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Vertebral Subluxation Complexes

Vertebral Subluxation Complexes


A VSC is when one or more of the vertebrae in the spine move out of position and create pressure on the spinal nerves. This pressure on the nerves then causes them to work improperly and interfere with the signals moving over all of the nerves. With all of the functions happening in your pet’s body there are also various changes that are what chiropractors look for. These changes are known as “components,” and they are all part of the vertebral subluxation complex. There are five categories linked to VSC.

These five are:

  • Kinesiopathology – is where the vertebrae are either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing physical changes such as degeneration. This component is sometimes known as the Osseous Component.
  • Neuropathology – is the malfunctioning of the nerve. Research has shown that only a small amount of pressure on spinal nerves can have a profound impact on the function of the nerves. This component is scientifically known as the Nerve Component.
  • Myopathology – is also involved. Since the muscles help hold the vertebrae in place, and since nerves control the muscles themselves, muscles are an integral part of any VSC. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. This component is known as the Muscle Component.
  • Histopathology – is when you have misaligned vertebrae and pressure on nerves resulting in changes in the surrounding soft tissues. This means the tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues undergo changes. These changes can occur at the point of the VSC or far away at some end point of the affected nerves. This component is also known as the Soft Tissue Component.
  • The Chemical Component is when all these components of the VSC are acting on your body, and therefore causing some degree of chemical changes. These chemical changes can be slight or massive depending on what parts of your body are affected by your subluxations. This component is often known as biochemical abnormalities.


Your pets whole nervous system is what controls all of their movements and functions. With VSC, the break of the signal to the nerves causes certain areas in the pet to stop working. Some symptoms to look out for are: 

  • Unusual itching at the base of the tail or other parts of the body
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Asymmetrical or reduced perspiration
  • Walks on back of paw
  • Tail off center and wagging off center
  • Uneven gait


  • The animal chiropractor will locate the subluxations by a series of adjustments specifically designed to correct the vertebral subluxations in the spine.



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