D. D. Palmer
In pathology luxation and dislocation mean one and
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
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.