A subluxation in chiropractic terms, is another word for a slight dislocation, misalignment or dysfunction of one or more of the spinal joints. Subluxations have the potential to irritate the adjacent nerve roots coming from the spinal cord itself. The results of subluxation can be pain, muscle changes or organ dysfunction – depending on which nerves are being affected.
The simplest description for a chiropractic adjustment is that it is a specific movement of the spine or other area of the body to correct the lost or aberrant movement of a vertebrae or joint. Of course there are many ways for a chiropractor to effect an adjustment and just as many ways to describe the procedure.
The location of the subluxation on the body determines the style and form of the adjustment. Generally speaking, though, a chiropractic adjustment involves a specific and controlled pressure or force being applied in a specific direction to a fixed or locked joint in order to 'unseize' it. The purpose of this adjustment is to improve the spinal function, nervous system function, remove muscle tension, and boost general health.
After years of training and clinical experience, your chiropractors are highly skilled in delivering a variety of trusted adjustment techniques for your health and wellness.
Knowing what to expect when you visit your chiropractor, helps to relieve any apprehension or even fear you may have beforehand. Being prepared for a small popping sound as your joint or back is adjusted will help you to relax.
So what causes the popping sound you may hear as you're being adjusted?
It's all a matter of gases – more accurately the sudden release of gases around the joint being adjusted - as simple as that. As to what causes the gases to make this sound is also simple: each joint, especially in the spinal joints, is lubricated by a fluid not unlike egg white. This fluid ensures smoothness of movement and cushioning of the joint from shock and stresses. It essentially permits a silky action for the joint, reducing friction on the bone through all its planes of movement.
As with most fluids there are air bubbles (carbon dioxide and nitrogen) contained within this flowing substance. As your chiropractor carries out the adjustment the joint opens and releases the gases with a 'pop'.
The fluid then returns to its proper location around the joint and continues to carry out its function of lubrication and carrying waste products away from the area.
Regardless of the adjusting technique, chiropractic care is tailored to each individual's age and condition. An example of this is with children. Children generally have more mobile joints, and therefore, require less force in order to attain the desired effect of the adjustment.
In addition to varying the amount of force used, adjustment frequency will also be customised to the individual. Different conditions require different schedules of care. Our practitioners will tailor a specific care plan for you that takes into account a number of factors. These factors include (but are not limited to), the results of x-rays, physical examination findings, what tissue is involved (eg. ligament, tendon, muscle, disc, organ), how long you have had the condition, the amount of inflammation and intensity of pain being experienced, and the presence of any aggravating factors to your condition (eg. your occupation or degeneration).
There are several factors which could influence the 'healing time' once you've had your adjustment. These include, but aren't restricted to: your age, the severity and length of time you've had the condition; nutrition – what you eat can make a difference to your recovery; occupation, posture and stress. All things considered it is probably wise to speak with your chiropractor.
These days what is elderly? What used to be considered 'old' at 60 is now only 'senior' at 80. How many people can you think of who look as though they're in their fifties, and then you discover they are well over 65 or even 70?
To find that you're adding on the years can be a little daunting for some – but it doesn't mean that you necessarily have to put up with the discomfort of aching backs, shoulders or limbs. What tends to happen though is that aching limbs and joints are often disregarded due to the "I'm just getting old" syndrome. Well, just because you may be getting older, is no reason to put up with that discomfort.
Seniors often ask whether they can benefit through chiropractic care and if it will help to alleviate problems with shoulder, hip and other joints without jeopardising them. The answer in most cases is 'yes'. The first step is to ask your chiropractor “Can you help me with my health problem?” If you don't ask the question, you will never know the answer. We will then be able to examine the facts of your individual circumstances, assess the pain and its causes and then tell you what can be done to assist you. Invariably we aim to provide greater mobility and improve your body's ability to function.
Pain is a good indicator that something within the body requires attention but cannot tell us how severe the condition causing the pain may be. Sometimes we can become 'acclimatised' to the body's state and what ordinarily would be considered 'pain' is what we regard as a normal part of our daily life. The symptom becomes a mild discomfort that's to be endured because we have had it for a while and it has become just something that you accept.
Lack of pain is not necessarily a good signpost to the condition your spine is in. To use an example most of us are familiar with – a water leak may not always show us immediately where it starts. Often water will enter at point 'A' but not be seen until it reaches point 'F'. We say that it 'tracks' from its point of entry and winds and finds it way to an exit point. Pain has a similar habit of originating at a certain point, say, on the spine where either bad posture over a period of time or an injury we didn't even notice sets up an irritation of the nerves. The pain then tracks up or down to a point at which we now feel it. It could be severe or, in many cases, hardly felt at all except for the occasional 'twinge'.
The experienced chiropractor looks carefully for asymmetry and misalignment of the body. Many patients choose to get periodic maintenance checks from their chiropractor, in the same way as you would do for your car; if it's good enough for a collection of metal, plastic and glass it is surely good enough for a bundle of bones, especially when it's the only bundle you possess.
If you wish for your body to function at its highest capacity this is something we can assist you with. Some people wait for teeth to start aching before they visit the dentist, by which time it is invariably too late to save the tooth. Not only that but a tooth filled with decay slowly affects the whole body eventually, and that means its physical and mental performance. By having a spine that is functioning optimally with minimal nerve interference, can we enjoy a full and active life.