you'd like to go at it first because I think you'll write it a lot better than Flesia did.Gareth Leng 11:46, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Organizational changes made- need more on DC research

Matt and Gareth (and others who may be out there!) I have made some organizational and language changes that I believe clarify the article. Please read through from the beginning. Matt, I think presenting the uncontested view of the spine etc, meaning that which DC and health science agree on, followed by the DC focus is a good and clear method of explanation. You had sent me refernces on actual DC research and this is what needs, in my mind, expansion. I'll wrtite you also on your talk page, regards, Nancy Sculerati MD 11:58, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Thank you, thank you, thank you.. I do apprectiate your help. As a side note to your sectioning of the article into health science and chiropractic, I think if you really examine the thoughts and theories you are going to find that 99% of chiropractic belongs in the health science section. Maybe 1% voodoo. That won't leave much for the VS. But then again, maybe it is time we acknowledged that we aren't that far apart. --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:14, 17 January 2007 (CST)

No objective evidence

Nancy, I notice that you concentrate on the "no objective evidence". I'm not sure if we have different concepts of "objective" evidence. IOWs, is palpation objective? When you palpate a lymph node, do you guys consider that objective evidence or is it only hard copy things such as blood tests, xrays, and MRIs? Really the only thing that we consider subjective are the things that patients tell us. We consider palpation and range of motion as objective evidence. Is that the way it is in medicine? IF it is, maybe we could clariy that some so it doesn't sound like DCs are just flying from the seat of their pants. --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:03, 17 January 2007 (CST)

I've palpated "a stiff back" before and after a PT has "loosened up" some joints. I'm not saying that was the right thing to do in all situations (and for many other reasons, cracking of backs is done too much, too often, and may have false claims in many situations), but i have seen it done in situations where there is immediate improvement. However, most people crack their back when all they really need to do is fire a few intervertebral muscles (and others) in a certain way (resistance, etc) to solve the underlying problem to their back pain without cracking the back at all. My bias against cp is often that they will align your spine but not deal with the muscles and underlying issue that caused the problem in the first place. I see where things can be argued both ways and where things are overused. However, it is possible to palpate stiff back joints, and I'm only a medical student. I don't actually time to read the article to even figure out what you are claiming to palpate, but i know in certain situations you can palpate joints that aren't moving like they should. And isn't it true that if you try to "crack" joints that are moving fine, they don't "crack" as often? -Tom Kelly (Talk) 16:11, 17 January 2007 (CST)
You certainly bring up some interesting "chicken or the egg" points;) Which came first, the muscle problem or the joint problem - and does it matter? Another good research project! However, as to the "'cracking' joints that are moving fine, they don't 'crack' as often", we pretty much know that it's just the opposite. IOWs, it's a combination of the tight muscles, shortened joint capsules and ligaments that won't let the joint seperate enough to create the vacuum necessary for cavitation(check out Chiropractic) to occur. The stuck one is one type of VSC. That is the one that needs manipulation type adjusting. There is no benefit in creating too much motion in a joint that is functioning normally already, which is what is happening when you are hearing those "cracks" on yourself. You're moving the ones that don't need moving. It feels good because you are firing the mechanoreceptors - like scratching an itch, you get some temporary relief, but you haven't really changed anything. As far as using muscle stretching, etc. consider this - if a facet joint is fixated from an injury and there are 10 other facet joints around it that move just fine, how are you going to create motion in the one stuck joint without creating more motion in the normal ones? Manipulation is used to move the "stuck" joint without creating more motion in the ones that aren't "stuck". It's purpose is to force that facet capsule and surrounding ligaments to lengthen, thus allowing more motion in the motor unit. So stop "cracking" those thoracic vertebrae:) --Matt Innis (Talk) 20:40, 17 January 2007 (CST)
How do you create a motion that fixes the problem? have a D.O. who is really good at osteomanipulation fix the problem! (just a little bit of a friendly jab!) I wish they taught 4 years of osteomanipulation at MD school like at DO. Oh well. -Tom Kelly (Talk) 21:31, 17 January 2007 (CST)
Correction - a good DO school. like #4 (for primary care - which osteomanipulation falls under) Michigan State U DO - -Tom Kelly (Talk) 21:34, 17 January 2007 (CST) for list of rankings for non subscribers -Tom Kelly (Talk) 21:35, 17 January 2007 (CST)
It's not too late to change your mind! Michigan State is looking pretty good compared to USC:) But your grades probably aren't good enough for chiro school, though with a good letter of rep, I might be able to get you in;) (two points:) --Matt Innis (Talk) 22:59, 17 January 2007 (CST)

A lymph node is objectively palpable, and yet can be missed by some examiners, absolutely if you operate, you find it. It is my understanding that a vertebral subluxation may exist even without externally verifiable objective evidence. Meaning: a DC feels its there but there is no "gold standard" in objective evidence to verify it. I look through the refernces, and I may not have interpreted them correctly, but I could not find any thing. Can you? If you object to the language changes I made, please alter them and we can go back and forth until we are both satisfied.Nancy Sculerati MD 12:48, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Sounds good. If you look at the references, they talk about palpation with provocative testing being intraexaminer and interexaminer reliable. Basically what they are saying to me is that when an examiner is able to palpate and put that together with range of motion and other tests that create pain, the results are reliable with other blind folks. They also state that when used by itself, palpation is not acceptable. I know in my office, I use palpation where I may find "lumps and bumps", but I'm not convinced that these are adjustable lesions until there is an element of pain elicited, whether with palpation or with range of motion or orthopedic testing (suggesting to me that the sympathetic ns is facilitated at that level). Do note - however - that a lot of the times no pain noted by the patient until it is palpated. In other words, it's like a carie on a tooth, you don't know it is there until the dentist pokes his little probe into it. As a disclaimer, that does not mean there aren't DCs out there doing some weird stuff, but I think most of us would find similar findings - and so would you if you were taught what to look for. The only thing we do that you don't is that we might add to our list of "positive" findings for a subluxation in the midthoracic region is that subjective complaint of indigestion that they have been suffering with for three years. We then treat the subluxation and "wait and see" what happens to the indigestion, because we are just as unsure as you are that it will help, but we also don't know that it won't, yet. Am I making sense? --Matt Innis (Talk) 13:27, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Yes. I did read, I think in one of the Gale reviews, that pain was an inter-observer finding that was statistically significant. This is just what we need to go over in detail, and would be a real contribution to have - in my mind, anyway, as much on this as we can. But we have to go through those papers line by line, and not skim them, and discuss them line by line, and pull Gareth and others into the discussion in a no-holds barred, no bullsh*t effort to come to an understanding. When I use that rough and tough language, I do not mean it with animosity, I mean that we do respect each other and we are friends - but we are not going to lie to each other to "make nice", instead we are actually going to try to figure out the limits of what we think and believe about the subject, and what we can say here as truth. Frankly, there is grant support available from NIH for doing good studies on alternative medicine and the right design to test some of these points could even be come up with by us! Back to your original objection - my point about objective evidence is that is is not required for the diagnosis of a vertebral subluxation, and clearly- unless I have totally misunderstood (and yes, that does happen!) vertebral subluxation is not a concretely understood entity among DCs. If I am wrong about this point, please do not be too polite to openly correct me. So, my understanding is that its not like a lymph node in that sense, as you say- some even deny it exists whereas although MDs might disagree abouth whether they feel an enlarged node on a particluar exam, no one says they question the existence of lymph nodes. There are other equally real findings on a clinical exam, a heart murmur, a middle ear effussion, that are not obvious to all examiners- but again there is always some technical way to check the exam. It seems that there is no one specific agreed upon concrete finding for vertebral subluxation, but there is a common method among DCs for examining the back and there are shared methods among DCs for treating what they find, and that's where I think it makes sense to focus the rest of our efforts in this article. When it comes to "the science", it's kind of silly to try to review the zillions of bytes of knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of the spine from a general perspective, on the other hand, I (at least) have never come across an article written for the lay public that really tried to explain a chiropracter's thinking and really reviewed the techniques and the scientific evidence in a detailed way. I think that putting vertebral subluxation in that context is an exciting challenge. Nancy Sculerati MD 14:09, 17 January 2007 (CST) P.S. Tom, from what I have gathered through my reading and writing the Chiropractic article, there are identifiable changes in the exam that might correspond to subluxations, but these are very subjective to the examiner. Even babies get their spines adjusted, and it's not as if a DC vertebral subluxation corresponds to a well-defined anatomic abnormality, but that is not to say that the concept is fallacious, it's just to say that it is (in my mind, anyway) speculative. Matt, in medicine the difference between pain with palpation and pain even without being touched is that the first is called tenderness, and it is a distinction that does give information. Obviously, sometimes there is pain both ways as well, usually getting worse with palpation, but there are some pains that are somewhat relieved with pressure too, often depending on how the pressure is applied. Nancy Sculerati MD 19:58, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Nancy, you keep saying things like this: but these are very subjective to the examiner and it's not as if a DC vertebral subluxation corresponds to a well-defined anatomic abnormality. Exactly what is it that is not objective about what you have seen? I'm puzzled. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:00, 17 January 2007 (CST)
Pain is similar for us, though we would use pain to describe all different types of sensations, including parasthesias. When we talk about provocative testing, we look for motions or positions or procedures that provoke the symptom. I'm sure that's the same for you. So palpation with provocative testing is reliable intra and interexaminer. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:06, 17 January 2007 (CST) P.S. We also consider that as an objective finding - you would, too, I assume. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:08, 17 January 2007 (CST)

Well, sorry to butt in here. Pain is classically a very difficult issue, and it's just not possible to quantify how much pain is felt by an individual, or to know whether the experiences of any two people are similar even when they describe it in similar terms. Accordingly we don't regard assessment of pain as objective - this does not mean it's not real or not important. The problem is that in coming to a diagnosis, pain may a) be reported differently by different people even if the cause is identical, b) be reported differently by the patient depending on who asks the questions or how or in what circumstances they are asked, and c) perception of pain may arise in many different ways and be blocked out in many different ways. So while minimising perception of pain is clearly a major objective of treatment, the subjective nature poses real difficulties for diagnosis. I think part of the difference in perspective may be related to the fact that in conventional medicine patients are typically seen by a succession of different specialists, whereas patients of chiropractors are under the continuous care of a single individual. So inter-observer differences in how symptoms are measured and recorded are much more problematic in a conventional setting, hence the emphasis on objectively documented findings. ???? Gareth Leng 04:15, 18 January 2007 (CST)

I agree with everything said with regard to the sensation of pain - it can be different from patient to patient, but provocation of pain is the key feature here. IOWs, if I find a "spot" that I think is suspicious, I then stand the patient up and put them through flexion, extension, laterally flex them, raise their leg to stretch it, etc. When the patient identifies that as painful(regardless of their perception of what pain is), the reliability from examiner to examiner and for me to find the same spot again is good. Also, in subsequent evaluations, a decrease in that sensation of that same pain by that particular patient when scored using scales such as 1 to 10 are found to be also objective. I think that is what the research is saying. You? --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:03, 18 January 2007 (CST)

Matt, please don't be offended. Please put the language of the article in a way that reads correctly to you, you may change any of the words I placed and - although I might make more changes-I won't "squawk". :) Nancy Sculerati MD 08:34, 18 January 2007 (CST)

No problem, I have to work in spurts and need to wait till I have a good block of time. Besides, I have to go get my boxing gloves out of the recycle bin. --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:53, 18 January 2007 (CST)


I really don't think we're far apart, it's just that we're reading different things into the words. Can we take the sections that might need agreement? Maybe this is the first

"Although this definition uses the phrase "neural integrity", that term is used strictly within the framework of chiropractic, and does not imply that any objective measureable electrophysiological inhibition of nerve impulses, or measureable anatomic misalignment of the joint on x-ray or by other imaging study, is required for a chiropractic diagnosis of vertebral subluxation."

