Subluxations are also created through a physical means, either by slow chronic overuse injuries or through sudden traumatic accidents. When the body goes through an acute or chronic change the muscles surrounding the joints try to stabilize that area (this is the body trying to protect itself). Unfortunately when these muscles stay hypertonic for too long they begin to alter the bodies biomechanics (how we move), thus leading to less joint mobility (subluxations).
Lastly, and more commonly, there are psychological factors that contribute to the development of subluxations. Everyone is stressed today, and who can blame them (gas prices, kids, tax sesaon, work). Stress causes sympathetic facilitation which means that we send our 'fight or flight' signals to our body. We produce cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine which all affect blood vessels, viscera and muscle tone. These changes will cause our body to send signals to the central nervous system letting it know that there have been sensory disturbances. Also the increased muscle tone can cause tissue changes due to anoxia (or decrease of oxygen to the muscle). Both anoxia and the signaling to the central nervous system will cause abnormal motor reflexes thus leading to hypomobility of the surrounding joints (subluxations).
There are ways to help decrease our stress, avoid accidents, and limit the amount of chemicals that our bodies release and come into contact with, but eventually everyone becomes subluxated (even me, a chiropractor). Chiropractic adjustments can restore the normal motion of a joint and help retrain the surrounding musculature. If you want to learn why it is so important to be adjusted regularly, stay tuned for next week blogs when I will go into detail about what happens when joints are left hypomobile.