Reality Check: An Explanation of Vertebral Subluxation

Dr. Heidi Haavik’s book, The Reality Check, offers a comprehensive understanding of Chiropractic terminology and the importance of a functioning spine for overall health and well-being. Furthermore, Chiropractors do far more than the adjustments on the spine, they focus on how to prevent future dysfunction of the spine and what Havvik’s book really focuses on what happens to your brain when the spine is adjusted. In this blog, I will specifically be focusing on what Haavik and Chiropractors refer to as the vertebral subluxation. A Vertebral Subluxation refers to the areas of the spine that need to be adjusted. “It’s a dysfunctional area of the spine that negatively affects health and wellbeing”. One key focus of Chiropractic care is to detect and correct vertebral subluxation to restore the healthy function of the spine and nervous system which enables the body to function at its optimal potential.

Spinal Segment:

Haavik explains what a spinal segment is and how the spine and central nervous system are interconnected. Furthermore, Haavik analyses how dysfunction in the spine can lead to impaired health and well-being.

“The spinal segment consists of two vertebrae and the joints that connect them. There are generally three joints that connect two vertebrae in the spine. The spinal column acts as a moveable protective armour for the delicate spinal cord. The spinal cord is like a nerve highway full of information flowing between the brain and the body. The spinal cord begins at the base of the brain in the skull and extends through the body canal down the middle of the spine from the neck (cervical spine) to the lower back (lumbar spine). The spinal nerves that exit from the spinal cord carry information to and from the brain to various regions of the body”.

Vertebral Subluxation:

“A vertebral subluxation is when some of the muscles that attach to individual vertebrae have become tight due to a variety of causes including injury, postural stress, and overuse. The tight muscles twist the vertebrae so that certain parts of the vertebrae are more prominent and palpate as “misaligned” or “stuck”. They are usually tender to the touch, and often cause pain when the person moves in certain directions”.

Regular Chiropractic care works at improving the spinal function by finding and adjusting vertebral subluxation. Not only does this improve possible spinal pain, but allows for better flow of information from the spine to the central nervous system as well as the brain. However, if we have spent 20 years overworking our bodies in stressed positions, then regular Chiropractic care is required, not just one visit.

Haavik’s book offers a clear explanation of the contemporary chiropractic science surrounding vertebral subluxation and the effects it has on the brain, spine and your overall health.


Haavik, H. (2014). The Reality Check. Haavik Research.