OK, how about this instead?

"Although this definition uses the phrase "neural integrity", this is a chiropractic interpretation of the condition; diagnosis of vertebral subluxation does not involve any direct evidence of electrophysiological inhibition of nerve impulses, nor does it necessarily involve any direct evidence of anatomical misalignment of the joint on X-ray or by other imaging study."

Perhaps direct evidence is better than objective evidence, and I think that's what we might really mean - :)Gareth Leng 10:26, 18 January 2007 (CST)

I think it needs more than that. This is a definition worked out by likely literally hundreds of scholarly minds with expert knowledge of the profession. I think they meant neural integrity in the english language sense of the word when they said neural intergity. It's kinda weasely to say, "yeah, but your neural integrity is different than my neural integrity." It makes it look argumentative and POV. Don't you think? --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:16, 18 January 2007 (CST)

OK, I see your concerns here. I guess I felt that if the word chiropractic in the above was replaced by the word scientific I wouldn't have had a problem in that it wouldn't imply to me that the interpretation was questionable. This is what I mean when I say that I think we're reading into words things that weren't intended. It seems to me perfectly reasonable to say that these are the conclusions that this group of experts would draw, and that a different group of experts might not draw the same conclusions from the same evidence. Its not saying one is right and the other wrong. I'm an electrophysiologist;I put most emphasis on the type of data that I know and understand, because I think I can tell the difference between strong and weak evidence. For example a connection between two brain areas can be shown neuroanatomically or neurophysiologically. Now I'm more cautious sometimes about neuroanatomical evidence because I know that it has problems just as neurophysiological evidence has problems, but because I'm more confident about evaluating the strength of evidence from electrophysiology I'm more likely to feel able to draw a confident conclusion from that than from evidence in which I'm less of an expert. If you can't see something directly, you have to make an interpretation, and the interpretation you make is bound to be influenced by what you know and are confident about. Anyway, I'll look at this all more closely. We must maintain respect for different areas of expertise, but not be afraid to be straight where there are differences of interpretation, and present those differences honestly, fairly and constructively. I'm probably talking when I should be reading more.....Gareth Leng 18:05, 18 January 2007 (CST)

I see what you mean, yes. Wow, it does read so much different looking through your eyes. Under those circumstances, I would be concerned that "does not involve any direct evidence of electrophysiological inhibition of nerve impulses" makes it sound like there is no possible way that any information is traveling along the nerve. Not being an expert in electrophysiologic inhibition, that sounds like the "end all" test to tell if there is nerve activity. It sounds contradictory - like chiropractors are calling it neural integrity, but it really isn't the nerve, that's just what they are calling it. Do you think maybe part of the problem is that we are looking at this through scientific magnifying glasses, when it is meant as a political definition. It's a consensus definition that lays claim to anything that is related to the spine and nerve to protect the practice of chiropractic for all it's different types of members. And we're trying to place scientific boundaries on an a definition that was meant to be all inclusive. What do you think? --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:59, 18 January 2007 (CST)

Yes, I think I'd agree. It seems to me that chiropractors use this concept to rationalise treatments that in their experience are effective. Doesn't seem to me to be anything wrong with that, its a plausible rationalisation, and a reasonable working assumption. However it is not one that will be generally accepted as the 'only possible' explanation without more direct evidence than practitioners can provide. My understanding, which may well be faulty, is that osteopaths for instance might look at the same signs and the same evidence and treat in a similar way but rationalise their treatment by its effects on blood flow. Also a plausible hypothesis, and not the only one.

No "direct evidence" of an effect on neural integrity to me means just that, that there is no direct evidence not that the conclusion is wrong. For me, as an electrophysiologist (experimental not clinical) what I understand by direct evidence needs electrophysiological recordings - you stimulate on one side of the injury, record on the other, and show that conduction is weak or slow. This is still not perfect, because when a motor nerve recovers from injury the way it innervates muuscle can develop abnormally - normally one motoneurone innervates a single muscle fibre, but a regenerating fibre can end up innervating several different muscle fibres; in this case the neural integrity is fully restored at the site of injury, but there is still functional loss as a result of the aberrant neuromuscular connection. I wouldn't be content with imaging data because on the one hand nerves can appear normal yet be hyper or hypoexcitable, and on the other hand there may be damage which is effectively compensated for.

In clinical cases, I know its often not practicable to support a conclusion abut the causes of disease with direct evidence. I don't know how often conclusions about the causes of conditions generally are in fact supported by direct evidence - not often I suspect. I think the important thing in this article is to make it clear that the concept of vertebral subluxation is how chiropractors prefer to explain why their treatments are effective, but that different health professionals prefer different explanations, and there is generally no direct evidence of a sort that would enable an objective decision to be made about which explanation is most correct. Gareth Leng 08:37, 19 January 2007 (CST) End of lead This concept is not used in conventional medicine, whose practitioners believe that the inference that neural integrity is impaired needs more direct evidence than the evidence accepted as sufficient in chiropractic, and who believe that there might often be other possible explanations of the signs and symptoms.??Gareth Leng 08:39, 19 January 2007 (CST)

I think you have a good grip on it. Can we say: From a purely scientific standpoint, the inference that neural integrity is impaired lacks the direct evidence necessary to be accepted as a mainstream medical concept, but chiropractors seem to use the it to explain why they feel their treatments are effective. --Matt Innis (Talk) 23:58, 20 January 2007 (CST)

Does my last change work?? for anyone??? Gareth Leng 09:50, 22 January 2007 (CST)

For me, no. Instead of wording that is simple and clear, there is a lot of confusing language. I have a hard time understanding it. Nancy Sculerati MD 12:23, 22 January 2007 (CST)

How about just plain: The inference that neural integrity is impaired lacks direct evidence, but nevertheless, chiropractors use it as a model to explain why their treatments seem to have effects on organ systems. --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:46, 22 January 2007 (CST)

Much better than mu tangled prose!!!!Gareth Leng 07:59, 23 January 2007 (CST)

Back to this after a break, spotted a few minor glitchesand had a fresh look at the lead, but overall I think this must be close. Need the Flesia reference.Gareth Leng 04:00, 28 January 2007 (CST)
I took a short one, too. I also made some clarifying changes in the middle - please check them over. It was more in line with Nancy's suggestions. Here's where I found the Flesia info. If you go back to the link before, you'll find the whole series of articles, but I think this is enough. You did an awesome job digesting it. I didn't mean for you to do it all, but I sure am glad you did:) I'll work my way down one more time tomorrow, then I think I'll be ready as well. --Matt Innis (Talk) 21:03, 29 January 2007 (CST)

Let's go through it together + discuss before making more changes

In the first line, spinal is hyperlinked, yet "spinal segment" is not. Now, I am not entirely familiar with this term: spinal segment. Matt- what exactly does it mean? (and thanks for the dog leap!) Nancy Sculerati MD 08:47, 31 January 2007 (CST)

Spinal segment is a vestige of WP. Something about not using the word vertebra in the defintion. I am open to any other word you might want to use. --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:12, 31 January 2007 (CST)

Sorry, jumped the gun and changed to "section of the spine". Slapped my wrist and retreating now.Gareth Leng 09:49, 31 January 2007 (CST)

Please rewrite that sentence as you think best below, and we will go on from there. Let's not use boxing gloves, but kid gloves, and let's be very, very careful. :-) Nancy Sculerati MD 09:53, 31 January 2007 (CST)

Something along these lines:
  • Vertebral subluxation is a catch-all term used by chiropractors to refer to the many signs and symptoms that they suggest are the result of misaligned or abnormally functioning vertebrae of the spine.
I am not happy with the word catch-all here, but I think it is an accurate description of how chiropractors use the word subluxation. See what you think.

Who wrote that- you, Matt? If you as a Chiropractor feel that is true-I can completely accept it. The great thing about it is that it avoids presenting an architectural definition of vertebral 'misalignment' that is at the heart of the conflict. We can work on coming up with language that is more elegant, in medicine, the conventional euphanism for "catch-all" is "nonspecific", though I think catch-all makes the meaning plainer. Let's at least get Gareth to weigh in, also. Nancy Sculerati MD 11:13, 31 January 2007 (CST)

I think that was Matt, and I think it expresses exactly the spirit of the concept as I've begun to understand it - its the name given to the those events that cause the things that spinal adjustments fix, so its existence is "defined" in effect, for any given case, by the fact of chiropractic's efficacy in treating that case. Its a catch-all, and why not.Gareth Leng 12:41, 31 January 2007 (CST)

Check it now, please. Add in links, and change first paragraph as you feel is needed. Nancy Sculerati MD 14:15, 31 January 2007 (CST)

(edit conflict- wrote this before Nancy's post) Gareth - along the lines that you stated, this came from DD Palmer's 1911 book (this would be the last book he wrote right before he began with the really religious overtones - he died 2 years later):
  • "In the history of the usual philosophies, sciences and arts, philosophy comes first, then science, and art last—a peculiar change in the revolution of ideas is ours —during the first three years of Chiropractic the first man only knew how to crudely push bones; later his followers began to reason how to do these things better; gradually, of course, and proportionally as the pupils paced the teacher the teacher followed the pupil, but it is only in the last three years that the why of Chiropractic has been worked out and made a practical foundation."
I think that means what you just said. --Matt Innis (Talk) 14:24, 31 January 2007 (CST)
As for catch-all. I have never heard any other chiropractor describe it as that, but I don't think anyone would fault us for it, though it would not hurt my feelings for it to find a synonym. --Matt Innis (Talk) 14:24, 31 January 2007 (CST)

I wrote a sample first paragraph without it for this reason- the problem , I think, is that in anatomy a subluxed vertebral joint has a specific meaning- having to do with physical arcgetecture, but in chiropractic the meaning is the inherent abnormailty of the spine causing the problem- there is no absolute "architectural" implication. Of course, I understand that the vertbal joint might be physically displaced or measureably compromised - but that is not a requirement. Nancy Sculerati MD 15:22, 31 January 2007 (CST)

Very close. Still missing something, though. --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:28, 1 February 2007 (CST)

This is what we have now:

  • Vertebral subluxation is the term used by chiropractors for the underlying cause of the many signs and symptoms that they attribute to misaligned or abnormally functioning spinal vertebrae. The term is fundamental in chiropractic, and it indicates a concept rather than any specific anatomic relationship.

