There are many medical conditions and problems that can arise within our lives, causing a wide range of different health issues. On occasion, some may be much less understood than others. For example, while the majority of Downtown Vancouver residents can tell you the basics of what high blood pressure might be, most won’t be able to explain subluxation to you – even though subluxation can have a dramatic impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
While in most cases subluxation is generally applied within the chiropractic field, it’s important to understand that it is a medical condition that can affect a wide range of body parts form bones to organs. While visiting a chiropractor like Dr. Stuart Kilian at Advantage Chiropractic can help you understand what subluxation is, how it might be affecting your life, and what can be done about the issue.
What Is Subluxation?
Subluxation most commonly refers to a problem that happens when a bone within the spine moves out of its proper position. The spine is made up of multiple bones known as vertebrae, and each of them is cushioned by a ‘disc’ of tissue and surrounded by nerves.
A healthy spine is perfectly straight when viewed from the back, but when subluxation occurs one of the vertebrae may shift to one side or the other. In doing so they will place pressure on the spinal nerves that run throughout the spine. This can lead to intense pain as well as a wide range of other conditions.
What Impact Does Subluxation Have On Your Wellbeing?
Subluxation is a major problem, even if it’s not immediately apparent that it is. Pain is the most common symptom of subluxation, but consider for a moment just how important your spinal column is to your health. Every function in your body is controlled and managed by the impulses sent along nerves from the brain leading out to the various organs and limbs. Those nerves run along the spine before branching out to the rest of your body. Think of the nerves in your spine as highways, and the nerves that lead to organs and other body parts as secondary roads.
When something presses against one of those ‘highway nerves’, it can impede the signal travelling along them. That means that the body parts connected to the nerves won’t be able to function at 100% capacity – they’re not getting all the proper information from the brain. This can lead to a huge assortment of issues including:
- Digestive problems
- Muscle pain
- Stiffness and mobility issues
- And more
Combine this with the often intense pain that can come from subluxation, and it becomes clear that this is a very severe problem that any patient needs to address quickly in order to return their overall wellbeing to 100%.
What Causes Subluxation?
So what causes subluxation, exactly? That’s a hard answer to provide, primarily because each person is different. Subluxations are the result of a wide range of changes that occur throughout the body. Often, the direct result is due to muscles around the spine being weaker than they should which allows the bones to shift improperly. However, even those with strong muscles may still face subluxation due to injuries, illness, or other problems.
A wide range of different issues can lead to subluxation including the following:
- Physical activity that places pressure on the spinal column
- Poor posture
- Accidents and injuries
- Hip dysplasia
- Other illnesses and injuries
In short, everything from being overweight to being involved in an auto accident to sitting with poor posture can lead to a vertebra shifting to a position that creates major problems. As such, it’s important to maintain a good health and lifestyle while also seeking out treatment and preventative care as needed.
Not Just A Spinal Problem
While chiropractors primarily focus on spinal subluxation, it is still worth noting that the medical community also recognizes other forms of subluxation. Subluxation in these cases is defined as a partial dislocation or separation of bones, joints, and organs. For example, the kneecap or shoulder may experience subluxation that involves a partial, temporary dislocation due to things like weakened muscles around the joint.
In these situations, pain, weakness, and other similar issues can be present that can lead to health issues. It is important for patients to seek medical care in order to identify whether or not subluxation exists and determine what steps can be used to correct the issue.
By now it should be obvious that subluxation is a serious health issue that needs to be addressed by anyone who feels that they’re experiencing it. Luckily, there are several treatment options available and in most cases the use of drugs or invasive surgery won’t be required. Chiropractic care in particular can have a dramatic impact on the problem and help ease the symptoms associated with it.
Some of the treatment options that chiropractors and other medical professionals will provide include the following.
- Manipulation – This is the foundation of chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors will use pressure, force, and velocity to manually adjust the spine with the goal of realigning the spine properly. It will take time and several visits in order to get results, but the end result is a straighter spine and better overall level of health and wellbeing.
- Muscular Health – Since the muscles around the spine are vital for keeping it aligned properly, health professionals will often focus on strengthening the muscles through massage, electrical stimulation, and exercise.
- Self-Care – You can’t visit a chiropractor 24 hours a day. As such, you’ll be given a set of self-care instructions that can allow you to improve your spinal health on your own. This includes things like stretching exercises, muscular exercises, and rest.
Additional steps might be used as well, but these three are the primary foundation of treating subluxation and improving your overall health and wellbeing in the process. Subluxation is a very serious issue that deserves your attention, and correcting the problem could help you feel better than you have in years.