Background: The traditional chiropractic vertebral subluxation hypothesis proposes that vertebral misalignment cause illness, disease, or both. This hypothesis remains controversial.
Objective: To briefly review and update experimental evidence concerning reflex effects of vertebral subluxations, particularly concerning peripheral nervous system responses to vertebral subluxations.
Data source: Information was obtained from chiropractic or scientific peer-reviewed literature concerning human or animal studies of neural responses to vertebral subluxation, vertebral displacement or movement, or both.
Conclusion: Animal models suggest that vertebral displacements and putative vertebral subluxations may modulate activity in group I to IV afferent nerves. However, it is not clear whether these afferent nerves are modulated during normal day-to-day activities of living and, if so, what segmental or whole-body reflex effects they may have.