Subluxations are interferences or disturbances in our nerve system that interrupt the normal communication pathways in our body. They create blockages in the brain-body connection.
Subluxations can simply be thought of as vertebrae that are ‘stuck’ and unable to move. The subluxation will interfere with the function of a nerve either by compressing (pinching) the nerve or by stretching and pulling the nerve.
Interestingly enough, it does not take a lot to pinch or stretch a nerve into dys-function. Studies demonstrate that the weight of a dime is all the pressure it takes to decrease the function of a nerve by 60%. Place a dime in your hand and you will immediately see that its not much pressure at all! Leave that pressure on too long and you will have permanent nerve damage. Studies also reveal that a 6% stretch of the nerve decreases its function by 70%!
As you can see, it doesn’t take much pressure or pulling on a nerve to severely interfere with its function. These subluxations are usually caused by physical stress or trauma. Examples include poor posture when sitting, standing or sleeping or staying in one position too long – such as time in front of a computer. These are commonly called repetitive strain disorders. Work, sport or car injuries are common causes too.
Like adults, kids can get these from falls, carrying heavy school bags or excessive computer and video game playing. Even babies are susceptible – learning to walk, birth trauma, or falling off a bed among things!
Subluxation can also occur when the body is overwhelmed by emotional stress or chemical toxins. In today’s hectic world, emotional stress is estimated to be responsible for over 80% of subluxations. When a person is “stressed” by emotions or chemical toxins, their spinal muscles become tense. In addition, the motor nerves (the nerve controlling the muscles) get imbalanced and cause the muscles on one side of the spine to contract harder than the other.
Between the muscle tightness and the nerve imbalances, it’s no wonder the vertebrae get misaligned – creating a subluxation. The misalignment further interferes with the nerves creating a repeating neurologic pattern – leading to a chronic condition of subluxation. Chronic subluxations can exist for years and often go unnoticed. Common causes include pollution, smoking, work & home stress. Life!
Studies tell us that subluxations can exist without pain yet still interfere and disturb nerve function. Why? Only 10% of your nerves are able to feel pain. The other 90% control bodily function only and can’t tell you something is wrong by sending pain messages to the brain.
This is why they are often called “The Silent Killer”. Make sure you do your best to eliminate the everyday stresses that lead to subluxations as part of your chiropractic lifestyle.