Maybe it needs to be simplified:

  • Vertebral subluxation is the term used by chiropractors for the underlying cause of symptoms resulting from misaligned spinal vertebrae. The term is fundamental in chiropractic, and it indicates a concept more than any specific anatomic relationship.

--Matt Innis (Talk) 14:43, 1 February 2007 (CST)

  • Vertebral subluxation is the term used by chiropractors for the underlying cause of symptoms that they attribute to misaligned spinal vertebrae. The term is fundamental in chiropractic, and it indicates a concept more than any specific anatomic relationship.

?Gareth Leng 05:23, 2 February 2007 (CST)

That works perfectly for me! Nancy? --Matt Innis (Talk) 06:58, 2 February 2007 (CST)

This intro is preferred by me: Vertebral subluxation is the term used by chiropractors for the underlying cause of symptoms that they attribute to misaligned spinal vertebrae. The term is fundamental in chiropractic, and it indicates a concept rather than any specific anatomic relationship. I changed only one word- "more" to "rather", since -from what I can tell, a vertebral subluxation would be said to exist if there was someting "not right" about the feel of a back and there were complaints of pain or ill-health that existed,( either without being exacerbated by touching that area- and most certainly if those complaints were exacerbated by touching that area), even if every imaging test in the world showed that the vertebrae were normally aligned. If I have misconstrued, please say so- and try to get me to understand. NancyNancy Sculerati MD 08:24, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Okay, I see what you are saying. Then the problem seems to be with "anatomical relationship". I'll use osteoarthritis (OA) as an example as we are both familiar with it... If we consider that VSC includes all the stages of OA, then it is easy to see that imaging would show all the anatomic changes that occur with OA on Xray, MRI, etc.. However, there are stages that precede anything that can be seen on these imaging techniques(starting microscopically). Are these anatomical changes, too? These studies are also limited in their ability to evaluate the neurological elements that are occurring. Where do we draw the line as to what is considered an "anatomical" deviation. By using "rather" we seem to restrict VSC to a hypothetical time frame (that does not show imaging changes) while "more" includes this time frame as well as those that are visible. Is there a better way to say this? --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:00, 2 February 2007 (CST)

I don't think so, Matt. Can you live with it? Nancy Sculerati MD 10:03, 2 February 2007 (CST) addendum- 'rather' does not mean that anatomic changes are never there- it just means that they do not have to be there, in other words a vertebral subluxation in chiropractic terms does not depend on abnormal anatomy as necesary for the chiropractic diagnosis. Nancy Sculerati MD 10:05, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Your addendum definition certainly says what I am saying, so we must be thinking the same thing. Here are the definitions given by for "rather":

  1. .More readily; preferably: I'd rather go to the movies.
  2. .With more reason, logic, wisdom, or other justification.
  3. .More exactly; more accurately: He's my friend, or rather he was my friend.
  4. .To a certain extent; somewhat: rather cold.
  5. .On the contrary.

My read was that it was saying "on the contrary". Are any of the other ones what we are trying to say? --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:54, 2 February 2007 (CST)

How about "instead of"? Vertebral subluxation is the term used by chiropractors for the underlying cause of symptoms that they attribute to misaligned spinal vertebrae. The term is fundamental in chiropractic, and it indicates a concept instead of any specific anatomic relationship. Is that ok with you? Nancy Nancy Sculerati MD 11:30, 2 February 2007 (CST)

"Instead of" still sounds like "on the contrary". How about if we add "to some". Its a little weaselly, but it allows for the "one or the other". Vertebral subluxation is the term used by chiropractors for the underlying cause of symptoms that they attribute to misaligned spinal vertebrae. The term is fundamental in chiropractic, and to some it indicates a concept rather than any specific anatomic relationship. --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:43, 2 February 2007 (CST)

What is the specific anatomic relationship that it implies to some chiropractors? Nancy Nancy Sculerati MD 11:46, 2 February 2007 (CST)

OK. I suspect that the answer might depend on the chiropractor. I know there are shades and subtleties, and sometimes these shades are either not seen at all or even if they are, it's not believed that words were chosen so carefully. Nebvertheless, adding "to some" impies an argument within chiropractic, so in what sense is it fundamental... :). So, I suggest.......

"The term is used extensively by chiropractors, and in several different ways, and to some it indicates a concept rather than any specific anatomical relationship. .

? I think they're all fine actually, I suspect that these nudges are all below the horizon. Is this the last remaining issue with this article? Surely not? Anyway, we should nominate To Approve to see if anyone else wishes to contributeGareth Leng 12:06, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Ahh, shucks, I didn't get to say "That depends on what your definition of is is?" :) Okay, Nancy, keep going through the article and I'll put the tag on it (If I can remember how to do it). --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:54, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Approval for Vertebral Subluxation

Ok, Matt- please put the template at the top of this page (the discussion page) as that has become the norm. I think you should be the nominating editor. The date should be at least a week so that we can continue to hash things out, please. Also- shouldn't this be healing arts workgroup? Is it so designated? Nancy Sculerati MD 14:17, 2 February 2007 (CST)

What happened to the template? Nancy Sculerati MD 14:24, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Took me awhile to get it right (I hope). --Matt Innis (Talk) 15:13, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Looks good to me, Shall we continue through section by section? Nancy Sculerati MD 15:21, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Okay, give it a shot. --Matt Innis (Talk) 15:46, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Alright Matt, here we go: I don't have the focus that I need right now to really check over the spine stuff, so I am temporarily skipping that section. Coming to the next section, I would like to discuss "conventional medicine". I object to the idea that somehow the "medical view" needs to be summed up in any way here. Truthfully, vertebral subluxation is not a concept in medicine. Specifically, I would like to remove lines like: By contrast MDs generally look first for other causes of diseases where there is no obvious reason to believe that there is spinal involvement. Please express your view freely. :-) Nancy Nancy Sculerati MD 15:56, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Take it out. I thought it was in there for you. --Matt Innis (Talk) 16:01, 2 February 2007 (CST)

OK, I did. I also changed "medical conditions" to "symptoms and health problems". Is this OK with you? Nancy Sculerati MD 16:15, 2 February 2007 (CST)

Okay with taking out medical conditions, but might have to look at symptoms and health conditions (haven't looked at the article, yet) - mostly because the ultrastraights don't treat symptoms (they treat subluxations and symptoms go away..) so as long as it's in that sense. --Matt Innis (Talk) 16:23, 2 February 2007 (CST) Ok. I read where you changed it, I think that will work. --Matt Innis (Talk) 07:25, 3 February 2007 (CST)

Sticking point-"neural integrity"

Matt, to me- nerve means only one thing, and integrity, means only one thing, and the neural integrity aspect of vertebral subluxations is a problem. If a nerve has impaired integrity, then that must be demonstrable on some level- concretely. Can we handle this as a concept, also? Nancy Sculerati MD 08:01, 3 February 2007 (CST)

I think as long as we just remember that this is just a consensus statement from the profession. For some background, the chiropractic profession includes 70,000 chiropractors from 17 different schools with leaders that had original minds with as diverse ideas as Aristotyl and Plato. This statement was a consensus statement from all the schools and associations that was finally reached after 95 years of effort to get the different "warring" branches to agree on what a subluxation is. A great friend of mine taught me that, even in the study of elementary mathematics, a law that is too narrow risks leaving something out, while too wide risks including unwanted things. I think neural integrity is necessarily wide to include all the various philosophies, though it does risks including some unwanted things. Which were you concerned about? --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:21, 3 February 2007 (CST)

Well, my concern is the use of the statement in the article. I think that if I can work with it a bit to make clear just what you said in your reply, I'm happy. I'm going to do that now (or shortly) and if we then need to revert, don't worry, we will. NancyNancy Sculerati MD 09:34, 3 February 2007 (CST)

Now, many hours later, I read over that paragraph, and think: what problem? "In 1996, the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, representing all chiropractic colleges in the USA, unified the definition as, "a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health." That's simply true. And the "direct evidence" line that follows it gives some explanation, and is also ok. Nancy Sculerati MD 06:34, 4 February 2007 (CST)

Broke Spinal injury

I added headers to break spinall injury into a "concensus view' and "chiropractic". I think this is an important calrification. Is it ok in theory? If so, could it be worded better? Nancy Nancy Sculerati MD 06:41, 4 February 2007 (CST)

In theory perfect. Can it be worded better... ? ... it sounds so good. Is it true, yes, except that there is nothing unscientific in any of the statements that follow. So does the reader have to make a choice to believe health science or chiropractic view? I think it is neutral but may be unnecessarily argumentative. But it sounds and looks good so I am not going change it. Matt Innis (Talk) 16:24, 4 February 2007 (CST)

Matt, it's not argumentative, it's a consensus view, for God's sake! :-) Nancy Sculerati MD 16:29, 4 February 2007 (CST)

Perhaps I should have stopped at unnecessary? But I still like it. Matt Innis (Talk) 17:04, 4 February 2007 (CST)

More specific title for this article.

