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What Is a Subluxation?

Whether it is your first or fiftieth adjustment, you have probably heard your local chiropractor mention the term subluxation. This term may sound unusual, especially if you do not have a health background. Keep reading to discover what a subluxation is, what the common symptoms and causes are, and how chiropractors can help identify and treat these common issues.

What Is a Subluxation?

Subluxation is a chiropractic term used to describe a joint that does not work properly, such as a restrictive or misaligned joint. A common subluxation is the vertebrae of the spine or spinal subluxation. When a vertebrae is misaligned, this puts pressure on the nerve roots within the spine and can reduce the function of nerve signals between the body and brain. Chiropractors often find that spinal subluxations are the root source of several health conditions from back pain to stress. However, people can also suffer from other types of subluxations in their feet, ribs, shoulders, wrists, and other areas of the body. If a patient’s subluxations are not treated, this can lead to an unbalanced body.

Common Symptoms of Subluxations

There are several symptoms that indicate that you have a spinal subluxation. While every patient is different, these are the most common symptoms of subluxations.

  • Back or Neck Pain: If a patient has continual back or neck pain, this may be caused by a spinal subluxation. The patient may experience pain that starts in the upper back and moves up through the neck. The pain level can range from mild to sharp, intense pain.
  • Headaches: Headaches can also be an indicator of a subluxation. These headaches may occur from pressure that builds up due to an untreated misalignment. This pressure continues to build upward until it reaches the patient’s base of their head. As a result, this can lead to tension headaches that occur out of nowhere.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Subluxations can also cause a patient to experience muscle stiffness and reduced range of motion. Patients may find it challenging to perform daily tasks as a result of this restrictive movement. Indeed, this prevents people from doing what they love to do. 

Additionally, subluxations may cause joint inflammation, muscle tenderness, numbness, and burning sensations. 

Common Causes of Subluxations

A misalignment can happen to anyone at any time. The causes of subluxations can vary, but there are three main causes that chiropractors often observe. As always, it’s recommended that you visit your local licensed chiropractor to determine the true source of your health conditions.


One of the most common causes of subluxations is trauma. This can be caused by various injuries, such as falls, car accidents, or sports injuries. Aside from major injuries, micro-traumas that happen in everyday life can also lead to spinal misalignments. Certain daily habits can lead to these micro-trauma injuries. This includes sleeping on your stomach, wearing a purse on only one side of your body, looking down at your computer or phone for several hours a day, and wearing high heels on a daily basis.


Within your body, there are both natural and artificial chemicals. The goal is to maintain balance with these chemicals. However, this can be difficult due to the constant exposure to air pollution, chemicals used in the home (i.e. for cleaning, beauty, crafts, etc.), and processed foods. This imbalance within the body can cause the muscles to contract and contribute towards having a subluxation.


Stress is a major concern among children and adults. When a person experiences frequent stress, this can lead to tension in the body, including the back, neck, and shoulders. As those muscles become tight due to stress, they can cause a subluxation.

How Can a Chiropractor Help Identify and Treat Subluxations?

If you think your symptoms may be caused by a subluxation, it’s recommended that you contact your local chiropractor. This holistic expert has the training and experience required to identify the source of your health conditions. Indeed, there is a good chance that a spinal subluxation is the cause. Luckily, chiropractors can perform safe and gentle adjustments designed to treat these subluxations. Overtime, this treatment will properly align your spine, so that you no longer have excessive pressure being placed on your joints. Contact the Lakeville chiropractors at Enlighten Chiropractic to book your next appointment! Our expert chiropractors can treat your health concerns and help you achieve lasting health and wellness through our expert chiropractic care.


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