A subluxation is an incomplete dislocation that is caused by the displacement of one of the two bones that make up a joint. This situation affects the normal alignment of the joint and compromises the functions of the nervous system triggering multiple physical problems.
The injury 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 triggers symptoms and pathologies that diminish the quality of life little by little .
It is very important to give timely attention to any type of subluxation, since their lack of control can reduce joint mobility and the functions associated with the affected nerves. Therefore, it is convenient to review its main causes and symptoms and the type of treatment they require.
How is a subluxation different from a dislocation?
A subluxation is the dislocation of a joint by the stretching of the soft tissues. A dislocation occurs when two bones move out of their normal position . The difference between the two is that in the subluxation the loss of contact between the joint surfaces is only partial, on the other hand, in the dislocation they do not have any contact.
What are the causes of a subluxation?
Subluxations can be produced by micro or macro trauma . Often, the region that is usually affected by this condition is the spine , compromising the axis of sustentation and all the structural stability of the body. Its causes include:
- Bad postures
- Inappropriate movements of the joints
- Physical exertion
- Bone rotations
As with other types of injuries, there are some factors that increase the predisposition to subluxation. The most common are poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, bad sports practices and sleep disorders.
Symptoms of a subluxation
A subluxation can become the main trigger of a nervous interference. Even so, many cases are difficult to detect in a timely manner, since it does not always manifest with ailments or strong signs. In other cases, your symptoms may include:
- An articulation that at first sight looks deformed or out of place
- Inflammation and severe pain in the affected area
- Numbness and tingling
- Immobility of the joint
- Discoloration and bruised appearance
Immediate attention to any suspicion of subluxation is decisive for timely and successful treatment. Although they do not always generate major annoyances, it is essential to correct them as soon as possible. Thus, when the nervous flux is restored, the degenerative process is interrupted.
Diagnosis of a subluxation
To diagnose a subluxation the doctor begins by making a physical evaluation of the patient. Then, to confirm it, you can suggest an X-ray test that also allows you to see if there are other joint damage. Finally you can request an MRI scan to analyze the soft tissue damage.
Treatment of subluxation
At first it is difficult to distinguish between a dislocated bone and a fractured bone. However, given that both conditions are emergency, it is important to provide first aid and go to a health care center beforehand . The first steps that must be taken are:
- Call emergency or go immediately to the medical center.
- Check the patient’s breathing and circulation.
- Immobilize it if the injury is in the leg, back or head.
- If the lesion has broken skin, it must be avoided at all costs to blow the skin or to rummage in the wound. Instead, rinse and cover with sterile bandages before splinting.
- 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 check 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, you can determine which medications and therapies are appropriate.
In some cases the doctor will administer to the patient a medication to anesthetize and numb the affected area . Then, after evaluating the severity of the injury, you can suggest:
- Reduction: a process in which the doctor makes a smooth maneuver on 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 therapies are suggested to correct the subluxations and to restore the movement and strength of the joint.
All types of subluxation trigger painful disorders and tend to get complicated. Therefore, even if it seems a superficial and painless problem, it is essential to seek professional attention as soon as possible.