When the vertebrae slips partially out of place, the result often is vertebral subluxation. Because the vertebrae may only be partially misaligned, it is not typically considered a true dislocation. This misalignment may affect not only your spine but nearby soft tissues and the nerves controlling your organs.
An experienced spine doctor could help determine whether the cause of your pain is vertebral subluxation. They could potentially devise a treatment plan to help you manage the pain and recover from the condition.
Vertebral Subluxation Causes
Physical trauma often is a common cause of vertebral subluxation. Any type of physical trauma, from injuries resulting from a car accident to injuries from falling, may cause vertebrae to subluxate. However, many subluxations occur from imbalances over time.
Most people tend to favor one side of the body over the other and may use one side more often when performing physical activities. Even sleeping in a bad position could eventually cause vertebral subluxation. Stress may also be a factor, as constant muscle tension could result in a vertebrae subluxation.
Diseases of the spine relating to age often cause vertebral subluxation. These may include:
- Degenerated disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms of a Partial Vertebrae Misalignment
Since vertebral subluxation could affect the nerves, symptoms of the conditions are commonly wide-ranging and may mimic other back conditions. Symptoms of vertebral subluxation generally include:
- Balance issues
- Back and neck pain
- Loss of spinal mobility
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle spasms
Even though vertebral subluxation may only be a partial dislocation, it is typically still a very painful condition, perhaps just as painful as a true dislocation. The only difference may be that with a vertebral subluxation, both bones forming a joint remain somewhat in contact.
Diagnosing the Condition
The doctor may diagnose vertebral subluxation by performing a physical examination and taking a complete medical history. X-rays are generally taken to detect the vertebrae’s position and confirm subluxation.
Keep in mind that a medical diagnosis of vertebral subluxation often differs from that of the chiropractic profession. An orthopedic subluxation is not always the same as what chiropractors may deem a vertebral subluxation and it is generally important to consult with a knowledgeable spine doctor before choosing a treatment option.
Options for Recovery
Vertebral subluxation treatment is often treated via chiropractic adjustment. However, patients whose vertebral subluxation results from severe trauma or from age-related spinal conditions typically should consult mainstream spinal physicians.
Many patients respond to conservative treatment, including physical therapy and stretching exercises recommended by the doctor, along with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief. If conservative measures do not produce results within a few months, minimally invasive spinal surgery may correct a vertebral subluxation.
Minimally invasive spinal surgeries commonly involve less blood loss, less time under anesthesia and minimal scarring. Patients could spend less time in the hospital and the recovery process may be much faster than for traditional open back surgery. Many patients could begin walking just a few hours after the procedure.
However, there is always the possibility that once the surgeon begins the procedure, a minimally invasive surgery may not be sufficient. When this occurs, a standard open back surgery could become necessary.
Seek Treatment for Vertebral Subluxation
If you experience symptoms of vertebral subluxation, call today and arrange a consultation. A proactive spine doctor could help determine whether vertebral subluxation is actually the cause of your pain and could help you devise a treatment plan to begin to recover. Call today to learn more.