Bending, lifting, and twisting. Each of these movements, in and of themselves, is not harmful to the spine. In fact, the spine was designed for those exact movements. Done properly, those motions will assist us in moving around and getting work done.
All Locked Up
However, if those three movements combine over a long period of time, one or more vertebrae in the spine can misalign, or subluxate. A subluxation is defined as, “One vertebra out of alignment with the one below it, causing aberrant movement.” Simply stated . . . it’s not moving normally. Some describe it as “locking up” as in, “Oh Doc, I got out of bed this morning and my back locked up.”
The Problem of Subluxation
So, what happens when we bend, lift, and twist repeatedly over the course of a day? With those three motions we put an enormous amount of torque on the spine, similar to wringing out a dish cloth. This twisting also stretches the muscles, tendons and ligaments that tie the vertebrae together. When they are pulled beyond their normal capacity, we suffer micro-tears in those structures. This can bring on subluxation or misalignment. We may not have even felt it as it happened, but the structures were stretched or compressed. They moved beyond where they could hold the vertebrae in normal position. If nothing is done to correct the subluxation, and if this action is repeated over the long term, we will develop a chronic condition.
Adjustment Is the Key
With a chronic problem or a sudden injury, chiropractic is the best treatment to correct misalignments. Adjustment will gradually move the injured vertebral joint toward its normal position. Then muscles, tendons and ligaments (the spine’s supporting structures) assume normal positions, and these supporting structures grow stronger. They become able to hold the vertebrae in an optimal position, which gives the spine a freer, “unlocked” feeling.
Let’s move you closer to your best life!