A subluxation is a slight misalignment or biomechanical malfunctioning of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine). Simply put, it is a lack of motion or “fixation.” The term subluxation also refers to any fixated joint in the body, whether in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, or foot. They do not resolve with massage, acupuncture, or physical therapy, although these modalities may be helpful with pain and function. Only chiropractic adjustments specifically address and correct these fixations.
Not always. A subluxation may cause immediate pain, or you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. Even painless subluxations can cause arthritis (called degenerative joint disease), nerve interference and affect the body’s health and ability to function optimally. I see this all the time. For example, a patient may come in for lower back pain, but when I palpate their neck, they will feel a painful nodule that needs adjusting that they had no idea about. And when it is adjusted, they feel more flexible and more range of motion. But they had no idea they needed the adjustment until I worked on them. Regular spinal checkups are important because they can identify and correct spinal problems before they become more serious.
Subluxations are caused by the body’s inability to adapt to certain stresses, whether physical, biochemical or even emotional. A fall, injury, sudden jar, or trauma can cause a vertebra to become subluxated. Other causes include, but are not limited to, improper posture while sleeping, poor posture while working or reading, and incorrect lifting techniques.
The most common signs of subluxations include headaches, back pain, neck stiffness, pain in shoulders, arms or legs, numbness in hands or feet, fatigue or nervousness. Unfortunately, most people will have a subluxation long before they notice any symptoms. This is why Dr. Rehl recommends regular checkups.
Disturbances in spinal movement may irritate nerve roots and blood vessels that branch off from the spinal cord between each of the vertebrae. This irritation can cause pain and dysfunction in the muscles, affect the organs, lead to osteoarthritis, and create neurological imbalances throughout the body.
No. Dr. Rehl is only concerned with the proper movement of your vertebrae, not with noises that may occur during an adjustment. This is why silent techniques including “drop table” or Activator are still effective.
The sound we hear is confirmation that the adjustment moved the joint completely through its range of motion. When this occurs, the joint opens up and creates a partial vacuum. Liquids in the joint capsule quickly become gaseous and move through the membranes, making a noise as they do so. However, a cracking or popping sound is not necessary for therapeutic changes to occur.
No. Some people require ongoing chiropractic adjustments due to chronic problems and underlying factors that interfere with proper function. Whether it’s structural (forward head posture or ligament laxity), biochemical, or emotional stress, the joints may return to their previous state of dysfunction. If the underlying factors that lead to joint problems are not addressed, the problems will return, requiring more care. This process may give a false impression that chiropractic is addictive.
No. Dr. Rehl carefully evaluates each patient at each visit and determines the exact needs of the patient at that time. Each patient’s care is unique. Dr. Rehl uses muscle testing and palpation each visit, and finds that problems change over time, and therefore his treatments vary from visit to visit according to the patient’s current needs.
Yes. Dr. Rehl uses a number of effective non-force and low-force techniques that do not require so-called “cracking,” clinically called cavitation, and often associated with traditional adjusting techniques. For example, Dr. Rehl may use a spring-loaded instrument called an Activator that delivers a force into the joint without bending the spine.
It’s possible. However, most subluxations persist. Dr. Rehl can’t overstate the importance of regular chiropractic checkups to address joint fixations before they become acute situations.
It’s not recommended. If you’re trying to adjust yourself, please stop and call us today to address the problem professionally and effectively. Since a chiropractic adjustment is a specific force, applied in a specific direction to a specific joint, it’s impossible to adjust oneself correctly and accurately. Self-manipulation is usually counterproductive.
No. Only the spinal joints that are subluxated receive adjustments. This corrects the problem, and allows weakened muscles and ligaments to stabilize and heal.
Not usually. With manual (osseous) adjustments, patients may occasionally experience very minor discomfort that lasts only a moment. For patients with concerns about adjustments, Dr. Rehl uses alternative, non-force and low-force techniques.
Nutrition Response Testing Questions
Multivitamins, minerals, and essential oils should be used longterm. However, the majority of supplements Dr. Rehl recommends are “therapeutic,” which means they’re only used until a particular health issue is resolved. The duration of use may vary from a couple weeks to a few months, and occasionally longer, depending on many factors.
Dr. Rehl asks patients bring in all of their supplements, herbs, homeopathy, and other products for nutrition response testing. Occasionally, patients discover that the supplements they have spent good money on are either not working, not necessary, or making matters worse. Dr. Rehl can help patients select products that are more helpful and cost less.
Only physicians can legally prescribe or discontinue prescription medications. However, many medications are not necessary once the body is restored to health through chiropractic, nutrition, exercise, and/or stress reduction, and it’s important to know how to discuss this with a physician. Dr. Rehl can help patients to co-manage their condition(s) with their physicians, and can use muscle testing to identify how to best support the body nutritionally while using any medications.