What is a Subluxation?
A vertebral subluxation is the improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine that interfere with or irritate nerves. When a vertebra doesn’t function properly, it causes mechanical stress which accelerates wear and tear on surrounding spinal muscles ligaments, discs and joints. Pain, tenderness, inflammation, decreased mobility and muscle spasms soon follow.
Because of the direct relationship between the spine and nerve roots, vertebral subluxations can impair nerve functioning and lead to decreases in the communication within the body’s nervous system and jeopardizes overall health and wellness of the individual.
What Are the Causes of a Subluxation?
There are three basic causes of subluxations:
1. Physical causes are acute trauma to the body or repetitive motions that affect the spine. These could include slips and falls, accidents, bad posture, improper workstation habits, repetitive motions and improper lifting.
2. Emotional causes refer to stress such as grief, anger and fear. Excessive stress or inadequate stress management have been shown in medical research to have significant effects on the immune system and deplete the body from sustaining normal functions.
3. Chemical causes include poor diet and nutrition, alcohol or drug use, pollution and/or chemical toxins ingested in foods, air, and water. Chemicals which are harmful to the body reduce the body’s ability to successfully adapt to and withstand internal and external stresses, eventually causing spinal subluxations.
How Do I Know if I Have a Subluxation?
You can have subluxations and not even know it. Like the early stages of tooth decay or cancer, subluxations can be present before pain or warning signs appear. Only the results of a thorough examination can show the location and severity of subluxations you may have. This is why we recommend that individuals seek periodic spinal evaluations to check for the presence of subluxations and other spinal abnormalities, even in the absence of pain.
There are several signs and symptoms commonly associated with the vertebral subluxation and include:
* Neck pain, tenderness, soreness and stiffness
* Back pain, tenderness, soreness and stiffness
* Dizziness or balance problems
* Spinal muscle spasm, tightness or weakness
* Reduced spinal mobility
* Pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities
* Joint pain and stiffness
* Low energy
* Poor overall state of health
* Poor tissue healing
Can Subluxations Clear Up Automatically?
Yes, sometimes, but not often. Today’s hectic lifestyles are a constant source of subluxations. Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to self-correct many of these problems as we bend and stretch, or when we sleep at night. When subluxations don’t resolve, you need to see a chiropractor.
How Are Subluxations Corrected?
Chiropractic adjustments usually involve a quick but gentle corrective force into the subluxated spinal vertebrae that helps add motion to spinal joints that aren’t moving correctly. Some methods use the doctor’s hands, an instrument, a special table or the force of gravity. There are many ways to adjust the spine.
Subluxations generally require multiple adjustments for complete normalization to occur. Similar to straightening teeth, correcting malfunctioning and misaligned vertebrae requires time for the tissues to accept this new position as “normal.