If you’ve ever been to the chiropractor’s office in Bentonville, AR or done any research into spinal health online, you’ve probably come across the word “subluxation.” However, have you ever had this word explained to you by a professional who can give you valuable information about this term’s meaning?
In this article, we’ll explore just what a subluxation is, what causes it, and how you can receive treatment for it.
What Is a Subluxation?
To put it simply, a subluxation is a part of your body that is “out of joint.” Basically, part of your body has become misaligned from the position that it was designed to be in. You typically experience subluxation at one of the body’s many joints, such as a finger. However, it is also possible to experience a subluxation on the lens of your eye or even with a tooth.
Doctors of all kinds can identify a subluxation in the body, but the type that is most concerning to chiropractors is a vertebral subluxation. This essentially means that one or more of your spinal vertebrae are out of place, putting abnormal pressure on your spine.
Subluxations don’t play favorites. They can happen with small children, elderly people, and everyone in between. From the most active person to the most sedentary retiree, anyone can be struck with a misalignment that a chiropractor could diagnose as a subluxation.
What Are the Major Types of Subluxation?
As mentioned above, subluxations can occur all over the body. However, when it comes to joints, there are just a few major ones that concern us for the purposes of this article.
For starters, a vertebral or spinal subluxation is a dislocation of the vertebrae. Even if you’ve never experienced a traumatic injury to your back, it’s possible to have at least one dislocated vertebra that can compress your spinal cord and cause pain throughout your daily life.
Moving just a bit over on the body, a shoulder subluxation is a separation between the ball and the socket of your shoulder joint. It’s relatively common for people who have experienced either direct trauma or ongoing repetitive motion in the shoulder region, such as athletes who frequently perform overhand motions (e.g. tennis players, swimmers).
Next, a patellar subluxation occurs when there is a looseness or separation in the knee region. Like with a shoulder subluxation, this can happen thanks to either a direct injury (such as a fall) or by wearing your knee down throughout life.
Finally, elbow subluxation typically happens either after a fall on your hands or following a serious tug on your arm(s).
These types of subluxations can be further subdivided by a chiropractor depending on the specific effect they have on your joints, such as limiting your range of motion or causing spinal deterioration.
Causes of Subluxations
As you can guess from the previous section, many joint subluxations come about because of high-impact accidents, many of which are common in regular life. You don’t have to get into a car wreck to suffer from a subluxation. Even a painful fall at home or out on the sidewalk can dislocate your joints or move your vertebrae out of alignment.
While subluxations often cause pain and discomfort in the long term, you may not even notice them in the immediate aftermath of a fall or other accident. This is especially true if you don’t notice any excessive pain or change in your range of motion in the affected area at first.
Apart from injuries as a result of major trauma, you can also suffer from subluxations through general wear and tear or joint weakness. This wear and tear can come about from repetitive motions in the workplace or as part of sporting activities. It can also be the result of poor posture.
Meanwhile, some medical conditions can weaken your joints and put you at greater risk for subluxations. You can become more prone to injury as a result of constant stress. Pregnancy also increases your chances of developing subluxations because pregnancy loosens your ligaments.
Common Symptoms of Subluxation
While the most obvious subluxation symptoms are aches and pain in the area of dislocation, these are far from the only signs. For example, the impacted joint may also become swollen or feel “looser” or less stable than before.
In addition, you may have a decreased range of motion or even a sense of stiffness in the area where the subluxation has occurred. Depending on what part of the body the subluxation is located at, it may throw off your balance or affect your normal walking or running gait. In some cases, subluxations can also cause tingling or numbness in the affected area.
Over time, an untreated subluxation can also cause seemingly unconnected symptoms, such as headaches or mood issues brought about by the long-term discomfort of living with a misaligned spine.
Effective Subluxation Treatment Options
Chiropractic adjustments are aimed at realigning the spine and other joints, so a trained chiropractor is the perfect person to talk to about treating your correctable subluxations. First, a chiropractor will examine your body and determine your current range of motion in order to get a better idea of how to treat the subluxation.
Next, by using an integrator tool or similar instrument, a chiropractor can perform a gentle, non-invasive adjustment that uses pressure to realign your dislocated joint. Over time, regular adjustments can put your spinal bones back into their proper alignment.
Finally, your chiropractor can provide advice for maximizing your self-care and minimizing your chance for re-injury. These at-home tips can include anything from eating an anti-inflammatory diet to performing low-impact exercises that will strengthen your joints and muscles.
A holistic treatment plan designed by a chiropractic professional is intended to treat your subluxation while also improving your overall quality of life.
Contact Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center to Schedule an Appointment Today
Our neurological-based chiropractic care could be the key to finding relief for your back pain, neck pain, or other health concerns caused by subluxations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see how we can help you get to better health!