What is a Subluxation?
There are three primary distortions between bones. The first and most serious is a dislocation, or a separation of the joint where the bones meet. Dislocations are incredibly painful and usually visibly deformed. They typically result in massive soft tissue damage and neurological nightmares. If you have one of these, it is unlikely you are reading this from anywhere but the hospital.
A subluxation is a partial dislocation that occurs when two vertebra have shifted out of their normal alignment. Like the full dislocation, subluxations cause loss of function: pain and inflammation around the joint, loss of range of motion, and loss of feeling or numbness. Stress on the soft tissue results in inflammation of the connective tissue. The inflammation stimulates the pain nerve which causes the muscles to spasm. This means that the tissue’s (muscles, organs, glands) function is compromised and weaker, thereby contributing to imbalances. The greater the dysfunction, the greater the symptoms.
The third distortion is called a fixation, where the vertebra are locked in a block unit rather than moving individually. They create similar symptoms as the subluxation.
Trauma like accidents and falls can cause these injuries, but they also occur during normal activity when the muscles and tendons surrounding the joint are weak. The role of the chiropractor is to find and reduce the areas of nerve dysfunction triggered by subluxation and fixation, allowing the body to return to normal function. This is also the reason why we recommend exercises to our patients; stretching and strengthening the muscles around the joints can help avoid the intense discomfort caused by these three types of distortions.
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