Subluxation: Causes, Effects and Treatments | West Cary Wellness

Subluxation is the kind of word that makes many people’s eyes glaze over. It is a very important chiropractic term, however, and a large basis for the theory behind the practice. To understand what it means, you have to know a little bit about the anatomy of the spine. Your spine has many vertebrae from your neck all the way down to your tailbone. These are aligned parallel to your back when in balance. Subluxation is when the vertebrae are twisted one way or another.

Physical Causes

The causes of subluxation are generally said to fall into three main categories. The first cause is subluxation from a physical impact. Your spine can be physically affected by things like playing sports, sleeping in a bad position, or getting into a fender bender. These impacts can knock or nudge the vertebrae out of alignment and lead to subluxations.

Emotional and Chemical Causes

The other two causes, subluxation from emotional and chemical influences, are more subtle. If you have periods of high stress this can cause your muscles to tense up. Other negative thoughts and experiences can also affect your levels of tension in your back and neck. This pulling from tight muscles draws some of your vertebrae out of alignment. In a similar away to your emotions, chemicals can throw off your interior balance and cause muscles to draw your vertebrae out of balance. Poor diet, drugs, smoking, and pollution can all contribute to a toxic environment within your body.


The symptoms of subluxation are numerous and can touch on almost all areas of your health. Emotional problems like anxiety and depression can emerge from certain vertebrae being out of alignment. Physical problems like pain, soreness and headaches may result from others. It is important to be evaluated by a chiropractor regularly so they can check your spinal alignment before subluxations accumulate and affect your health.


Treatment for subluxation is quite simple; you need to have an experienced chiropractor adjust your spine and work on existing subluxations. Even if you are not having pain or soreness at the moment, there will likely be some alignment issues that an adjustment will help. In addition, practices like yoga and meditation can help prevent new subluxations by keeping stress out of your body and keeping your muscles from holding too much tension.

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