Each and every day, in the office we hear, "My back has gone out!".."Can you get it back in"..
One of the greatest misconceptions about the spine is that your bones can 'go out of place'. While true dislocations or sub-luxations (partial dislocations) can occur as a result of serious trauma, these injuries are serious and require hospitalisation. Unfortunately there is often confusion regarding the term 'subluxation'. Historically chiropractors used this word to describe less severe forms of spinal dysfunction seen on a daily basis. In this modern era, 'subluxation' is being used less and less to avoid confusion. So what does happen to the spine?
There are numerous possibilities that can cause spinal problems and each should be treated individually. When the spine becomes painful it may be the result of local tissue damage, for example, irritation of the lining of a spinal joint or a tear in the fabric of an intervertebral disc. Interestingly, such damage rarely occurs as a result of significant trauma. Rather, our patients typically state that they suddenly felt pain during some normal everyday movement - or that their discomfort crept up on them slowly 'for no reason'. So what's going on here?
In many cases spinal problems develop slowly over time without any clues to their existence - similar to tooth decay or heart disease. But the actual 'problem' might not be what you think. The real reason that a spine might spontaneously become painful has more to do with a loss of spinal control rather than any loss of strength. The human spine is an incredibly complex and flexible structure that requires second by second precision control if you don't want to end up injuring it. Furthermore, this intricate regulation of joint alignment is all done unconsciously - just like the beating of your heart. Failure of these specific control mechanisms may well cause an injury with a simple movement.
Interestingly, a chirorpactic adjustment works directly by stimulating the control centres of your spinal cord and nervous system to help them do their job better and allow you to maintain your own alignment better. In practice we then follow this up with tailored exercises to help you amplify the improvements that we make on your behalf.