Chiropractic Guide to Subluxation

Is it true that subluxations can only be treated by chiropractors?

Within the healthcare industry, did you know that subluxations can only be treated by chiropractors?

Sometimes called vertebral subluxation complex, this is an issue that causes numerous problems in the spine and cannot be detected by any other medical profession within the confines of their role. Today, we are going to cover exactly what the problem is as well as the causes and treatments!

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The Problem 

 When the vertebrae move from its natural position or no longer moves with the vertebrae next to it, this is known as vertebral subluxation. Over time, this causes mechanical stress because the spine isn't acting as it should and the surrounding joints, tissues, muscles, ligaments, and discs feel the consequences. Eventually, this leads to hypertonicity, a decrease in spinal mobility, inflammation, muscle spasm, tenderness in the region, and pain.

Furthermore, there is a very special relationship between the spinal nerve roots and the spinal column. Both physiological and mechanical, this relationship breaks down and the nerves are affected. As soon as this happens, communication tends to break down all over the body causing harm to the overall health of the individual. As you can see, this is a very serious problem with very serious consequences.


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Subluxation Complex 

Over the years, we have been allowed an insight into the vertebral subluxation and this has led to the discovery of five different components; all five together are known as the subluxation complex.

Myopathology - Within the spinal musculature, this is pathological changes including spasming, hypertonicity, weakness, fibrosis, and improper functioning.

Kinesiopathology - In relation to the vertebrae nearby, this is a change in the regular positioning and motion.

Histopathology - Affecting the spinal tissues, pathological changes will be seen such as fibrosis or adhesions in the muscles, bony growths seen in the joints, or spinal disc issues (particularly dehydration or severe cases might see degeneration).

Neuropathology - From nearby spinal structures, chemical irritation can occur along with stretching and compression which injures and irritates the spinal nerve roots.

Pathophysiology - Finally, this describes the biochemical changes within the spinal location from biochemical waste products or injured tissue.

If the area of the body is ever going to heal properly, each of the five components must be removed otherwise the solution will be short-term. Although you don’t need to understand exactly how each component works in relation to another, you should know that it is a complex area. Additionally, the pain felt by patients is only a very small part of the problem. Even after the pain has gone, there could be deep underlying issues so treatment should always continue until the tissue has been allowed to heal and a state of ‘normal’ has returned to the mechanical side.

Causes of Subluxation

In truth, there are a number of different causes and sadly they are things that we are all exposed to on a daily basis. Not only are there physical causes, you will also find chemical and emotional causes of the problem too.

Physical - Starting with acute trauma, we could also look towards poor posture over an extended period of time, repetitive motions, imbalanced spinal musculature, and poor habits or design of the workplace or home workstation.

Chemical - As far as chemical causes go, the main examples would be extensive exposure to alcohol or drugs as well as consuming a poor diet. As we eat, drink, and even breathe, we constantly ingest harmful chemicals and these can be dangerous for our bodies. Every day, they have to fight off chemicals whilst attempting to remain as efficient as possible. Over time, we can’t adapt to the changing environment and the stress becomes too much. With this, we become susceptible to subluxations in the spine.

Emotional - Finally, this is caused by stress or the inability to correctly manage stress. In recent years, we have learned just how damaging emotional stress can be to the body and the mind. For example, we now know that the immune system can be compromised quite easily which leaves us vulnerable to all sorts of injury and disease.

Treatment for Subluxation

Whenever you have this problem, you will need to visit a chiropractor as they are trained in correcting vertebrae subluxations above any other medical professional. For the most part, it will be corrected using spinal adjustment and trusted chiropractic manipulation techniques. In the affected areas, the expert will use quick and gentle movements with slight force.

Traditionally, this type of treatment would be done solely through the hands but there are various tools that can now be used if necessary. Additionally, it normally takes several sessions before complete normalization because it is very similar to strengthening teeth. If you were to give up after a short time, they would slide back to the position to which they have grown accustomed. Therefore, the tissues need to accept this new position before finishing the treatment.

General Symptoms of Subluxation

When on this topic, people often ask whether they can tell if they have this problem themselves. As we have said, a chiropractor is the only way to accurately determine if you have this problem but there are some general signals as you will see below;

  • Reduced spinal mobility
  • Dizziness
  • Tenderness and neck pain
  • Soreness or stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Reduced energy
  • Pain or numbness
  • Muscle spasm
  • Reduced overall health

This being said, we should point out that the health problem doesn’t always give clear signs which is why it is useful to visit a chiropractor every so often for check-ups. As we have said, pain isn't the greatest measurement of severity here because a significant amount of damage can take place before even the first bit of pain is felt. If you were to have periodical check-ups, you can prevent this issue from ever becoming a major problem!