When a vertebrae becomes misaligned or moves out of its normal position, this is referred to in the chiropractic profession as a subluxation. Subluxations can be caused by a wide range of issues ranging from a minor slip or bump to a car accident or any sudden trauma. Just think about how your neck feels when you are stressed. When a vertebrae is subluxated, it begins to put pressure on nerves, blood vessels and other tissues that support the intervertebral joints. This pressure can cause pain, stiffness, and numbness along with other symptoms. The subluxation interrupts the natural pathways that relay messages between the body and the brain. Research has shown how subluxations can provoke a variety of health problems in ways seemingly unrelated to your spine.
As time goes by and a subluxation remains untreated, the spine and supporting structures such as discs can begin to degenerate. This degeneration progresses and becomes more difficult to treat over time. The surrounding muscles, nerves and bones begin to degenerate as well. This condition is now one of the most common reasons people now go to the doctor and one of the most preventable causes of disability in the United States. The body is amazing in its ability to compensate to early and mild degenerative changes. However, the degenerative process progresses over time and when the body is asked to compensate to previous compensations...things can fall apart quickly. We all know someone who has gone into severe back spasms simply by bending to put on their shoes. Take every neck and back problem seriously, simply because you never know what the long term condequences could be.
Taking a page from the dental industry: Dentists have done an excellent job of educating their patients on the prevention of tooth decay and other serious dental issues. Practicing preventive spinal care is just as important. I do not know where you will be or what you will be doing in 20 years...but I do know your going to want healthy teeth and a healthy spine. Think about it!