I got here via Nancy's post in the forums. I am assuming that commenting on approval staus involves both content and style, so my comments are a mix of these. Here are some points which I hope could help the authors and editors refining this article (I have not changed anything in the article as it is):

  1. Subluxation of any of the joints in a spinal motion segment is a concept which any MD with a basic idea of spinal anatomy would understand. That understanding would, however, bear little relationship to the term that the DCs have come to be saddled with. A layman reading this article may be pretty confused if his MD had explained his spondilolysthesis as a subluxation of a vertebral body, and then found this article when he was looking for an explanation of the orthopaedic use of the term. While the difference is noted in this article (and, I believe, even better explained in Chiropractic, I suggest that the authors and editors consider something like "Vertebral subluxation (chiropractic)" as the full title for the article.
  2. As an alternative, one may add, immediately after the sentence "The term is fundamental in chiropractic, and it indicates a concept rather than any specific anatomic relationship", something like: "This should not be confused with the general anatomical use of the term "subluxation", which indicates simply that a joint is partially out of alignment, and by itself does not imply any disease outside of the shifted joint itself."
  3. Section "The human spine": I would suggest that the authors review the use of unnecessary adjectives which "mystify" or "complicate" the concepts or anatomic descriptions, and are sometimes wrong. I would suggest sticking to sober scientific descriptions. Some examples which you may or may not find sensible:
    1. the spinal cord. - the delicate bundle of nerves that is the pathway of communication between brain and body. (Spinal cord would be a link anyway)
    2. an intricate maze network(?) of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue with a spongy fibro-elastic(?) disc pad between them
    3. To make it all work together, a vast array of nervous tissue wraps itself in and among the joint capsules, ligaments and muscles in a weblike fashion constantly transmitting information. These nerves have differing functions; some are afferent (sensory) nerves; some of these monitor how much stretch is being applied to the ligaments or muscles (i.e. mechanoreceptors), others send information about joint position (proprioception) to let the brain know where each joint is and what direction it is moving, and others carry information about temperature and pain. Other spinal nerves are efferent nerves (motor); some of these stimulate tiny muscle groups as necessary to adapt to the constant minor changes in posture and larger groups to maintain proper balance; others control blood flow in parts of the body, and provide growth factors that are important for maintaining tissue and organ funtion (spelling). Are you describing spinal nerve function in general, or talking about the innervation of spinal structures specifically? I would use words like "coordinate" instead of "make it all work together"; "a fine network of nerves innervate" instead of "a vast array of nervous tissue wraps itself in and among ... in a weblike fashion". For "These nerves have ... maintaining tissue and organ funtion.", I would simplify, and discuss systematically, something like: "There are two main classes of nerves, those that transmit information from the tissues to the spinal cord and brain (sensory or afferent nerves), and those that transmit information from the spinal cord to ... etc."

Come to think of it, I think the whole "The human spine" section can be rewritten, not because the information is wrong, but because it does not read like science. If this section comes across as fanciful or flowery writing, then the rest of the article may suffer. I will post a re-phrase of the section tomorrow (together with other points on the article which may be considered - it is now 02:00 on 2007-02-05 where I live), so that the authors can better judge what my point is, and then do as you think best. --Christo Muller 18:16, 4 February 2007 (CST)

We've had the "read like science' battle in biology, already. :-) If it's true and interesting, I vote for it over dry and 'trying to sound impressive'. Nancy Sculerati MD

I guess that the key is to be sure who this article is for - I think we intended it for the intelligent lay person who has heard a bit about chiropractic, and wants to know more. We wanted to avoid jargon, not assume any specialised knowledge, and make the article accessible rather than intimidating, while being accurate and honest. I think its important to avoid flowery language, but I'd prefer "spongy" to "fibro-elastic" because the first is accurate and will always be understood whereas the second is more informative but will be less understood. The spinal cord as a delicate bundle of nerves, well that's exactly what it is, and it is delicate. We tried to avoid the jargon of chiropractors and the jargon of science and conventional medicine alike. I know what you mean when you say it doesn't souund like science; personally I think that's an unfortunate reflection on much of science writing :-}. I know that the sense of authority is important - and yet - I don't really like authority that comes from intimidation with technical terms that aren't really necessary. It's a balance. Gareth Leng 04:56, 5 February 2007 (CST)

No problem with any of the changes I see so far. I prefer flowery;) --Matt Innis (Talk) 07:49, 5 February 2007 (CST)

OK, that is your preference. Without a representative reader (not author) survey to go by, the issue is a matter of opinion, and I too like entertaining prose. I see the Spine section is mostly copied from the internal link anyway. The issue of sponginess would probably be best addressed in an article on the anatomy intervertebral disk as such. One little point: I read the section as saying that the human vertebral column consists of 24 vertebrae. My training tells me that in adults over 30 there are 26 bones that can move relatively to each other, and that that number is considerably more in children. Does chiropractic teach otherwise? --Christo Muller 10:48, 5 February 2007 (CST)
Thanks! Good eye! I seem to have lost the word moveable - 24 moveable vertebra. Matt Innis (Talk) 10:53, 5 February 2007 (CST)
Oh, no, it's in there. And, yes, that is the way we are taught; 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, and 5 lumbar vertebrae - all moveable. I suppose the occiput and sacrum could be considered as moveable but maybe it's that in the adult they are not considered vertebrae per se. The article on the spine could elaborate this better. --Matt Innis (Talk) 11:11, 5 February 2007 (CST)
I see the Spine section is mostly copied from the internal link anyway. Good point, at least we're consistant. Matt Innis (Talk) 12:32, 5 February 2007 (CST)

I wonder what the point of having a long, rather than a very brief, section on the spine is here? It seems to me that we need to have at least two more articles on CZ LIve that are linked to this one- One is "The Human Spine", and the other is "Subluxation of the vertebral joint", both under Biology and Health Science Workgroups, with authorship open to all. Meanwhile, this article would have room to fully explore its topic- the Chiropractic principle of vertebral subluxation. Of course, having a section on the spine here is important - but I think we might be able to cull some of the anatomic details that do not directly feed into the next section of the article. For example, the sacrum and cocyx are generally always considered to be vertebrae -but, perhaps that is irrelevant to this article? Nancy Sculerati MD 11:49, 5 February 2007 (CST)

I think it is a matter of adding context to the concept. I believe that part of the reason there is so much confusion about chiropractic is precisely because, when presented to the public, the concept has been stripped of its scientific basis. As a result, educated minds look at it and see it as hogwash - pinched nerve causing high blood pressure! And I can't blame them, that is hogwash. But, when receiving this information in context of the anatomy and physiology that accompany it, it gives the reader a better idea of what is real and what is conjecture. And it makes more sense. It doesn't say whether it is right or wrong, just states it so that people understand the state of the science and the art. I think the health science articles should use this method as well. Matt Innis (Talk) 12:07, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Trimming etc

Actually the Human spine text was copied from this article, not the other way round, as I thought that Nancy and Matt's text deserved to be repeated as a start to that

I am with Matt on this, I think that artices need to be understandable in themelves as far as possible and I don,t see how you can really understand this concept without a very clear explanation of the anatomy.Gareth Leng 14:36, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Spinal segment

Anyway, while reading sources for Subluxation of the vertebral joint I took a break and looked into Dachshund (I know the breed has problems with the spine and I need details for the article), and I came across some stuff that I hadn't known before, that phrase 'spinal segment' that had come from the original WP article on vertebral subluxation might have had a very recognized meaning (though not by me). Here's a quote, talking about particular aspects of vertebral joints in dogs from an article in The Veterinary Journal(S.Breit:Osteological and Morphometric Observations on Intervertebral Joints in the Canine Pre-diaphragmatic Thoracic Spine. 164, 216-223).: Facet joints are part of the 'motion segment', which forms the smallest functional spinal unit exhibiting the generic biomechanical characteristics of the spine. In the cervical and lumbar regions, a motion segment consists of two adjacent vertebrae, various ligaments, an intervetebral disc, and facet joints." I will now look up the refernces cited by the article about motion segments of the spine, a concept that might make very intuitive sense to you, Matt? It may be that if we take "vertebral subluxation" to be chiropractic for ""Impaired motion segment of the spine" that we are all on exactly the same page, here . Nancy Sculerati MD 14:25, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Yes, Nancy. In fact, we used to call two vertebrae, the disc, the facets and their related structures a motor unit, but it conflicted with the motor unit that is used to describe the neurological description for the muscle fiber and it's innervation. The name was subsequently changed to motion segment, which is probably more correct anyway. "Impaired motion segment of the spine" is certainly what I am trying to write about. If I had known that was what you needed I would have left this in. Now you see? :) Matt Innis (Talk) 15:40, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Matt, I think I'm starting to understand the ideas here. I feel very "unworthy' of the task, I have to tell you. All I am is a reasonably bright and reasonably open minded MD with some clinical and some lab science background, and nothing more. I don't have any personal knowledge of chiropractic and I am reading the orthopedic, neurosurgical, and vet. litereature on the spine- most of it for the first time, along with reviewing the human anatomy. I'm enjoying learning but I am no expert on any of this. Who is? Are there people we can invite to come and review this? NancyNancy Sculerati MD 16:04, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Nancy, don't sell yourself short. You have done an excellent job catching the weaknesses in the theory and my writing of it. This article, as well as the chiropractic article, is sooo much better because of you. I think we have most of the concepts in now. When I read through the Biology article, you didn't need me for Biology, you needed me to look for grammer, spelling, and comment on your prose as to whether you were getting you ideas out. I love your writing. In fact, I tried to emulate it. So just look through it, ask me questions and if it doesn't make sense to you, it probably won't to others, so let me know it. Remember, this is just a model - like the germ theory. We didn't invent it. All we do is write it down. Matt Innis (Talk) 16:52, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Matt, thank you- but I don't understand this theory! I'm open to learning, but that's different! :-) N Nancy Sculerati MD 16:56, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Well, if you don't understand it, then maybe we've gotten too complicated for the reader as well? Let's take a break, maybe Gareth has some input, too. Matt Innis (Talk) 17:17, 5 February 2007 (CST)

I used the term "spinal motion segment" in my point 1. in the section above on a more specific name for this article. A web search would reveal much writing and discussion about the importance and complexity of the idea, to orthopedic surgeons as much as to DCs, and to those in between (like myself:). I think it should be explained to the reader. --Christo Muller Oops too few squigglies --Christo Muller 17:31, 5 February 2007 (CST)

Reference suggestions

Me again. I have corrected a few misspellings, and changed the sentence about the pediatrician and the elbow injury to read more easily. Otherwise I prefer to leave the real writing to those who know what they wish to express.

Some notes on references, and those off-site links in the text:

[ gymnast] An off-site link to a very small and very fast gif, the quality is poor, the accelerated action amateurish, all in all less impressive than the single Nadia_Comaneci.jpg. I suggest one leaves the off-site link out. (Speaking of which, is there a clearer picture of Comaneci anywhere? Those of us who were priviledge to see that performance, will not forget)

[ condition.] This is an off-site flash animation, and should be indicated as such in the article - Flash is a really poor medium for dial-up modems, especially where users pay per minute on line. Also, the link does not illustrate the term "condition", but rather points to a site that interactively illustrates the whole preceding sentence.

