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Chiroblog

Subluxation. What is it?

Posted: August 9, 2016
By: Emily Barnett & Dr. Drew Rubin

There are a few buzzwords I continue to hear at the office that I have never heard of before. One of those words being: Subluxation. I took it upon myself to research the word subluxation to find out what it means and what it has to do with chiropractic.

            Subluxation is formally known as vertebral subluxation, which is a spinal bone that is out of alignment in relation to the spinal bone above or below it, affecting the nerves that come out of the spine. Chiropractors recognize the neurological impact that is associated with the loss of normal motion or position of spinal bones as relating to health.

            So, what causes spinal bones to become misaligned and lose their normal position?

Chiropractors recognize three general types of stress that cause subluxation.  They call them the 3 T’s: Trauma, toxins, thoughts. 

Trauma-Physical stress is the most easily understood. Whiplash injuries due to a car accident are common occurrences. The whipping action of the head can produce profound changes to the neck and its graceful forward curve.  But physical stress can also be from repetitive micro-traumas such as excessive computer work (causing neck or back pain, as well as wrist and thumb pain), or from sports-related repetitive motions (such as swinging a golf club, tennis racket, or baseball bat the same way over and over again for years).

Toxins- Chemical stress in the form of drugs, alcohol, food preservatives and artificial ingredients can affect muscle tone and result in changes to proper spinal alignment.  You truly are what you eat, and if what you eat has more of a negative effect than a positive one, that can cause subluxations. 

Thoughts- Emotional stress such as anger, grief, fear and many others can cause supporting muscles to tighten, the spine to stiffen and postural changes to emerge.

 

One way to visualize subluxation is that of a circuit breaker that prevents an overload to the brain by dampening the ability of nerves to conduct nerve messages. Another way is to think of a dimmer switch.  If you want the power on at 100%, but the most you can turn it on is to 50%, that would be really frustrating!  Chiropractors fix these ‘dimmer switches’ or subluxations, and turn the power back on 100%. 

 

This is like a whole new language to learn.  Never heard of health being talked about like this before.

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