What is Spine Subluxation?

While most people have heard of spine subluxation, it’s rare that someone actually knows entirely what it is. So, what is spine subluxation? Simply put, spine subluxation refers to the vertebra in your spine being misaligned or out of place. When this happens, you may experience loss of movement or function. Your spine can slowly shift over time due to repetitive movements or bad posture. A traumatic event may also throw your spine out of its natural alignment. 

Continue reading to learn more about not only the causes of spine subluxation but the different categories used to describe it and the most effective ways to treat it. If you live in the San Diego area and need spine subluxation treatment, we can help! Click here to schedule an appointment.

What is Subluxation of the Spine? 

Spine Subluxation is when your vertebrae become misaligned. This can cause signals to get crossed between the body and brain causing pain and dysfunction. This condition can steadily get worse over time if not properly diagnosed and treated. 

Types of Spine Subluxation 

There are four different types or categories of spine subluxation. Even though each of these categories has several subcategories, let’s discuss the four broad categories and what each of them entails. 

  1. Static Intersegmental Subluxation 

This first category can be detected by a chiropractor palpating along the spine, testing for mobility, and is associated with the following conditions:  

  • Extension Malposition
  • Flexion Malposition 
  • Lateral Flexion Malposition 
  • Rotation Malposition 
  • Anterolisthesis 
  • Retrolisthesis 
  • Osseous Foraminal Encroachment 
  1. Kinetic Intersegmental Subluxation

If your spine subluxation is placed in this category, your chiropractor has been able to discover movement between the normal sections of your spinal column. 

  • Hypomobility 
  • Hypermobility 
  • Aberrant motion 
  1. Sectional Subluxation 

Spine subluxation that is specific to one basic area of your spine falls under the sectional subluxation category. This may include when sections of your spine move in inappropriate ways or the deterioration of curved areas. 

  • Abnormalities of motion
  • Decompensation of adaptational curves 
  • Scoliosis secondary to muscle imbalance 
  • Scoliosis secondary to structural asymmetries 
  1. Paravertebral Subluxation 

Spinal subluxation in this category directly impacts the muscles that run the length of the spine. This could affect any tendons or ligaments along your spine as well. 

  • Sacroiliac subluxation 
  • Costovertebral dis relationships 

Causes of Spine Subluxation 

There are literally endless causes of spinal subluxation. Some may be caused by physical, emotional, or even chemical causes. Below are a few of the leading factors when it comes to spinal subluxation: 

  • Trauma 

While there may be various causes of spine subluxation, trauma is the most common cause. When we think of trauma, we think of a major incident such as a car accident or nasty fall. However, minor trauma from daily habits can be every bit as much of a problem. For example, looking up at a computer screen all day or sleeping on your stomach each night can cause changes in your spine that are unhealthy, leading to spine subluxation. 

  • Stress 

We’re often told that stress is extremely harmful to our bodies. It certainly can play a role in causing spine subluxation. When we are experiencing large amounts of stress, we feel it in our upper back and neck. Anxiety and stress can actually cause your muscles to become tight and cause tension within your body, leading to spinal subluxation. 

  • Chemicals 

We knowingly and unknowingly expose our bodies to chemicals every day. These chemicals may contribute to our spine not being aligned properly. For example, prescription drugs can alter your body chemistry in a negative way. There are chemicals in our food and even water that can cause our muscles to atrophy and weaken. When our body chemistry is off, the natural amount of resistance from our muscles can get out of alignment. 

Changes That Can Come with Spinal Subluxation 

As your tissues undergo steady and constant movements which may lead to spinal subluxation, there are several changes that can occur in the process: 

  • Atrophy of Muscles-atrophy occurs when a muscle partially or completely fades away or shrinks due to inactivity and other health conditions 
  • Fibrosis-replacement of normal tissue with scar tissue 
  • Edema-when your body’s capillaries are damaged, causing excess fluid to leak and build up in your tissues leading to swelling 
  • Congestion-toxins develop causing trigger points in certain areas, irritating nerve endings within the muscle 
  • Local Ischemia-ischemia refers to a lack of blood flow in a muscle, often stemming from a muscle spasm, causing severe muscle pain 
  • Hyperemia-referring to the excess of blood in a specific area of the body, preventing the blood to flow in its natural way 
  • Tissue Rigidity-adhesions form, causing rigidity in ligaments, muscles, and tendons. 

Symptoms of Spine Subluxation 

While their severity may vary from person to person, below is a list of the most common symptoms of spinal subluxation:

Diagnosing Spine Subluxation 

If you are experiencing back pain, it’s important that you contact an experienced chiropractor for a physical examination. Be prepared with a list of your symptoms as well as an approximate timeline documenting the history of your pain.

Consider what lifestyle changes or physical injuries may be worth mentioning to give your doctor the best chance of a proper diagnosis. A thorough exam will most likely include x-rays or MRIs. Depending on what your doctor discovers, they may decide on a treatment plan right away or may refer you to another provide if necessary.  

Spine Subluxation Treatment 

Treatment plans may vary depending on the severity of your condition as well as other health factors. We’ve compiled a list of the most effective treatment options for those suffering from spinal subluxation: 

  • Chiropractic Care 

Chiropractors are experts when it comes to your neck and spine. They also aim to find the focus of the problem rather than merely masking your pain with medication. They can perform a number of chiropractic treatments that can help restore your spine’s alignment. 

  • Diet and Exercise Changes

We consume food every day that causes inflammation throughout our bodies and makes it hard to feel good or for our bodies to function as they should. Focusing on eating whole food and avoiding ultra-processed and sugary foods can contribute to overall wellness. Drinking plenty of water is also a factor in a healthier lifestyle. 

When your muscles are strong, it helps keep your spine in proper alignment. Finding a fitness routine that incorporates both strength and cardio training will not only build muscle tone but improve your posture and aid in your healing process. But remember that it’s not smart to jump into a routine that is too intense or unsustainable. Start small and work your way up as your stamina increases. 

  • Physical & Massage Therapy 

Your chiropractor may assign you simple movements or exercises you can do at home to improve your posture and strengthen your core muscles. Massage therapy may also be recommended and is an excellent way to increase blood circulation which promotes healing. 

  • Mental Health Awareness 

Along with focusing on your physical health, your mental health shouldn’t be ignored. As mentioned earlier, keeping your stress levels down is extremely important. Find some stress-relieving activities such as meditating, yoga, walking, or painting that bring you joy. Additionally, speaking with a counselor is one of the most effective ways to stay mentally strong. 

What is Spine Subluxation Conclusion 

Spine subluxation is a term that describes a joint that doesn’t work properly, whether it’s not functioning as it should or is out of alignment. If you feel you or a loved one are suffering from any form of spinal subluxation, don’t hesitate to contact Intouch Chiropractic. Our experienced team is ready to help you with your health and answer all of your questions. Whether you’ve experienced a traumatic event or have noticed pain building up slowly over time, we are here to help. Give us a call at (619) 756-7510 to schedule your appointment.