A decreased disc or disc bulge can be effectively treated with traction and chiropractic adjustment. The patient will usually experience a decrease in symptoms within four-six weeks of treatment with these conditions.
Ligaments and other connective tissue will be affected from a subluxation in addition to the disc. When these tissues are affected, there is inflammation and swelling which can produce an increase in the tissue temperature to the touch. Ice for 15 minutes at the affected site is recommended and can be repeated each hour if needed. Heat is never recommended for this condition since heat or ice applied longer than 20 minutes will increase swelling, inflammation, and symptoms.
According to research, the soft tissue repair will take at least three months to heal after all inflammation has left joint. Even after visible inflammation has reduced, inflammation in deeper tissues will be present. Repeated injury to the same area will increase healing time.
5. Abnormal function of the spine: The subluxation will cause vertebrae hypomobility which if left untreated, can affect one or more levels of the spine. For instance, if the subluxation is not corrected at C5 eventually the entire neck and upper back can become hypomobile. How many people have to use the rear view mirror or the entire upper body in order to back up their car?
When the lack of mobility has been present for enough time, the body may decide to fuse one or more segments with bone spurs (calcium deposits) to try to stabilize the area. Osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) is inflammation of a joint as a result of lack of mobility in that joint. When the joint has been inflamed without any relief for an extended period of time, an osteophyte or bone spur will develop and cause degenerative changes in the spine which are irreversible at this time. When the vertebrae are moving as they should, no arthritis will develop in that area.
When an adjustment is performed on a subluxation, mobility is restored to the joint allowing inflammation to be alleviated allowing healing to occur and stability to return to the segment. Research of long-term chiropractic patients who receive treatment even without symptoms shows an absence or decrease in arthritis in their spine compared to patients who never receive chiropractic treatment or only receive treatment when they are symptomatic.
Subluxations are defined as hypomobile vertebrae which produce IVF encroachment, nerve irritation/inflammation, muscle imbalance, disc wedging, ligament/connective tissue edema, and degenerative changes. The hypomobility can be a result of a physical trauma, emotional stress, or chemical imbalance. Physical trauma can be due to repetitive motion, slips/falls, near slips/falls, car accidents, sports injuries, work injuries. Emotional stress such as worry, negative thoughts, fear, and depression can also cause an increase in muscle tension. Chemical imbalances are caused by drugs - prescription or recreational, alcohol, toxins such as smoking, and pollution.
Smokers have a 3:1 incidence of back pain compared to non-smokers.
Any muscle or ligament in the body is attached at some point to an osseous structure (bone) and can affect joint mobility negatively if injured or tight.