Having a vertebral subluxation means that certain joints in the spine are not moving like they should be. This decrease in movement causes something referred to as 'immobilization degeneration.' With this process there is chondrocyte loss within one day and proteoglycan loss within one week. Chondrocytes are cartilage cells and proteoglycans are basically the filler that surrounds cells within the connective tissue matrix. Proteoglycans are very important because they attrack water. When there is a decrease in chondrocytes and proteoglycans there is a higher liklihood of damaging the surrounding tissues.
Also with immobilization degeneration there is intrinsic cell damage. When a cell is damage, the fluid inside the cell spills out and now the surrounding cells are exposed to intracellular waste. This causes the firing of chemosensitive nociceptors. When these fire they send signals to the dorsal horn of our spinal cords. From here there are a number of different pathways that the signal can be sent to. All of the different changes that occur with hypomobility of spinal segments eventually lead to sending nerve signals to the dorsal horn. After I explain the rest of the ways in which the dorsal horn is reached I will go on to discuss where these signals are sent and why we sometimes feel pain.