What is a Subluxation?

A subluxation is a partial dislocation, a slight misalignment of the vertebrae, regarded in chiropractic theory as the cause of many health problems. Origin late 18th. century: from modern Latin subluxatio (n-) (sub – meaning position; luxate – meaning dislocate).

-New Oxford American Dictionary


Subluxation, a Term Coined by Langworthy

The word subluxation was first used by the chiropractor Solon M. Langworthy to describe the misalignment that narrowed the “spinal windows” (or intervertebral foramina) and interrupted the nerve energy. He is also known for referring to the brain as the “life force.”


Langworthy, a Pioneer of Chiropractic

Along with BJ Palmer (son of DD Palmer, the Father of Chiropractic), Langworthy was one of the first graduates of the Palmer School of Chiropractic, the first chiropractic school.

In 1903, Langworthy pioneered his own chiropractic school, and called it the American School of Chiropractic and Nature Care (ASC & NC) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

During that time, Dr. Heinrich Matthey, a medical doctor in Iowa, demanded that drugless healers be prevented from practicing in the state, and that education should only be entrusted to doctors of medicine.

Langworthy took a different step for chiropractic. He improved classrooms, and provided a curriculum of chiropractic study. He narrowed the extent of chiropractic to the treatment of the spine and nervous system, and removed blood work from the field, leaving it to the osteopaths for specialization.


Mixers Vs. Straight Chiropractic

Langworthy’s health philosophy combined chiropractic with what would become naturopathic cures and osteopathy.  Later, the chiropractors practicing this philosophy of chiropractic in conjunction with other therapies would be known as Mixers, because they mixed chiropractic with other therapies.

Langworthy wanted to partner with BJ Palmer, but Palmer declined his offer, because he preferred to practice Straight chiropractic, and not mix chiropractic with other healing therapies.

It should be noted that both methods of chiropractic, mixing and straight, yield favorable results. The difference is a matter of theory, and the preference from chiropractor to chiropractor is a matter of schooling and arguable opinion.


Langworthy Brought Chiropractic Into the Scientific Field

Langworthy published the first book on chiropractic in 1906 called Modernized Chiropractic —Special Philosophy — A Distinct System, and thereby moved chiropractic into the scientific field.


Pearl Tripoli