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What Is a “Subluxation”?

Subluxations are the primary reason for visiting your chiropractor. A subluxation occurs when one or more of the spinal vertebrae move out of position due to injury, stress or chemical imbalances. This can put pressure on the spinal nerves, causing them irritation, and resulting in pain. Your chiropractor can locate these subluxations and gently realign your spinal vertebrae to remove the pressure on your spinal nerves.

There is more to a subluxation, however, than simply the vertebrae moving out of place. Chiropractors refer to the state of subluxation as a vertebral subluxation complex (VSC). This refers to five different components of a subluxation that are affecting your body at the same time. These include the following conditions:

  • Kinesiopathology – The loss of correct vertebral positioning in relation to the vertebrae above and below. This makes it difficult to bend and turn.
  • Neuropathology – An irritation or injury to the spine’s nerve roots due to stretching, compression or chemical irritation from neighboring spinal structures. This disruption to the nerves can cause problems elsewhere in the body.
  • Myopathology – Pathological changes to the muscles supporting the spine, which includes spasms, weakness, hypertonicity, muscle atrophy, fibrosis and inappropriate functioning. The scar tissue that results from these conditions results in more frequent subluxations that require adjustment.
  • Histopathology – Pathological changes to the spinal tissues, which can cause bone spurs and other abnormal bone growth from the vertebrae and their joints, as well as adhesions and fibrosis of the spinal muscles and ligaments, inflammation, swelling, and dehydration, bulging, tearing and degeneration of the spinal discs.
  • Pathophysiology – The biochemical abnormalities that take place in the region of the spine, such as biochemical waste products and inflammatory biochemicals coming from injured tissues.

Among the signs that you may have a subluxation are neck and back pain, soreness or stiffness, headache, joint pain, muscles spasms, and numbness, pain or tingling in the extremities.

A number of things can cause VSC, including auto accidents, alcohol, chemical imbalances, improper lifting, repetitive motion, bad posture, emotional stress and extended periods of sitting. When a person has VSC, it leads to considerable changes in the soft tissue in the area of the spine and also in the other tissues and organs of the body due to the disruption of proper nerve impulses coming from and returning to the spinal cord.

Your chiropractor will be able to detect where these subluxations are in your spine and correct them with a spinal adjustment either using only their hands or assisted by a hand-held instrument to deliver a quick and gentle correction to the misaligned vertebrae. Correcting these misalignment’s sometimes takes a little time, as the tissues need to adjust to the new correct positioning of the vertebrae.

Visit our offices in Wilmington, Leland, Shallotte and Jacksonville for all your Chiropractic care!

At SEHC, we are here to help! Call us at 910-202-4341.

What is a “Pinched Nerve”?

A “pinched nerve” refers to a condition in which a nerve is compressed by surrounding tissue, such as ligament, cartilage, tendon or bone. The term “pinched nerve” is not a standard medical expression, but it’s an intuitive expression that almost anyone will understand.

Nerves radiate from your brain, down your spine and to all other parts of the body. Signals are sent from and to the brain along the nerves, and if a nerve is compressed (“pinched”), it will interfere with proper signal transmission. Usually, this will manifest as pain, not only at the site of compression, but sometimes radiating from that point to surrounding parts of the body. Misalignment of the spine can result in pinched nerves that can give you back pain and even a deadening ache or sensitivity along your arms (cervical radiculopathy) or legs (sciatica).

Any pain of this sort is a warning signal that there is a problem that should be treated right away. Left untreated, pinched nerves can lead to a loss of the protective barrier around the nerves which could generate fluid buildup. And this fluid would create swelling, more pressure, more pain, and possibly scarring. When nerves have been scarred, they may no longer function properly.

Pain isn’t the only indication of a pinched nerve. Sometimes a compressed nerve will generate numbness or tingling, a burning or “pins and needles” sensation, or even weakness during certain activities.

Pinched nerves can occur more often when the following risk factors are involved:

  • Overuse—Repetitive actions such as movements during work or while involved in a hobby or sport.
  • Posture—Bad posture creates more pressure on the spine and the nerves traveling through it.
  • Gender—Women’s carpal tunnels are smaller and are at greater risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis—Inflammation of any kind can compress nerves, especially at the joints.
  • Obesity—Increased body weight can increase pressure on nerves throughout the body.
  • Bone spurs—Bone thickening (from conditions such as osteoarthritis) or trauma can lead to bone spurs that stiffen the spine and narrow the space through which the nerves pass.

Mainstream medicine frequently recommends drugs, including NSAIDs, oral corticosteroids, narcotics (for emergency, short-term pain relief) and steroid injections to treat the symptoms of a pinched nerve. The Mayo Clinic suggests that patients can sometimes recover within a few days or weeks from pinched nerves with rest and additional “conservative treatments.” Other mainstream medical treatments may include physical therapy, a splint to immobilize a limb to give it a bit of rest, or surgery.

A chiropractor specializes in nerve health and non-invasive methods of reducing pain and restoring proper function, including spinal adjustments and other treatments that take the pressure off the nerves without the need for drugs or surgery. Sometimes a single adjustment can lead to immediate relief. In other cases, repeat visits may be required for full recovery. If you or someone you care about is suffering from a pinched nerve, you should know that there are alternatives to drugs and surgery and that chiropractic care has proven effective in treating the source of the problem so it is less likely to recur in the future.

Call Southeastern Healthcare for your Chiropractic needs! We offer FREE shuttle to/from our offices!

At Southeastern Healthcare, we are here to help! Call us at (910) 790-3666