Bone & Joint

What is this "Subluxation" that chiropractors talk about?

My job is to reduce "Subluxations" in order to restore health to the human body.  Let me explain; a Subluxation is related to a joint in the body. A subluxation is the "less than" a "luxation" or dislocation of a joint. So a subluxation is a joint that is not in normal location but is not separated and out of location completely.   

The 'joint' is a union where two bones come together as a hinge, ball and socket, rotating, or gliding moving parts. Around the joint is a capsule that keeps a semi jelly like fluid in contact with the joint.  The capsule is made up of connective tissue that is spongy and elastic.  The fluid is called synovial fluid and is produced by blood vessels discharge of atoms and molecules through special joint cells into the joint space.  The special joint cells are found covering the two bones of the joint and are called synovial cells .  The fluid produced by these cells acts like lubrication and nutrition for the all of the joint. That is the simplicity of the joint. 

Next is the voluntary skeletal muscle.  These muscles move the bones around which actually moves us around.  The muscles work using fulcrums and levers to move us.  Every muscle is a pulling muscle.  When we push anything we are actually pulling a muscle that moves a bone in a push direction.  We generally call a bone pulled into a push direction an open direction movement.  For example, when we push away from the table, our hands are in contact with the table and the triceps (the muscle in the back of our arm) pulls at the attachments at the shoulders of the humerus bone and the attachments at the elbows on the ulna bone. This action opens the arms up into a straight position thus pushing us away from the table. (Several of us need to practice this more.) 

In the muscles are nerves.  Nerves are cells that transport electrical/chemical impulses and convert impulses into chemicals that are used to communicate with target cells like the brain cells or the muscle cells. Some nerves come from the brain to tell the muscle to contract. Other nerves report back to the brain the activity of the muscle. Information that is most important from the muscle is how long the muscle is, how short the muscle is, how fast the muscle is changing, and how far the muscle can stretch. These nerves are very important to the function of the muscle.  There are also nerves that come from the joint and goes to the brain to tell what is happening with the joint.

The muscles and nerves receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood supply.  The blood is carried through the muscle by capillaries (small blood vessel tubes).  In that muscles work hard, they need energy.  The energy is produced inside the muscle.  The fuel for the energy production is oxygen and glucose (a molecule found in a lot of our food we eat) and the "waste products" are carbon and hydrogen atoms.  The oxygen, glucose and carbon/ hydrogen atoms must be moved to and away from the muscle cell all the time.  When this doesn't happen the cells start to die.  This is called "ischemia.:"  When circulation stops around the heart cells we call it a "myocardial infarction" or best known as "heart attack".  When circulation stops around the brain cells we call it a "stroke."  We need good circulation in the muscle to keep all the muscle cells healthy.

Amongst the muscle cells and the capillaries are other cells called chondrocytes and a variety of blast cells that patch, repair, support and build connective tissue.  These are very necessary cells because the muscles work really hard and often break and strain the connective molecules with all the flexing and contraction we put ourselves through. So we need repair all the time. 

In between the muscle and the outer skin is fat cells, dermis cells, more fat cells, and finally skin cells.  These cells are richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels.  When chiropractors talk about subluxation we often talk about a subluxation complex.  That subluxation complex involves the bone joint, the muscles, the nerves, the blood vessels, the connective tissue and supporting cells.  A subluxation complex is the alteration of the position of the joint, the muscle contraction imbalance, the nerve irritation and improper function, the circulation dysfunction, and the supporting tissue swelling/ tenderness. 

The human body has a core nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord.  This allows us to collect information about our environment and make valued responses to our environment.  The internal organs like the heart pushes blood around the body. The lungs exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide regenerating the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.  The stomach and intestines lets us convert food into molecules for the rest of the cell's nutritional needs.  The kidneys and liver allows our body to regulate the molecules moving around our body.  The hormone centers in the body helps regulate activities on a large scale.  (All of these body activities I will explain in future articles to help understand these systems better.)  Considering the voluntary skeletal muscle mass makes up over 50% of our body.  Also to note the central core nervous system is protected by 24 bones of our spine with lots of muscle around each bone.  We can say during a typical day over 50% of our health is directly related to how our muscles and skeletal structure operates.  Subluxations effect over 50% of our daily health.  Actually when the subluxation is with the joint of the spine that carries the information to and from the brain way more than 50% of our health can be effected. (That is the topic for another article.)

My job is to re-align the joint, improve the muscle contraction balance, relax the nerve and restore the normal function, improve the circulation, and bring down the swelling and tenderness.  When I do that through a variety of therapies the body can return to normal health and strength.