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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Neck Healing and the Unfinished Subluxation

I'm in the next stage of healing from my recent neck injury. The pain has dimishished a great deal and driving is much more comfortable. As a wellness-focused chiropractor who conentrates on all effects of subluxation, not just pain, the next step of healing improving function.

Once the acute phase of a painful subluxation is over, the next phase is the stablilizing phase during which mobility still needs to be improved. I have much less range of motion when I turn my head to the right. I still have pain when I turn my head. A situation like this can lead people to just stop turning their heads! This is bad because less movement means less health and the process of subluxation degeneration.

When there is less movement to a joint, there is less blood flow, less nerve activity, altered movement and sensory patterns which leads to cell death and inflammation. This weakens the bones, muscles, and nerves which makes the body prone to immune system compromise.

If I don't work on increasing my neck range of motion, it can affect my posture, straining the rest of my spine leading to fatigue and slower healing, increased fibrosing and scar tissue. As a child I had a minor head injury that accelrated degeneration to my cervical spine. I saw the degeneration on an X-ray just before I entered chiropractic college. I had no pain or complaints at the time but the spurs indicated weakened discs that could flare up in to a chronic condition decades later. It may have happened at this time.

The stabilization phase includes adjustments, exercises, using the neck orthotic, improving functional posture, nutrition, and stress management. Since it takes 1-3 years to heal injured ligaments, I believe it will take at least a year to improve my mobility. Adjustments remain important because this will be a year when I can easily get out of alignment and re-subluxate my spine making it more likely to cause permanent damage.

I'll be working on it. Staying well is a life-long process. Let's make it meaningful and enjoy being well together.

See you at the table...the adjusting table.

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