  • I suggest that the sentence be rewritten as: "For instance, they would consider midback pain, tightness between the shoulders and indigestion all to be related to the same condition. (See [ this Flash animation] for examples.)

V. Strang DC suggests several ways by which a misaligned vertebra interfere with nervous communication in his book Essential Principles of Chiropractic.<ref>Strang V (1984) ''Essential Principles of Chiropractic'' Davenport : Palmer College of Chiropractic, OCLC: 12102972</ref> - This is imprecise: does the misaligned vertebra interfere with nervous communication in his book?

  • I suggest change to: V. Strang DC, in his book Essential Principles of Chiropractic,<ref>Strang V (1984) ''Essential Principles of Chiropractic'' Davenport : Palmer College of Chiropractic, OCLC: 12102972</ref> suggests several ways by which a misaligned vertebra may interfere with nervous communication.

In the following paragraph, I suggest placing the reference at the end of the sentence where it is introduced, not at the end of the whole paragraph:

  • For example, a research team at the National University of Health Sciences evaluated changes of the lumbar vertebral column after immobilizing vertebrae in laboratory animals to mimic a fixation of the joint.{{cite journal | author = Cramer G ''et al'' | title = Degenerative changes following spinal fixation in a small animal model | journal = J Manip Physiol Ther | volume = 27 | pages = 141-54 | year = | id = PMID 15129196}}

The following is a 'very problematic reference - third hand, and with no indication who actually wrote the words. The present reference uses an off-site link, which is not desirable. I suggest:

  • "When any of the vertebrae become displaced or too prominent, the patient experiences inconvenience from a local derangement in the nerves of the part. He, in consequence, is tormented with a train of nervous symptoms, which are as obscure in their origin as they are stubborn in their nature..." (Harrison, 1821)<ref>[ Christopher Kent, D.C. ''Models of Vertebral Subluxation: A Review.'' J Vertebral Subluxation Research, August 1996, Vol 1, No 1] (Accessed 2007-02-04), references the quote from Terrett AJC. ''The search for the subluxation: an investigation of medical literature to 1985.'' Chiro History 1987;7:29</ref>
  • A long and complicated affair, but the only one that really says how the quote was derived. There is no indication in the pdf file who "Harrison" was. If someone can find the Terrett article, then the quote would no doubt be better referenced. --Christo Muller 18:06, 5 February 2007 (CST)
Harrison is Edward Harrison MD (1759-1838) (studied in Edinburgh :-))[2], apparently he wrote a series of articles on

“observations respecting the nature and origin of the common species of disorders of the spine: with critical remarks on the opinions of former writers on the disease.” Terrett article not available to me.Gareth Leng 04:09, 6 February 2007 (CST)

Thanks so much, Christo. yes, I have been doing a medline search on "motion segment", and you ae absolutely right -I find that it is a well-known concept in the orthopedic and neurosurgical view of the spine. A fundamental concept that any physician dealing with the spine would know about (obviously leaving me out). In terms of the spine sectiopn, I would suggest that the basic anatomic and physiologic information here in this article be re-written so that instead of being general (so many vertebrae etc.) it specifically supports the notion that, as you put it Matt- a "pinched nerve" can cause problems. In other words, go over exactly what nerves come out of the spine, where they go, etc., how the basic science-in general- might support the idea that the spine has a central role in health. I am in no way signing off, I am pleased to be a co-author here, and I may be able to help with that. I just think we would be better off if we had an orthopedic or neuro surgeon who was familiar with current research and clinical thinking on the spine helping edit and write this. Christo, what's your background? I'm a pediatric ENT surgeon who focused on ear surgery, airway intervention, syndromes of the head and neck, and some various clinical and basic science research - now retired to full-time writing. You? You obviously are more familiar with these ideas. :-) Nancy Nancy Sculerati MD 18:23, 5 February 2007 (CST)

I'm a bit nervous about this. Spinal nerves communicate with I guess every organ in the body - (e.g. spinal innervation of: liver PMID 16047111; bladder and colon PMID 14686904 kidney PMID 10996375; stomach PMID 15028771; adrenals PMID 2555751; ovary PMID 16388121, PMID 9772339; lung PMID 16935568) - and are concerned with very much more than neuromuscular regulation. They certainly regulate local blood flow - most dramatically perhaps in penile erection. Sensory information too is complex; there are several subtypes of pain receptors and chemosensors for example. I think what I'm saying is that yes it's not hard to write at elaborate detail about the anatomy, and certainly this provides a potential substrate for chiropractic benefits in just about any area. But the bottleneck is in the physiology - often we don't really know what these nerves are for exactly, and so don't really know how important they are are what might be the consequences of dysfunction. The basic scientists that I know who work directly on spinal function are all working on a)regeneration b) demyelinating diseases or c) pain. So my guess is that the state of knowledge is that yes spinal nerves go eeverywhere, but we often don't really know what they do or how important they are, and the consequences of damage is therefore speculation.Gareth Leng 04:50, 6 February 2007 (CST)

Agree. I think that the science will find that there are some effects, but nothing to the degree that have a one to one relationship such asVSC of the 6th Thoracic = hepatitis. And even if they did have some effect, does the body's adaptation to the altered nerve function negate any negative effects? We just don't know. So in the meantime, we treat it as a theory. While we need to make sure that this is clear here. I also submit that, in practice, it could be a problem if it is stated as a known fact and would certainly be misleading. We need to make sure it is stated as a model, theory, or something similar. Chiropractors understand this. Matt Innis (Talk) 08:11, 6 February 2007 (CST)

As a little history for the editors here. Before DD Palmer died, he stated that vertebrae do not subluxate and pinch nerves in the intervertebral foramen. In fact he noted that when a vertebra becomes misaligned, the IVF actually enlarges. That is when he started talking about altering nerve tone by stretching the structures around the IVF. That was the thinking of the time. Unfortunately, the word subluxation had caught on within the profession and the concept was tied to that word even stronger during the ensuing legal battles to keep chiropractors out of jail. The concept that health can be affected by the nerve is one concept that I don't think is too controversial. Another is affecting the nerve by "misaligning" a vertebra which is still a question as to degree and consequences. And then of course there is affecting health by "re-aligning" the vertebra, which adds another level of doubt. Matt Innis (Talk) 08:33, 6 February 2007 (CST)
Thanks Gareth, I will see what I can find on Mr Harrison, for my own interest. Nancy, I am an Anaesthesiologist & Pain management physician. The techniques that DCs use are beneficial for many who cannot be helped by conventional medicine, but in my country they are few in number. As to pinched nerves, I do not think that demonstrable physical nerve pinching or abnormal neurophysiological tests necessarily correlate with the problems that "loss of nerve integrity" describes. For me the idea of dis-ease as a result of "loss of nervous integrity" is not a simple anatomic and conduction problem. My interpretation of "integrity" in this case more closely resembles the word idea as applied to a person who is functionally true to himself (a person of integrity), rather than to one who is just physically intact (anatomic integrity). Loss of integrity in that sense, would mean that a nerve is not functioning in the way that it should, to promote optimal body function, and does not necessarily relate to detectable damage to the nerve; integrity relates to the whole system from the peripheral sensory nerve, to the cortex, and back to the motor nerves. As an example, persons with thoracic vertebral disease may have "normal" spinal nerves, by any test we can do, but the nerves don't function in a way that promotes health, and the person complains of stomach problems. This relationship between thoracic spinal problems and gastro-intestinal difficulties is one which one can explain to persons, and many learn that simple back massage can relieve their stomach ache as well as medication does. For the purpose of this article, I do not believe that we have to explain the detailed "subluxation theory" for every treatment, nor all the possible effects of a specific subluxation problem. I believe that it would be sufficient to choose some conditions and treatments which illustrate the use of the concept of subluxation. A section "Examples of specific subluxations", could describe examples of difficulties that persons complain of, which areas of subluxation (in the chiropractic sense) are considered by DCs to contribute to the problem, and which DC treatments help to resolve the disturbed well-being. I fear that being too specific about nerve-disease theory may lead to fisticuffs in the health boardroom, with no winners, and the company losing. --Christo Muller 10:10, 6 February 2007 (CST)
Well said. You have an excellent grasp on the subject. I am concerned that we are not going to find "examples of specific subluxations" that are agreed upon in any reliable sense either - at least not for the purpose of disease. Though I think chiropractors would agree in general terms of midthoracic region covering the upper GI, the low back covering the lower GI and GU, while the cerical region affecting heart/lungs, head and neck. Although when you consider the greater and lessor splanchnic nerve distribution, it gets even more variable. Bottom line, it seems that all that may be able to be said is that health "can" be affected negatively. Also, keep in mind that there are different schools of thought. One even just suggests that all problems can be treated by changing the atlas/occiput only - whether this is due to nervous system affects at the brains stem or because all of body posture is affected by the vast proprioceptive input at this level (along with the jaw). Again, I think we open a bag of worms, that maybe should be reserved for future articles for each of these theoretical constructs.
Christo, why don't you go ahead and make some of your changes that you propose. That is the nice thing about a wiki, we can change them if there is a problem. If we need more time, we can always delay the approval process. Matt Innis (Talk) 10:44, 6 February 2007 (CST)

I just want to clarify that it was Matt who stated that the "Spine" section was needed so that users could understand how a "pinched nerve" (obviously he did not mean that literally) related to what Chiropractors did. I did not supply the text for the spine section (the stuff under consensus view) here, and although I have done some editing on it, I cannot in any way vouch for its accuracy. I am pleased to collaborate, and to be collegial on this article with you all, but I do not have any kind of clear concept of what vertebral subluxation is (and is not) and I think I'd better leave the writing to those that do! Should you want another author to check over some specific wording or to offer an opinion, please ask- and I will be very glad to work with you. Nancy Sculerati MD 13:00, 6 February 2007 (CST)

Looking very closely at the section on the spine, I can't detect anything which is at all contentious. The phrase "vast web of nervous tissue is wrapped in and among the joint capsules, ligaments and muscles, constantly transmitting information" might need attention, not because it is wrong, but because it might be confusing as this is about the innervation of the spine itself rather that the longer nervous pathways that the spinal cord carries, and maybe that's not clear.

