The Chiropractor
D. D. Palmer
    In pathology luxation and dislocation mean one and the same.

    A luxation is a displacement (not misplacement) of two or more bones whose articular surfaces have lost, wholly or in part, their natural connection.

    Pathologists give two causes for luxations, one known and the other unknown.  The known is caused by accidental luxations, owe their existence to external violence; the unknown to spontaneous luxation, those which owe their displacement to diseased conditions of the joint, including the vertebrae, known as tuberculosis; the bones and joints are affected with strumous arthritis, indolent ulcers, or that of white swelling, gelatinous arthritis, attended with slight continued fever; the cause of the morbidity is obscure, therefore said to occur of itself without any manifest external cause.

    Diseases are said to be spontaneous which have no apparent cause, occurring without any external influence.  For example, intro-uterine amputation, congenital dislocation and fracture.  As fast as the causes become known they are taken out of the list of spontaneous abnormalities.  Chiropractic has greatly lessened this list.

    Luxations are complete when the bones have entirely lost their natural connection; incomplete when they partly retain it; and compound when a wound communicates with the displaced joint.

    Chiropractors are concerned with the incomplete luxations, articular surfaces slightly displaced and the relative position they occupy toward each other.

    The vertebral column has four normal curvatures.  The cervical and lumbar bend anterior, while the dorsal and sacral have their curvatures posterior.  A lordosis is an angular curvature of the cervical or lumbar portion of the spine.  A kyphosis is an angular curvature of the dorsal portion of the spine, the sacral curvature being fixed and permanent owing to the vertebrae being fused.  Scoliosis is a lateral curvature.  An abnormal cuvature consists of a sudden angular break, an increase in the convexity of the normal bend, a separation of the articular surfaces of two adjoining vertebrae, the superior articular processes of one or both sides being driven or drawn backward and away from its mate.  Displacements cause a stretched condition of the spinal nerves, or some one or more of their branches, or the sympathetic, ganglinated, vertebral cords.  A displacement of the twelfth dorsal (the spinous process of which is displaced anterior of the axial line of the vertebral column) not only affects certain organs and portions of the body because of excessive tension created, but, also, a portion or all of the spinal column through excessive heat, softening the vertebrae, causing anterior, posterior and lateral curvature, owing to the portion of the vertebral bodies softened and narrowed.  As displacement of the twelfth dorsal caused abnormal curvature, replacing it in its normal position will restore the vertebral column to its normal curve. I have, in twenty-six years, only met one exception to the above mentioned abnormal curvatures, that of Miss Pearl Weeks, which was returned to normal by adjusting the twelfth dorsal, the rule holding good even in reversed scoliosis and lordosis.  Any angular curvature, displacement of a spinous process posteriorly by the racking of a vertebra from its normal alignment, can be replayed by hand, using the spinous process as a lever.

    There are three forms of abnormal spinal curvatures, each of which has a different cause.  The angular curvature consists of a break, a separation of the articular processes between two vertebrae.  A curvature known as Pott’s disease, caries of the spine, supposed by pathologists to be of tuberculous origin.  The curvature which has no knuckle, no sharp break nor vertebral caries, but, an increased curvature in the cervical, dorsal or lumbar, or in both of the latter two, from the vertebrae becoming wedge-shaped.

    Displaced vertebrae, by impinging or stretching, cause contraction of nerve tissue.  Tension is the condition of being stretched.  Tension, more or less than normal, causes an increase or decrease of vibration, which means a greater or less force of an impulse and a corresponding amount of heat.

    Nerve contraction increases vibration, irritation and heat.  The force of an impulse is augmented by the greater speed in transit.  The bounding back of an impulse is known as reflex action.  The greater the renitency (the bounding ack), the greater is energy aroused as expressed in the performance of function.

    Displaced bones cause pressure upon nerves and consequent tension and deranged function.  Slight deflections of vertebrae cause pressure on the nerves given off by the spinal cord, functional derangements are the result.  By restoring them to their normal position, normal function is restored.

    Nerve fibers possess the property of conducting impulses outward and inward.  The amount of impulsive force is determined by the rate of transmission, the rate of that action upon the quantity of vibration and the amount of that movement upon tension.  Physiological and pathological activity between peripheral end-organs and their central connection is dependent upon nerve tension.  The specific energy of a nerve is due to its anatomical structure, its elasticity and tension.

    A nerve pressed upon by a fractured or a luxated bone would be stretched were it not for the responsive principle of life which resists pressure.  The impulsive force normally conveyed by the nerve is modified by the elastic resistance known as renitency.  The result is either too much or not enough function, conditions known as disease.  The contraction and expansion of the nervous system has a normal limit known as tone, the basis upon which I founded the science of chiropractic.  Any deviation therefrom is recognized as disease.  Tone denotes normal temperature, normal structure, normal tension and normal vibration of nerves.

    An angleworm, when relaxed, may measure six inches.  Press against it, impinge upon it, try to stretch it and immediately a response of increased tension is observed; it contracts lengthwise and its diameter is increased.  This ability of elastic resistance to any opposing force is an inherent quality of all living matter.  Dead material does not possess it.  An impingement upon a nerve calls into action two opposing forces.  The impinging body tends to stretch the nerves, while the inherent principle of self-preservation exerts an activity toward contracting it.

    Trauma the cause of disease, increasing or decreasing function, is direct in displacing osseous tissue.  Poisons as causes are indirect, they act on nerves, nerves on muscles, their combined action draw vertebrae out of alignment.

    Autosuggestion may be therapeutical, curative, or morbific, causing hysteric paralysis, contraction of muscles, impairment of vision, convulsions, sensory disturbances and psychic manifestations.  A change of thought is restful, but a constant continuation of the same thought, using the selfsame nerves, causes nerve disturbance and some form of insanity, and yet there is no discernable lesion of the nervous system.

    The relationship existing between bones and nerves are so nicely adjusted that any one of the 200 bones, more especially those of the vertebral column, cannot be displaced ever so little without impinging upon or stretching adjacent nerves.  Pressure upon nerves, agitates, creates an excess of molecular vibration, the effects of which when local, are known as inflammation, when diffused as fever.  Nerves are the conveyors of impulses which create functions; an increase of vibration causes an excess of function -- local inflammation or fever -- symptoms which are common to most diseases.

    Subluxated vertebrae disarrange the costo-central articulation, the juncture of the head of the rib with the vertebra.  These projecting surfaces press against and impinge upon one or more of the four branches of the spinal nerve.
    The Adjuster contains thirty-six pages, from 189 to 225, devoted to luxations, giving the opinions of many authors.  Please read them carefully and notice how near they came to getting onto chiropractic in its principles, art and philosophy.