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What Is Subluxation?

In recent years the word “subluxation” has become a commonly used term in the chiropractic world. So, what is subluxation? Subluxation is a term that is used when a joint doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, whether it’s simply not moving how it should or it’s misaligned. Subluxation leads to numbness, tingling, pain, and burning in that area of the body.

What is a Subluxation_

A common area that tends to subluxate is the vertebrae of the spine, otherwise commonly diagnosed as a spinal subluxation. People are most familiar with this type of subluxation because they go to the chiropractor, who can reduce or completely relieve their symptoms. However, people suffering from other types of subluxations in other joints can also find relief. Feet, shoulders, ribs, wrists, etc. can all subluxate and thus be adjusted by a chiropractor. The following is a deeper look into spinal subluxation.

Spinal Subluxation Symptoms

what-is-subluxation-matthewsThere are quite a few symptoms that can signal that you’re suffering from subluxation of the spine. Some of these include:

Pain in the Back or Neck

The most obvious symptom of a misaligned joint is pain in and around that affected area. For the spine, those areas often result in back pain, soreness in the neck, or both. The pain you may feel can range in severity from mild discomfort to complete debilitation. If you’re experiencing chronic pain in your neck or back, it may be some misalignment of your spine.


Another of the subluxation symptoms you may experience are headaches. These headaches originate from pressure that builds up without any source of release. People experiencing these symptoms typically describe having “tension headaches.” Headaches caused by subluxation will seemingly pop up out of nowhere, and quite possibly even become migraine headaches.

An Inability to Move

The pain associated with spinal misalignment can make it feel impossible to move. When you’re able to do so, you’ll notice inflexibility or stiffness. As a chiropractor in Matthews NC, we see this a lot in patients. It can sometimes result in difficulty performing a chore or task that is typically a lot easier. If you notice stiffness and your flexibility getting worse, go get your spine checked out.

Causes of Subluxation

When the misalignment of joints occurs, it can happen at any time to people of all ages. The causes of subluxation vary, but there are three “T”s that are often considered the main cause. It’s important to identify the cause for effective subluxation treatment by a professional. These three “T”s include:


Of the three T’s, trauma is the most well-known. Major trauma caused by falls or car accidents can cause subluxation of the spine. It’s incidents like this which can result in physical therapy sessions. However, micro-traumas that happen every day can also contribute to the misalignment of your spine. Habits such as wearing a bag or purse on one side of your body, sleeping on your stomach, looking down at a computer for long periods of time, and wearing high heels can all contribute to subluxation.


Your body is one big mixing pot of chemicals, both natural and artificial. When your body has a healthy balance of chemicals, you’re in a state of homeostasis. This balance can be thrown off thanks to a variety of toxic chemicals brought into your body by air pollution, processed foods, and chemicals in your home such as cleaning products. This imbalance can cause your muscles to contract, which can lead to subluxation.

Thoughts (Really, we’re talking about stress.)

The last of the T’s is considered by many specialists to be the number one cause of subluxation. The thoughts of adults and young adults today have become increasingly more stressful. Those stressful thoughts can cause tension in your body, often in your neck and upper back. When these muscles become tight, they can cause subluxation.

What You Can Do

If you suspect that you have a subluxated joint, the most recommended solution is to see a chiropractor. However, you can find some relief through at-home solutions. Try to stretch, de-stress, monitor your sleep, and use ice packs.

If you’d like a professional opinion to determine the presence or severity of your subluxations, call our team at Matthews Family Chiropractic today. We provide all of our patients with thorough exams before recommending treatments. You’ll receive a custom strategy to help manage the pain of subluxation and will work out a plan that is best for you.

Clinic Hours:

Monday 7:30AM–11AM, 2:30–5:30PM
Tuesday Administrative Day
Wednesday 7:30AM–11AM, 2:30–5:30PM
Thursday 7:30AM–11AM, 2:30–5:30PM

Meet the Chiropractors

Dr. Hanna has helped many people out of pain and on to a lifetime of vibrant wellness.

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Since 1992, Dr. Mechelle has helped thousands of families with a variety of disorders...

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