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Home / Blog / What Are Subluxations and How Do You Get Them?
Author: Collin Land

Subluxation refers to a vertebra or joint slipping out of its proper position. They’re essentially partial dislocations or misalignments, and they can affect nearly any joint or vertebrae.

Subluxation Vs. Dislocation

A dislocation is specifically a scenario in which the misaligned bones are no longer making contact. For example, if a person’s upper arm (humerus) pops entirely out of the shoulder socket, it’s a dislocation. If the head of the humerus is only tweaked partially out of the glenoid (socket), it’s considered a subluxation.

Subluxations are considered less serious since bones and joints can be more easily adjusted back into place and less damage is risked to surrounding ligaments, muscles and tissues.

Spinal subluxations are less likely to result in spinal cord injury than a full vertebrae dislocation, which can result in severe spinal cord damage. In fact, vertebral dislocations are one of the most common causes of severe spinal cord injuries. Spinal misalignments are far more common and aren’t necessarily the result of any traumatic injury.

A spine subluxation can lead to a variety of potential symptoms, including neck or back pain, a reduced range of motion or persistent headaches.

Vertebral Subluxation

If you suspect you are suffering from a spinal subluxation, you should strongly consider scheduling an appointment with an Optimum Health Rehab chiropractor. Chiropractors have extensive training in the proper alignment of the spine, which gives them the ability to diagnose misalignments and make adjustments that provide patients with pain relief and improved range of motion.

The vertebral subluxation process can lead to a variety of potentially damaging complications, from hyperemia (obstructions hindering proper circulation) to fibrosis (the formation of scar tissue common among patients with chronic back pain).

Having spinal subluxations treated through adjustments and chiropractic realignments can help prevent longer-term problems that can form if vertebral subluxation is left untreated.

Subluxation Treatment

Chiropractic treatments are often good choices after a subluxation or a dislocation. Suffering a subluxation or dislocation can greatly increase your risk for future dislocations and subluxations. Ligaments that are normally responsible for helping bones stay snugly in place can heal loosely, making repeat misalignments or dislocations more likely.

This is often described as “instability.” For example, people who have had a shoulder dislocation are especially at risk for future shoulder subluxation if they don’t manage their shoulder instability.

After a shoulder dislocation, you might experience a sensation known as “apprehension,” or the feeling that your shoulder joint is about to slide out of place again. There’s even a specific chiropractic test called the apprehension test to diagnose the extent of shoulder instability.

Apprehension and shoulder instability can be problematic for athletes and workers in industries where they frequently raise their arms above their head.

Are There Alternatives to Shoulder Subluxation Surgery?

Shoulder subluxations can be quickly realigned. However, improving shoulder stability is a longer-term process. Your chiropractor can work with you on strength training exercises to promote muscle growth that will help shoulder stability.

A shoulder stability strengthening regimen will emphasize exercises that improve the stability of the rotator cuff musculature. Athletes or workers who struggle with shoulder instability should also use proper support equipment and sports taping. Strength training combined with chiropractic care and physical therapy often helps patients improve their shoulder stability.

There are surgeries specifically intended to improve shoulder stability and prevent future shoulder subluxation or dislocations. However, even the orthopedic surgeons who perform these procedures will likely recommend exhausting non-surgical options like physical therapy before seriously considering a surgical solution.

Get Help with Your Spinal Misalignments, Subluxation or Joint Instability in Georgia

Chiropractors are experts on spinal alignment, but they also have extensive training on the entire musculoskeletal system. If you’re struggling with joint instability or frequent subluxations after suffering a joint dislocation, you should strongly consider visiting a Georgia chiropractor.

One of the things that makes Optimum Health Rehab unique is the many complementary services we offer in addition to chiropractic care. Patients with joint instability or pain may also benefit from our physical rehabilitation services, massage therapy or regenerative medicine services.

Find out how Optimum Health Rehab can assist with your recovery by calling 877-704-1761.

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