On the concept of vertebral subluxation and Nancy's hesitation; I may be wrong but it seems that you're looking for something that is just not there - i.e. vertebral subluxation as something that is diagnosed objectively before a treatment plan. Such diagnosis of course has its place in medicine, but actually in practice here anyway, most GPs make a tentative diiagnosis of most things basedon symptoms not on objective demonstration of a cause, they treat accordingly if the treatment has no adverse consequences that require more caution, and if the symptoms resolve that's it, with no objective diagnosis ever, just a resolved outcome. Retrospectively they might say or feel that teh outcome validates the diagnosis. I think this is what chiropractors do; they make a tentative diagnosis on the basis of symptoms, treat in a way that they believe offers minimal risk of adverse treatment effects, and feel that the diagnosis is validated by efficacy in a particular case. So the retrospectively validated diagnosis is of a subluxation, whatever that is, is thought by chiropractors to probably reflect some impingement of spinal malfunction on nerve function, but it might be something else and in the end they don't care, because they are concerned more to evolve an empirically validated treatment than understand the cause. So the ideas of exactly what a vertebral subluxation is vary between practioners and change over time, and its more a tentative working concept and an explanation for patients than a fixed notion. ????? Gareth Leng 05:50, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Yep. You got it. I personally never use the word subluxation in my practice, but the concept is probably always in the back of my head. When I am treating that low back pain, I am constantly analyzing symptoms and signs for anything that might be related - bowel movements, heart problems, bladder problems, etc.. If these don't respond as that low back pain resolves, they need medical help. If the low back pain does not respond as it should, the symptoms are considered as perhaps the cause of the low back pain by visceral somatic referral and they need medical help. If they resolve with the low back pain, then we move on to the next problem. Is it because of the concept of VSC? Who knows, need more research.

As for the "web" of nerves. The entire purpose of that description was for the exact reason that you stated. So often, VSC is thought to be from "pinching" a nerve. That is not what VSC is about anymore and has not been since 1906, but nobody gets that. If you realized that we are talking about the innervation to the spinal column itself, then I have done my job and you can rewrite it anyway that sounds better. That is the purpose for that entire spine section, though a picture would be worth a thousand words;) --Matt Innis (Talk) 07:48, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Christo, I like all your changes! Thanks, you were right on! Go ahead and take a shot at the "web" sentence if you like and anything else that doesn't seem to gel for you. Matt Innis (Talk) 08:08, 8 February 2007 (CST)

I made some radical changes in the spine section to try and address some of the concerns expressed. Mostly I tried to simplify it, but am open to whatever changes anyone feels might improve it still more. I am still not totally happy with it. Thanks! P.S. I also switched the time on approval till Monday since I notice that we are so spread out over the world! --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:16, 8 February 2007 (CST)

A long-promised bash at the human spine.

Hi all, I complained higher up about the description of the spine, as being "unscientific." For that I apologise, I think I now have a better idea of what the authors here are trying to achieve. However, I did say that I would rewrite some, and am posting this effort here so that the persons with direct interest and proper knowledge of the subject of the article can take or leave what they wish. I fear that the result below is longer than the present edit, which seems quite attractively compact, but I do hope that there are some useful ideas here for those of you working to upgrade this article.

The human spine

The human spine is comprised of 24 moveable vertebrae arranged as a column between the sacrum and the base of the skull. The bony canal formed by the vertebrae surrounds and protects the spinal cord - the delicate bundle of nerves that is the pathway of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Each vertebra is connected to the next by three joints - two synovial joints at the sides (called facet joints) and a spongy disc pad between the vertebral bodies - as well as by an intricate arrangement of ligaments, muscles and connective tissue. The orientation of these joints, as well as the arrangement of the ligaments and muscles, is different for every pair of adjacent vertebrae, from the neck down to the lowest part of the lumbar spine. Therefore each such pair has a very specific and limited range of movement. Each such uniquely mobile subdivision of the spine, consisting of two adjacent vertebrae and their interconnecting structures, is called a spinal motion segment. When all these motion segments, from the neck to lumbar spine, are aligned and functioning optimally, the result is a remarkably flexible yet stable bony column which allows a full range of movement, a proper base and support for the rest of the skeleton and muscles, and protection for the spinal cord, allowing the nervous system to convey nerve signals in a way that promotes normal, healthy body function.

To enable coordinated movement of all these spinal motion segments, a fine network of nerves innervate the muscles and ligaments that surround the joint capsules, constantly transmitting information to and from the spinal cord, cerebellum and brain. There are two main classes of these nerves: sensory nerves that detect the status of the different elements that make up the spine, and motor nerves that control the function of the muscles of the spine. Some sensory nerves can detect the stretch of ligaments and muscles - information that is used by the spinal cord and higher centers to determine the position and motion of every joint - while others are sensitive to temperature, and can initiate the sensation of pain from any of the spinal structures which are injured, distorted or lack proper blood supply and nutrition. The posture control centers of the cerebellum integrate the sensory information from the spine and limbs with the requirement for muscle movements needed to execute the whims or wishes of the higher centres of the brain. This enables smooth and coordinated motion, whether voluntary or involuntary, without the mind having to consciously control the contraction of every little muscle. The motor nerves are thus controlled by the coooperative action of the brain, cerebellum and spinal cord neurons, influenced by the information from the sensory nerves. The contraction of small muscle groups is constantly being changed to best align the spinal column according to minor changes in posture, while the contraction of the larger muscle groups attached to the spine require continuous adjustment to maintain balance. A second group of motor nerves do not cause skeletal muscle movement as such, but control the smooth muscle in the walls of arteries, thereby altering local blood flow. Due to the organisation of these sympathetic motor nerves, blood flow in other parts of the body may also be changed, and functions such as sweating may be affected. A little appreciated function of the nerves that convey impulses from the spine to the tissues (efferent nerves) is to provide growth factors that are important for proper cell growth and function in all body tissues.

The result of properly functioning spinal motion segments, and a healthy nervous system associated with the spine, is a stable, yet resilient and mobile vertebral column that allows for upright posture and the ability to perform complicated combinations of movement without conscious planning of every detail of the movements. The strength of the athlete and the agility of the gymnast are testaments to the flexibility and durability of the human spine. --Christo Muller 15:43, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Absolutely beautiful. I am in total awe. Just a magnificant work of art! Gareth and Nancy, if you would like to take a crack at it to maybe shorten it, but I'm not touching a single word:) Thank you guys for helping me get this right. I think everybody can understand this and it does add an element of quality to the article. A true testiment to collaborative work, CZ does work. Thanks. --Matt Innis (Talk) 16:27, 8 February 2007 (CST)

I think its very good. Is it fair to call the " spongy disc pad between the vertebral bodies", a vertebral joint? or an "intervertebral joint"? I'm looking to balance the line: Each vertebra is connected to the next by three joints - two synovial joints at the sides (called facet joints) and a spongy disc pad between the vertebral bodies (called XXXX joints). Is that a diarthrotic joint- I have to look it up. Anyway, I've just been writing about Paracellus, who, in the erarly Rennaissance, had lots of physicians and scholars angry at him for writing and lecturing in German, the language of the people, instead of Latin. I mean it upset them. I've come to see the current discomfort of writing about science or medicine unless the language is that conventional scientific style as being our contemporary Latin v. German equivalent. Don't misunderstand, I love Latin, it's just that to put the ideas plainly is not sacrilege, actually it's more difficult- and if it ends up sounding poetic I think that's just because the subject is poetic, it's actually very grand - and we give it its due instead of hiding it in a lot of conventional jargon. If its true, we can say it plainly and be proud of the ideas. Nancy Sculerati MD 18:11, 8 February 2007 (CST)

It is apparently a symphysis type amphiarthrodial (or partially moveable) joint.[3] I've never actually heard it called that, but I could be wrong, too. The relationship you are talking about with Latin and German is the same for me. Mostly I know that other chiropractors will be reading this and I want them to be able to recognize it as VSC. That's why there were some words that had to stay while others could go. Otherwise, we would be rewriting this real soon after CZ opens up. I saw your Paracellus article earlier today and was intriqued with his story. So much of our modern thought sprung from that region soon after he died. Intersting. --Matt Innis (Talk) 19:01, 8 February 2007 (CST)
I agree with Nancy's idea. I would stick to syndesmosis. (The others are the ankle tibio-fibular syndesmosis (not the one between the leg and foot), radio-ulnar syndesmosis, symphysis pubis, Dento-alveolar syndesmosis, and of course the teeny little tympano-stapedial syndesmosis) --Christo Muller 19:39, 8 February 2007 (CST)
Works for me. --Matt Innis (Talk) 20:06, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Great work Christo, so good to have you joining in. Gareth Leng 04:55, 9 February 2007 (CST)

small criticism

I think the caption for the 2nd photo graph show the facet joins, spinal nerves, etc should be more detailed. Can we assume people will know the "nerve" is not an actual nerve and is plastic/rubber? Is the skeletal real bone or fake? -Tom Kelly (Talk) 17:49, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Never assume anything;) Made a change, hopefully that helps. Thanks! --Matt Innis (Talk) 18:01, 8 February 2007 (CST)

Where's the article?

Anybody have any idea where the article is?

It was accidentally deleted by a constable after being moved or vandalized or something. They have been notified. It'll be back soon (I hope). -- ZachPruckowski (Talk) 07:46, 9 February 2007 (CST)
It seems as if deleting a vandal account deletes all the vandal edits, and, as a bonus, the whole article that was vandalised. --Christo Muller 08:06, 9 February 2007 (CST)
Ouch, now that is vandalism! I see Larry's page has been kidnapped, too! That is a federal offense, I think? --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:10, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Ok, I think it's back. I hunted it. Someone should check to see if this looks like the most recent version. Thanks. -- Sarah Tuttle 08:14, 9 February 2007 (CST)

That's IT!!! You are the vandalkiller queen! Thanks! --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:26, 9 February 2007 (CST)
See my message to Robert Tito on his talk page. Every time we delete a vandal before repairing the moves we delete the history and content of our articles. Its best not to delete vandals until we have countained the damage. Chris Day (Talk) 09:49, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Ref to Joseph Flesia?Gareth Leng 09:40, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Would you like to put it in so it is formatted properly?

