What is a Subluxation?

subluxation is an incomplete dislocation that is caused by the displacement of one of two bones that makes up a joint. This situation affects the normal alignment of the joint and may compromise the functions of nerves by triggering multiple physical problems. Although they do not always cause pain, it is important to treat them to avoid serious complications.

Subluxation produces an interference in the constant flow of energy and communication between the brain and the rest of the body. Therefore, although at the beginning it can be imperceptible and painless, it can trigger symptoms and pathologies that slowly diminish the patient’s quality of life. It is very important to act in a timely manner and be attentive to any type of subluxation since its progression can reduce joint mobility and the functions associated with the affected nerves. Therefore, it is necessary to review its main causes, symptoms and the type of treatment they require so that its affects do not grow out of control.

The difference between a subluxation and a dislocation is that a subluxation is the partial sliding out of position of a joint by the stretching of soft tissues. A dislocation occurs when bones completely move out of their normal position at the joint.

Subluxations can be produced by micro and macro traumas. Most often, the region that is usually affected by this condition is the spine, compromising the structural stability of the body. Some of the causes that we can mention include: unhealthy postures, inappropriate movement of the joints, exaggerated physical exertion and out-of-range bone rotations, among others. Besides other types of injuries, there are some factors that increase the predisposition of subluxation. The most common are poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, sports injuries and sleep disorders. Many cases are difficult to detect in a timely manner since it does not always manifest with obvious ailments or signs. In other cases, symptoms may include an articulation that first looks deformed or out of place, followed by inflammation, severe pain, numbness, tingling sensations, immobility of the joint, discoloration and bruised appearance.

Immediate attention to any suspicion of subluxation can be the decisive factor for a successful treatment. Although they do not always generate major annoyances, it is essential to correct them as soon as possible.

To diagnose a subluxation, the doctor begins by performing a physical evaluation of the patient. Then, to confirm it, he or she can suggest an X-ray to see if there are other joints damaged. Finally, the doctor can also request an MRI scan to analyze the surrounding soft tissue.

t first, it is difficult to distinguish between a dislocated bone and a fractured bone. However, given that both conditions are emergencies, it is important to provide first aid and go to a hospital or a health center. The first steps that must be taken are:

  • Check the patient’s breathing and circulation.

  • Immobilize the injury if it is in the leg, back or head.

  • If the lesion has broken skin, poking around the wound must be avoided at all costs. Instead, rinse and cover with sterile bandages before splinting or until a specialist arrives. To splint the affected joint, you should avoid moving it from the position in which it was found. Then, splints are placed above and below the wound.

  • If the skin is not broken, press around the affected joint to gauge circulation.

The immobilization of the joint before receiving medical attention is relevant. This can prevent major damage to muscles, blood vessels, ligaments and nerves. When the doctor evaluates the injury, he or she can determine which medications and therapies are appropriate. In some cases, the doctor will administer medication to anesthetize and numb the affected area. After evaluating the severity of the injury, the specialist can suggest:

Reduction: a process in which the doctor makes maneuvers the bone to return it to its place.

Immobilization of the joint: after putting the bone in place, the professional puts a cast on the joint to leave it immobile for a few weeks.

Medications: if the pain persists, the use of muscle relaxants and analgesics is recommended.

Surgery: this procedure is only suggested when the person has already undergone several subluxations or the injury involves the muscles, blood vessels and nerves.

Rehabilitation: in all cases, chiropractic or physiotherapy techniques are suggested to correct the subluxations and to restore the movement and strength of the joint.

ll types of subluxations trigger painful disorders and tend to get complicated. Therefore, even if it may seem superficial and painless at first, it is essential to seek professional attention as soon as possible to avoid negative consequences.

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