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What is subluxation?

A subluxation refers to a spinal or peripheral joint that is not moving in its normal motion pattern or is out of place. Subluxations create an imbalance in the spine, irritating nerves and blood vessels, affecting the way our body and brain communicate with one another and can contribute to pain and dysfunction in muscles and organs. Subluxations can be silent or non-symptomatic until the weaknesses or changes in function that they cause result in an eventual breakdown or injury.

What causes subluxation?

Accidents, injuries, improper lifting or body mechanics and inherited spinal weaknesses are common causes of subluxations. Other causes include poor sleeping habits, poor posture, obesity, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, internal organ dysfunction and not enough rest or sleep.How is a subluxation corrected?Chiropractors treat subluxations with a healing technique called spinal adjustment, a procedure that involves applying specific, short, quick thrusts to return vertebrae (the bones that compose the spine and protect the spinal cord) to their proper position and motion. They may also use other tools and techniques.

Does the adjustment hurt?

Most chiropractic adjustments are painless; in fact, the adjustment may feel good and can be relieving. If you've had a recent injury, however, adjustments can irritate inflamed tissue and cause some discomfort. Using ice after any irritation is recommended. Some people also experience odd sensations in their muscles or extremities after adjustments. This is a normal reaction to the relieving of pressure on nerves and is usually no cause for concern. It is thought by some scientists to be an increase in circulation once the irritation is removed from the nerve.

How old should a person be before receiving chiropractic care?

People of all ages are candidates for chiropractic treatment. Even babies can have subluxations, due to the rigors of birth. In general, it's best to treat children's subluxations early, as they interfere with nerves that control developing muscles and organs. A rapidly developing spine and all other bones and joints of the body consist of cartilage growth centers that the bone grows from. Abnormal stresses on these growth plates can cause the bones to develop abnormally. With an early checkup, your chiropractor can detect these problems while they're easy to correct.

Should I go to a chiropractor if I feel fine?

Your chiropractor can recognize and detect problem areas in your spine before they develop into problem conditions or symptoms. Chiropractic adjustments help to maintain or support a healthy spine and nervous system. Maintenance or wellness spinal care programs, which may include advice on posture, nutrition and exercise, can effectively prevent pain. Regular checkups will also ensure that small stresses on the spine don't interfere with the nervous system’s function or become major misalignments. This type of program of prevention actually optimizes the function of your body. Most people take much better care of their teeth than they do their spine. If your teeth wear out, they can be replaced with artifficial ones that will allow you to function (chew your food), as well as the original teeth and give you a nice smile. If your spine wears out, there is no solution. Because your spine directly influences the function of your nervous system, spinal decay permanently damages the nerves and spinal cord. Nearly everyone flosses and brushes their teeth even though their teeth don't hurt. Spinal adjustments are like flossing the spine. Adjustments break up the plaque that develops along the spinal joints when those joints are subluxated. Lifetime care of the spine should be a priority!

How will the adjustment help me?

Chiropractic adjustments help eliminate interference that prevents your body from healing itself. Misaligned vertebrae interfere with your nervous system, which affects organs and muscles throughout your body. Your chiropractor treats the underlying problem, which can alleviate painful symptoms and more importantly, helps the body function properly and heal itself.

Does an adjustment have to make a noise to be effective?

No. While it's true that patients often hear a "pop" during an adjustment, similar to the sound you'd hear cracking your knuckles, it's not related to the treatment's effectiveness. Instead, the explanation lies in a lubricant called synovial fluid that's found in every joint. That fluid contains dissolved gases. Shifting the joint with an adjustment into proper motion and alignment releases the built up pressure that has resulted from the joint being subluxated. This causes a shifting of the fluid and gasses in the joint to make a crackling noise.

How does chiropractic care help pregnant women?

Pregnancy places additional weight and stress on women's bodies. Chiropractic treatment can help relieve pregnancy-related low back, leg, neck and shoulder blade pain. It may also reduce incidence of headache and nausea. Anecdotal evidence shows that regular chiropractic care up to the point of delivery can significantly reduce labor time and the chances of complications with delivery.

Is it true that chiropractors do not prescribe medication or perform surgery?

Yes. Chiropractors don't prescribe medication or perform invasive procedures. They believe the body has the ability to heal itself, and therefore focus on providing it with the right elements for self-restoration. This makes chiropractic one of the safest of all treatments.

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"Some if it may seem hokey to some people, but if you traveled where I've traveled, done what I've done and seen the results that I've been getting, then you understand where I'm coming from. Playing in a football game is like being in 30-40 car accidents. You can find yourself in awkward positions. That stuff takes its toll. But if you take advantage of health care, balance your body back out, put it back where its supposed to be, you function better, and you recover faster."

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