  • The Vertebral Subluxation Complex: An Integrative Perspective Joseph M. Flesia, Jr., D.C. ICA International Review of Chiropractic 1992(Mar): 25-27 [4]

--Matt Innis (Talk) 09:58, 9 February 2007 (CST)

OK, well it's a compromise. If I followed David Tribe's recommendations (which I'm happy with) I'd have to take many of the refs out of their reference template, so instead I've put them all in reference template, so strictly the style now is consistent but wrong, but will be right if and when the template syle is brought up to date.....Gareth Leng 12:15, 9 February 2007 (CST)

That is pretty much what I figured. I know you guys have been working on that and it will be nice to have a uniform format when you're finished. Thanks Matt Innis (Talk) 12:52, 9 February 2007 (CST)

By the way - I went ahead and saved a copy of the article to my hard drive;) --Matt Innis (Talk) 10:08, 9 February 2007 (CST)


I'm trying to think of a way to make the medical term of subluxation of the vertebrae to be easily distinguished from vertebral subluxation. Just to be painfully clear- I do not think that the former should be in any way explained here- I just think that there has to be a disambiguation page or something- may be a line at the top -I'll try it, take a look. Change it however you like, but we do nee to solve the general problem. NanceNancy Sculerati MD 12:16, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Can you add to the For...see bit directly after the lead? Think the lead makes it clear this is chiropractic, just need a redirect after this for others?Gareth Leng 12:20, 9 February 2007 (CST)

We can do it anyway at all, or not have it. I just think that having something at the top interferes less than incorporating it in the text. Look at it and see what you think. If we could put it in a smaller font that would be better yet. Nancy Sculerati MD 12:29, 9 February 2007 (CST)

If we keep it this way, the second line is redundant. I'm removing it - and as you like, you all can keep it with the top disambigiuation and without the old second line, or switch it back. Just seeing what might work best. Nancy Sculerati MD 12:32, 9 February 2007 (CST)

How did you do that Matt? Walk me through it, please. Nancy Sculerati MD 12:53, 9 February 2007 (CST)

I've looked through it quickly for grammar and typography and general flow, and feel it looks good. With one or two "emphases" I asked myself "what rule are they using" . But I wouldn't say they are 'wrong', but I put that question to you 'xxx' or "xxx". The figures are super. CAVEAT I'm not CZ registered as a medical/health sciences editor but I'm really qualified in some areas of health science (biochemistry, infectious disease) David Tribe 12:49, 10 February 2007 (CST)

Nancy- I like it! That is a good idea. I tried it with the next smaller font, but it looks small - see what you think. Matt Innis (Talk) 12:54, 9 February 2007 (CST) P.S. Did you know I can't edit your talk page? Something to do with the vandalism? Matt Innis (Talk) 12:58, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Nancy- How about two lines instead of three. I am a little worried that once they stick their big green approval box at the top (see Chiropractic), we won't see any text until we scroll down. What do you think? I'm also going to change the version to approve as this one for now (just in case something happens;) Matt Innis (Talk) 21:12, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Yeah, 2 lines looks good. We could also change the font color of the top text to make a distinction, but that can get real busy real fast- along with dead link and live link color changes. Nancy Sculerati MD 22:49, 9 February 2007 (CST)


Matt, did you see User:Christo_Muller/Workshop/Pain1? I think that this has great possibilities. Gareth might well approach some articles from the experimental physiology point of view, and hopefully some of the new folks will be interested in joining in. Nancy Sculerati MD 22:52, 9 February 2007 (CST)

Excellent! That is exactly the kind of stuff we need here. Christo, don't you go anywhere;) --Matt Innis (Talk) 08:37, 10 February 2007 (CST)


Pick a color from one of these and give it a try (put the number in the color="XXXXXX" spot:

This article is about the chiropractic concept of vertebral subluxation, for displacement and dislocation of the vertebrae (as described in health science) see Subluxation of the vertebral joint.

Matt Innis (Talk) 08:43, 10 February 2007 (CST)

I just did so- feeling like one of the three little fairy godmothers in that Disney Cinderella scene where they keep changing the color of her gown. I like dark red because 1) it is already in the family of colors used in the default interface for most browsers 2) it will print and copy well 3) it will allow the font to be small, but alert the reader to it. What we need to do is work on the graphics for that approval template. If you like it- would you change it in the article- the "to be approved" version? Nancy Sculerati MD 09:21, 10 February 2007 (CST)

Looks real good to me. I put this version as the version to approve. Is there anything else we need to address? Matt Innis (Talk) 11:37, 10 February 2007 (CST)

Copyediting and "Critiques" section

I copyedited throughout and re-worded a few things in particularly the first paragraph of the critiques section. Here is the difference.

I am still a little uncomfortable with the second paragraph of the section, on neutrality grounds.

The concept of vertebral subluxation has been plagued with problems since its inception. Some of its defenders argue that attempts to tie vertebral subluxation to a precise definition are misconceived, arguing that it is an intellectual construct used to explain the success of the chiropractic adjustment. They argue that similar abstract entities are used in many branches of science. For example, at various times, "genes", "gravity", "the ego" and "the mind" have all been similar heuristic devices, "useful fictions" used to provisionally explain phenomena that exceeded then-current understanding. By this argument, chiropractors say it is incorrect to say that chiropractic is based on the theory that vertebral subluxations "cause pinched nerves that cause disease"; rather, it is based on the empirical evidence of therapeutic benefits of spinal adjustment, and the theory of vertebral subluxation is a proposed explanation of why it works.

This paragraph is not really "critiques" but defense against critiques. As a point of policy on neutrality, we should always depict criticisms fairly just as we do defenses against them. A possible fix:

  • The concept of vertebral subluxation has been plagued with problems since its inception. - it might be good to elaborate, in a historical sense. Summarize this history in several sentences. (Past reading I have done indicates the early history of Chiropractic to be a fascinating read.) I am also wondering if this second paragraph, after expanding some, should be re-worked as the first paragraph of the "Critiques" section, since it might give better context to the debate over chiropractic v. allopathic conceptions of subluxations as described in the current first paragraph.


  • Some of its defenders ... They argue - This seems too unclear. "Defenders" among which group(s)? Who are the mentioned "they"?

I am also thinking it should be mentioned in the Intro that the chiropractic conception of vertebral subluxations is very controversial among the allopathic and (I think at least most of) the osteopathic professions.

Overall, and while giving enormous kudos to the authors, the "tone" of this article strikes me as written a tad too much from the perspective of an ardent supporter of chiropractic. It might help this article overall if we envisage ourselves as writing it not from the perspective of a D.C., M.D., D.O., N.D., traditional healer, historian, anthropologist, "scientists", etc., but as specialists in philosophies of medicine. I understand and appreciate that this can be difficult, but would the article be perhaps better, in encyclopedic terms, if that were the case?

Stephen Ewen 02:31, 11 February 2007 (CST)

I am not a chiropractor (never even met a chiropractor), but have found the whole subject area very interesting especially the history, and the scientific foundations are fascinating. Obviously there have been extensive debates about chiropractic and at times outspoken criticism of particular chiropractors. Having said that it is just not appropriate in my view to bring these debates (for example about irresponsible advertising claims) into every article about chiropractic. In fact chiropractic is a very large health profession, and is a treatment whose efficacy and cost effectiveness for some conditions is very well validated, even if the scientific basis of the treatments are unclear (the same is true incidentally of osteopathy and conventional physiotherapy). This article explains what chiropractors mean by vertebral subluxation, and I don't think that this article strays into either promoting chiropractic or denigrating it, except in the unavoidable sense that by explaining something clearly, carefully and rationally it inevitably gives it more credibilty that it would get from a confused or illogical account. I think the concern about the lack of space given to criticisms of chiropractic should perhaps be alleviated by the CZ article on Critical views of chiropractic, which should perhaps be referenced by this article.Gareth Leng 06:43, 11 February 2007 (CST)
As I understand it, Chiropractic conceptions of vertebral subluxation is the kingpin issue that allopathy has with the profession. In such critics' minds, this is much where the whole alternative system stands or falls. This should not at all be minimized here or relegated to a separate article. Also, just to make sure of something here, although you may very well be aware already, osteopathy in the U.K. and U.S. are very different. By reason of their training, D.O.s in the U.S. are legally "full physicians", along with U.S. M.D.s. Stephen Ewen 06:58, 11 February 2007 (CST)

There are differences in status betwen the UK and USA, (in the UK chiropractic is overseen by a Governmental regulatory body exactly analagous to that for medicine). My comment wasn't about status but about the scientific basis - manipulative therapies are essentially all empirically validated not science based. The issue is one seen as important by some MDs and others for integrating chiropractic into conventional medicine; for chiropractors it seems that some are happy to abandon the concept for the sake of integration, while others want to remain separate and so don't see the need to abandon what they regard as a useful concept. For me, I don't actually see why it's a critical issue for anyone, as the issues on which chiropractic will stand or fall are its efficacy and cost effectiveness, not its explanations. (From my perspective as a biomedical scientist not a clinician of any sort, if we restricted ourselves to treatments that had what I would regard as a solid scientific foundation we would lose a very large amount of conventional medicine. :-)). Criticisms specifically of the concept of subluxation certainly belong here - but I think they are? Its the other criticisms of chiropractic that I think dont belong here.Gareth Leng 07:12, 11 February 2007 (CST)

My point of view: What I look for in this article is that it tells me what "vertebral subluxation" (VS) means when a chiropractor uses the phrase. I believe that it does that, and that it tells me that this differs from what conventional medicine means by the phrase. The perspective of how important that is to the practice of chiropractics I would consider to appropriate to the chiropractic article itself. The comments on VS as such ("critiques", either positive or negative) belong here, comments/points of view on the philosophy of chiropractic belong in the main article. The difficulty is - as per Stephen's comments and the quotes from Carter and Keating - that the idea of VS seems to be considered by an unknown number of DCs to be immutable and foundational to all of chiropractic. "Scientific" medicine (Gareth's point about how unscientific conventional medicine can be, is valid) considers this to be so for all of chiropractic, so that the very real health benefits - which may or may not be related to VS - are written off by "scientific" thinkers as just as unlikely as the explanation for the effects. As an aside: where does the "allopathic medicine" term come from, as a description of conventional western medicine? Does it mean that in the US? To me, from a different part of the world, "allopathic" has meaning only as the opposite of "homoeopathic". Chiropractic is not homoeopathic. If it were, then would not its practice be to treat a bent spine by bending it a fraction of a degree in the same (wrong) direction, fix a subluxated vertebra by dislocating it a few microns further, or retrain a tight muscle by tightening it up a few pico-Newtons more - according to the principles of homoeopathy? --Christo Muller 11:03, 11 February 2007 (CST)

Comment deleted

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Hard work-I know-but be specific

Stephen *, I know it's a lot to ask, but could you kindly actually quote some lines that strike you as being too sympathetic? Or perhaps text in the "critique" section that strikes you as too soft? It will really help us in getting it right. Nancy Sculerati MD 07:44, 11 February 2007 (CST) - please also feel free to write any kind of text that you think has been omitted that would make the article more balanced. (*)- and everybody!

