What Is A Segmental Shift?

To understand what a segmental shift is, we must first define how a normal spine should look.  As we previously said, for us to understand abnormal, we must first understand normal.

The normal alignment of the spine from anterior to posterior (front to back), should be a vertically aligned column.  In other words, if we were to drop a plumb line from the top vertebra to the ground, each vertebrae all the way to the sacrum (the last bone in the spine) should line up.  When viewed from the sagittal plane (right or left side), the spine should have 3 distinct curves - one going forward in the neck, one backward in the mid-back, and one more going forward in the lower back.  However, when it comes to normal, we don't expect anyone to be perfect.  If any one or more vertebrae falls outside a 5mm shift from the vertical line, this would constitute a segmental shift.  Similar to what would happen if children's building blocks shifted right or left, or a house foundation were to sink on one side by a couple of inches, this vertebrae deviation puts abnormal stress on the muscles, ligaments, discs and joints, forcing them to undergo changes to adapt.  If left long enough, permanent irreversible damage can set in.

What would happen to your house if the foundation sank on one side an inch or two?  You would expect to see cracks in the walls.  The windows and doors would no longer work properly.  You would even expect to have problems with the roof.

Well, as you have guessed, the PROBLEM is a structural shift of the foundation of your house.  Many traditional doctors will typically look at managing the Secondary Conditions, which we'll get to on the next page, instead of addressing the underlying cause.  The analogy we'd like you to make is the equivalent of the traditional contractor putting some WD-40 on the windows and door hinges and patching up the drywall so you don't see the cracks.  Question: Will any of those measures FIX the problem?

If this was your home, what would you do FIRST?  You'd hire someone to come in and repair the foundation of your house while you moved out for a while, right?  After that, and after a little work on the secondary effects from the shift in the foundation, then you are good to go.  And that is what a Segmental Spinal Correction can do for your spine.