Understanding Subluxation

So just what is subluxation, then? This is a term that can have two meanings. In general medicine, it’s defined as the partial separation of a joint. But in chiropractic terms, we use it to refer to an altered or unnatural position of a vertebra.

For instance, your spine should be a straight line when viewed from the back. But if a vertebra is subluxated, it will shift to one side or the other slightly. When this happens, the bone can place added pressure on the muscles, nerves, and blood vessels around it. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and a wide range of other problems.

Lumbar subluxation is among the most common types of spinal subluxation due in large part to the amount of stress that is placed on the lumbar region at any given time. Additionally, the fact that daily activities such as walking, running, and heavy lifting can all place additional stress on the back means that subluxation is even more likely to occur.

Causes of Lumbar Spine Subluxation

There are numerous causes of lumbar spine subluxation. It’s important to understand that the weaker the muscles around the spine, the more likely it is that subluxation will occur. This is because the muscles are designed to hold the vertebrae in place, and when they are weakened they may allow the vertebrae to move. As such, some people may be more at risk of subluxation than others.

Still, there are several potential causes that are worth looking more closely at. In addition to the ‘weak muscle’ factor, here are some of the things that can contribute to subluxation of the lower spine:

  • Overly excessive sport performance or sporting related impacts.

  • Heavy lifting, especially if done improperly.

  • Accidents and injuries that impact the back in any way.

  • Poor posture.

  • Obesity due to the added stress it places on the back.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Twisting or turning motions of a repetitive or severe nature

As you can see, subluxation largely stems from nothing more than overuse of the body or even regular use. Wear and tear is common as we age, and direct injuries can lead to even more trouble. There are some steps you can take to avoid the issue – stretching daily, maintaining good posture, and lifting properly, for example – but at times there is no way to avoid subluxation and it could occur before you realize it.

Impact Lumbar Subluxation Will Have On Your Life

The primary symptom of lumbar subluxation is pain. When a vertebra shifts to one side or the other, it presses against nerves that run the length of the spinal column. And when that occurs, it can bring with it pain ranging from mild to severe. This pain may be even worse with activity, when you sit down or lie down, or when you turn in a certain direction.

However, beyond the pain that is commonly connected to lumbar subluxation there are numerous other things that this condition could cause. When you consider the number of nerves leading out of the spine, it becomes clear that pressure placed on one of them could influence other parts of your body. Here are some of the symptoms that chiropractors have connected to lumbar subluxation:

  • Sciatica, causing numbness, tingling, and pain of the legs and buttocks.

  • Reduced mobility

  • Headaches

  • Digestive issues

  • Hypertension

In many cases, minor subluxation may not even be noticed and instead other steps may be looked at to correct the issue. But the truth is that lumbar subluxation can impact your life in more ways than just increased pain.

Treatment Options For Lumbar Subluxation

Lumbar subluxation is something that can be remedied, luckily. Chiropractic care is the best option for this since it doesn’t require the use of surgery or prescription drugs. Instead, chiropractors will use the following to treat subluxation:

By manually adjusting your spine to help gradually realign the vertebra, and by giving you the information needed to complete self-care steps like better exercises and stretching techniques, a chiropractor can directly help you improve your overall wellbeing by correcting subluxation.

If you’re suffering from lower back pain, stiffness, tingling in the legs or feet, or any other similar issues listed above, you owe it to yourself to visit a chiropractor for an examination. Lumbar spine subluxation could be present, and could need to be adjusted.