Splitting Spinal injury again; and more.

The first part of the section on "Spinal injury and the vertebral subluxation" has been bothering me. What I have done below is to (1) re-introduce Nancy's idea of splitting the section to describe common ground separately from the chiropractic interpretation, and (2) write the "common ground" sub-section so that it more closely describes what conventional medical teaching would have. Hopefully the divergence (and, ironically, the correspondence) of ideas may be more clear to the reader.

This is so different from the present sub-section, that I thought it wiser to place it here for discussion.

Spinal injury and the vertebral subluxation
Common ground with conventional medicine
Some concepts related to spinal injuries are common to conventional medical science and to chiropractic. All agree that a sufficiently forceful spinal injury can disturb vertebral alignment permanently. It is also accepted that long term abnormal postural and movement stress on the spine are potentially debilitating. Stresses that can be expected to so affect the spine include the maintenance of fixed improper postures for prolonged periods, chronic repetitive movement patterns, and continuous asymmetrical muscle use - leading to asymmetrical, unbalanced muscle development. At first the spinal changes may be reversible and painless, but if spontaneous resolution does not occur then local muscle spasm, swelling, tenderness, and pain can result. By predominantly unconscious mechanisms, body posture becomes altered to relieve the stress on the spinal structures. This further disturbs the function of the spinal motion segment locally, as well as that of the spine and limbs outside of the original problem area. The initially minor and unheeded changes thus may cause more widely spread injured, inflamed and painful tissue. Damaged tissue may refer pain to other body parts, and damaged nerves can cause dysfunction in organs which they innervate. Thus the person affected by acute or chronic spinal injury can develop complaints such as headache, numbness, or disturbed bowel or bladder function, according to which parts of the spine are injured. In the long term, when abnormal anatomic relationships and movement patterns are not reversed or arrested, the tissues and structures of the spinal motor unit undergo degeneration at an accelerated rate. Such degeneration of the facet joint cartilage and the intervertebral disk complicates the clinical picture with the appearance of the symptoms and signs of osteoarthritis.
Chiropractic model of disease etc ...
--Christo Muller 10:14, 11 February 2007 (CST)
Christo, once again, very good work. I'm not sure that I understand the purpose of stating that conventional medicine and chiropractic agree. Who cares? The reader? I don't think so. If someone disagrees that would be significant. Since that is not the case, I think we just create unnecessary conflict, too soon. The conflict in VS is in the next section. Therefore, I suggest the following changes to your rendition:
Mechanism of spinal injury
  • As a consequence of a sufficiently forceful spinal injury, vertebral alignment or function can be disturbed permanently. Long term abnormal postural and movement stress on the spine are potentially debilitating. Stresses that can be expected to so affect the spine include the maintenance of fixed improper postures for prolonged periods, chronic repetitive movement patterns, and continuous asymmetrical muscle use - leading to asymmetrical, unbalanced muscle development. At first the spinal changes may be reversible and painless, but if spontaneous resolution does not occur then local muscle spasm, swelling, tenderness, and pain result. By predominantly unconscious mechanisms, body posture alters to relieve the stress on the spinal structures. This further disturbs the function of the spinal motion segment locally, as well as that of the spine and limbs outside of the original problem area. The initially minor and unheeded changes thus may cause more widely spread injured, inflamed and painful tissue. Damaged tissue may refer pain to other body parts, and damaged nerves can cause dysfunction in organs which they innervate. Thus the person affected by acute or chronic spinal injury can develop complaints such as headache, numbness, or disturbed bowel or bladder function, according to which parts of the spine are injured. In the long term, when abnormal anatomic relationships and movement patterns are not reversed or arrested, the tissues and structures of the spinal motor unit undergo degeneration at an accelerated rate. Such degeneration of the facet joint cartilage and the intervertebral disk complicates the clinical picture with the appearance of the symptoms and signs of osteoarthritis.

Introductory statement

At the top of the article is this: "This article is about the chiropractic concept of vertebral subluxation, for displacement and dislocation of the vertebrae (as described in health science) see Subluxation of the vertebral joint." Couldn't the necessity of this long sentence be avoided by retitling the article vertebral subluxation (chiropractic) (don't know whether the "c" should be capitalized or not)? Then, perhaps, placing a note at the top: "See also: subluxation of the vertebral joint."

Just an idea --Larry Sanger 13:16, 11 February 2007 (CST)

Larry, I am okay with that. It is probably one of those things that should be consistant across CZ. What's your vision? Matt Innis (Talk) 09:32, 12 February 2007 (CST)

I was afraid you'd ask that. I have no general vision about how to use parenthetical disambiguating words or phrases, I'm afraid. Maybe I could produce one. In the meantime, you can leave it where it is, or move it, as you please. Stay tuned though to the policy pages, CZ:Article Mechanics and one we need to start on naming conventions. --Larry Sanger 09:57, 12 February 2007 (CST)

I'm okay with it this way. When we work out the details of policy, we can come back to it and make them all uniform. Matt Innis (Talk) 10:05, 12 February 2007 (CST)

We hit the 30 Kb

I made some changes that everyone should take a look at. If there is anything that you feel is not satisfactory to you for whatever reason, please feel free to make the changes and if it is a problem, we can discuss them here. Otherwise, we have hit the 30 Kb limit. Though I am sure Larry would let us pass it, I don't see whay we should on this article. We still have the spinal adjustment article. I hear that one has some controversy with it as well for those who might be interested;) Thanks, Matt Innis (Talk) 09:30, 12 February 2007 (CST).

30kb is a software default, not an actual policy at the moment, as far as I remember. The test for whether an article is too long is how much of another article it repeats. I don't think we have a hard kb number. -- ZachPruckowski (Talk) 09:40, 12 February 2007 (CST)
Thanks Zach, for clarifying that for me! So if there is still something that we need to cover here, we can do it, but if it's about treatment, history, or chirorpactic in general, they all have article themselves. Matt Innis (Talk) 10:08, 12 February 2007 (CST)

Wikipedia credit

A tiny part of the text appears to come from Wikipedia. What about some nice rewording to make clear that no WP-credit is needed? Here it goes:

  • "When any of the vertebrae become displaced or too prominent, the patient experiences inconvenience from a local derangement in the nerves of the part.
  • He, in consequence, is tormented with a train of nervous symptoms, which are as obscure in their origin as they are stubborn in their nature.
  • "Physiologists divide nerve-fibers, which form the nerves, into two classes, afferent and efferent.
  • Impressions are made on the peripheral afferent fiber-endings; these create sensations which are transmitted to the center of the nervous system.
  • Efferent nerve-fibers carry impulses out from the center to their endings.
  • Most of these go to muscles and are therefore called motor impulses; some are secretory and enter glands; a portion are inhibitory their function being to restrain secretion.
  • Thus, nerves carry impulses outward and sensations inward.

--AlekStos 15:06, 28 March 2007 (CDT)

Image copyright problems

Both Image:Nadia_Comaneci.jpg and Image:Spinepixl.jpg have copyright issues, the first especially. The picture of Nadia Comaneci is lifted directly from a fan web site with no information on original copyright or license to redistribute it. The second image is from a site that gives permission to download the image to one's hard drive, but gives no license whatsoever to republish and redistribute. These both should be removed from the article. Benjamin Lowe 11:31, 11 April 2007 (CDT)

Hi Benjamin, these images were placed before we had our copyright rules in place so they are not documented well. The Spinepix.jpg does have permission from the webmaster at but I did not create that permission page that is required now. I will get that done. The Nadia picture does not have copyright information available, but I have contact the webmaster and asked for permission anyway. Thanks for bringing that back to my attention. --Matt Innis (Talk) 12:20, 11 April 2007 (CDT)
It is always best to first ask if they would be willing to release the images under a free content license. Stephen Ewen 16:38, 11 April 2007 (CDT)
You are of course correct, Stephen: I suppose I really should have said, "something oughta be done." Benjamin Lowe 17:15, 11 April 2007 (CDT)
Oh, you are right they should be removed. I was meaning we should ask folk if they'd be willing to release their images under a free content license before we ask them for permission to use the image while they retain all rights reserved copyright. Stephen Ewen 17:53, 11 April 2007 (CDT)
Say that again. --Matt Innis (Talk) 18:24, 11 April 2007 (CDT)


Subluxed, cross-eyed and baffled. The article may the the finest a chiropractor has ever viewed, it might be the hottest ball rolling down the medical doctor's chute, but it presents misunderstanding and confusion for the common person. May we please of a good definition of "subluxation" early in the article ? For us regular folk? ty. Terry E. Olsen 21:37, 23 April 2007 (CDT)

I would love to oblige you on that Terry. Though we certainly don't look to be a hot ball, we are all cross eyed after working our way through this, where do you think the weak point is? --Matt Innis (Talk) 22:14, 23 April 2007 (CDT)

Skeptical views in the lead?

Shouldn't the lead mention somewhere that this whole concept doesn't enjoy mainstream medical support and that skeptics consider it quackery? [5] Haukur Þorgeirsson 06:35, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

I'm not so sure that 'mainstream' medical support is not there for most of the components of vertebral subluxation [6]. The only real issue is the organ system relationship and I am not sure that skeptic references handle it in a particularly scholarly fashion, though the visceral issues are handled lower in the article. --Matt Innis (Talk) 09:47, 4 May 2007 (CDT)

The article seems to give considerable space to intramural disputes between chiropractors but little or none to those critical of the whole field. Haukur Þorgeirsson 19:14, 4 May 2007 (CDT)


The "further reading" section (below the references) looks misformatted - the second doesn't show up properly. Has something changed or was that just missed at the approval stage? David Finn 19:51, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

When this article was approved, there were no subpages. Since the introduction of subpages, the third editor has been gone. If I wasn't one of the editors, I'd be allowed to make the necessary changes as a constable. Maybe I should just do it anyway. What do you think? D. Matt Innis 19:58, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, you don't have to change content as such do you, just formatting? I would rather anyone did it, since the approved articles are what we shuld be judging the site on. Well, either way it would be nice if it looked good. Fight the power and go for it! If you want to. David Finn 20:08, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
Done! D. Matt Innis 20:13, 7 November 2010 (UTC)


Another approved article which has been disenfranchised after the removal of the Healing Arts tag. David Finn 08:26, 19 November 2011 (UTC)