A subluxation is a partial dislocation of a joint. Although this can happen to any joint, such as the shoulder, hip, knee, wrist, or elbow, most people associate the term with the spine because that is where most people are affected.
Dr. Stephen Levine explains, “There are 24 movable segments in your spine. They control the information highway that goes from your brain to every cell tissue organ and system in your body. Any interference in that system is called a subluxation.”
Another way of describing the issue is to say that the spine is out of alignment. There are various symptoms of subluxations, and they can be caused in a variety of ways.
Subluxation Symptoms and Diagnosis:
- Pain is often in the back or neck, but the pain isn’t necessarily always felt at the subluxation spot. Because of a misalignment, the opening for nerves to pass through the spinal column may be narrowed. Therefore, a vertebral subluxation could potentially cause pain in the legs or even organs such as the large intestine.
- Swelling or inflammation
- Tingling in the arms or legs
- Headaches or migraines (recurring serious headaches that usually affect one side of the head and which can cause nausea or vision issues)
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty bending or twisting
- Vertigo – this is a feeling of dizziness or a sensation of being off-balance. Although it is usually caused by inner ear problems, it can also be a result of head and neck injuries.
If your back pain prompts you to make an appointment with a chiropractor, they will spend your first visit diagnosing the problem and coming up with a plan of treatment. A typical process includes:
- A consult with you to find out exactly what’s going on
- A thermal scan of the back to find “hot areas”
- A comprehensive exam
How do subluxations occur?
In some cases, you will know exactly how your injury occurred:
- You may have fallen
- You may have been involved in a traffic accident
- You may have met with blunt trauma while playing sports. All kinds of sports involve the chance of physical contact, not just football!
However, in other cases, the problem may have been worsening for a while without your being aware of it. Other possible causes may include:
- Poor posture
- Repetitive motions, such as making a golf swing at the driving range, or working on an assembly line
- Stress or tension that has caused you to hold your muscles in a certain way. Muscle spasms can cause your spinal bones to lock up and push joints out of alignment
- Pregnancy: Supporting the weight of a baby can cause your posture to change and can cause hip or lower back pain. In addition, a hormone (relaxin) can cause loose ligaments and loose feeling joints.
- Hyperextension: This is what happens when you extend a joint beyond its normal range of motion
A chiropractor may be able to help relieve the pain and stiffness caused by your subluxation. Your treatment plan will probably include adjustments, which are achieved through stretching, rocking, pulling, light pushing, or painless pressure. Chiropractors use their hands, a small instrument, gravity, or a special table to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint.
Besides spinal correction, your plan may also include physiotherapy, a personalized exercise plan to do in your own home, and lifestyle counseling. Although it is possible for minor spinal subluxations to heal on their own in time as you walk, stretch, and exercise, more serious subluxations will need the help of professionals.
Book an appointment at South Orange Chiropractic Center by calling 973-761-0022. Or contact us online.