Whats a "Subluxation?"
Back pain is the number one reason people visit their doctor and nearly nine of ten will experience at least one episode of back pain in their lives. It can be debilitating in some cases, causing the sufferer to make a number of unwanted changes in lifestyle including giving up activities they normally enjoy. Back pain can also mean missing work and the inability to hold down a job.
What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations. The word "subluxation" comes from the Latin words meaning "somewhat or slight" (sub) and "to dislocate" (luxare). So the term 'vertebral subluxation' literally means a slight dislocation or misalignment of the bones in the spine. When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriatelycalled an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a "crack." The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible "cracking" does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. However, the chiropractic adjustment is still important. The leak is fixed. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again. To keep the wiring fixed and the information flowing, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.