How long does it take to process a subluxation after a chiropractic adjustment?

How long does it take to process a subluxation after a chiropractic adjustment?

Subluxations are a common musculoskeletal problem that can take as long as 6 months to process after chiropractic treatment. The severity of the misalignment will have a bearing on how long it takes to resolve issue and return the patient to full comfort and function.

A subluxation of a joint can occur as a result to trauma to the body, such as from a car accident, sports injury or overuse activity. Stress and tension can cause muscles to stay contracted, which can lead to problems with spine and joint alignment. Chiropractic treatment can help to resolve subluxations in the body, but pain and dysfunction may require a period of time and repeated treatment to fully resolve.

The Time Required for a Subluxation to Heal After an Adjustment


Typical timeframes based on severity

Your chiropractor may find a minor misalignment in a joint that responds well to rest, adjustment and soft tissue care. These injuries often improve over a period of 2 or 3 weeks. If the misalignment is more serious and has been developing over time, more extensive treatment may be needed, which can last over several months.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Sometimes, individuals expect a single chiropractic treatment to resolve the symptoms of a subluxation. Patients should understand that realigning a joint properly must be done over a period of time, to allow the structures to be secured into their normal position. Muscles, tendons and ligaments must be strengthened and re-trained for proper function. In addition, patients must learn to change their behaviors to prevent falling into old habits that caused the misalignment. This can take time, and progress is gradual process.

Factors that Impact Timeframe for Healing


Severity of the subluxation

A minor subluxation will generally respond well to chiropractic treatment measures and will only take a few weeks to resolve. However, a more extensive misalignment of the joint may take several months to fully repair and being functioning normally.

Age of the patient

Age can be a factor in healing a subluxation. Younger patients generally have faster recovery from injuries than older individuals.

Overall health

Individuals in good general health can recover quickly from subluxation if appropriate treatment is provided. Some conditions may affect healing time and repair of soft tissues that may have been affected.

Lifestyle factors

The patient’s lifestyle can have a bearing on recovery from a subluxation problem. If repetitive motions are the cause of the misalignment, ergonomic methods may be needed to prevent further injury.

Type of adjustment technique

The type of adjustment used to treat the subluxation can have a bearing on how well the individuals recover from the injury.

Adjunct therapies

The chiropractor may employ a number of adjunct therapies, such as massage or acupuncture that aid healing.

Experience of chiropractor

Chiropractors that have many years of experience treating subluxations generally have good results from their treatment efforts. They often know which techniques are most effective for the problem, as well as how likely an individual patient is to respond to the treatments.

Patient compliance

Good recovery from a subluxation can depend on the patient’s compliance with instructions, regarding exercise, rest, home treatment and other requirements.

Number and frequency of adjustments

Your chiropractor may recommend a number of adjustments over a period of time on a specific schedule. This plan can help to speed recovery and prevent further injury of the area.

Immediate Results vs Long-Term Results

Some patients will experience relief from discomfort immediately after manual adjustment. However, continued treatment will help to ensure that the injury is fully resolved, so that symptoms do not return. Other patients may need a number of adjustments to get full relief.

Quality of Life Improvement Through Regular Treatment Plans

Regular chiropractic treatment can stabilize subluxations, to keep symptoms in check and ensure good mobility and quality of life for patients.

What is a Subluxation?

A subluxation is a misalignment of bones in a joint or anywhere two bones meet. In its severe form, it can be a partial dislocation that can require traditional medical treatment. However, minor subluxations can be corrected by your chiropractor, using a variety of techniques. A subluxation can cause pain, instability, poor function and referred discomfort to other parts of the body.

Causes of Subluxations


Poor Posture

Holding the body in an abnormal position for a long period of time can lead to subluxations in the vertebrae or joints.


Trauma to the body, such as with auto accidents, sports injuries or personal accidents can lead to subluxation in the spine and other joints.


Everyday stress can cause muscle tension that can ultimately begin to affect posture and mobility. Chiropractic care can help individuals to relax their bodies for better movement.

Repetitive Motion

Repetitive motions, done for work duties, sports or personal projects such as hobbies or home maintenance tasks can also lead to subluxations that cause pain and dysfunction. Over time, these repetitive motion injuries can cause damage to joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments that may require treatment to re-align structures and relieve soft tissue injuries.

How Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Help Subluxation?


Resolving Nerve Interference

A subluxation that causes misalignment of the spine or joints can result in pressure on nerves that cause intermittent or chronic pain, numbness in extremities, tingling sensations, poor balance and impaired mobility. Adjustment realigns spinal structures to relieve pressure on nerves.

Realigning the Vertebrae and Spinal Column

Manual adjustment is the mainstay of chiropractic treatment. With their extensive training in the structure and mechanics of the spine, chiropractors are trained to manipulate the vertebrae to restore normal alignment, which fosters efficient movement throughout the body.

Mobilizing Joints

According to the VeryWellHealth site moving the joints in different directions and depths stretches the muscles and connective tissue to improve mobility. The technique can help to reduce pain and improve balance.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take a chiropractor to fix subluxation?

After careful evaluation of your injury, the chiropractor will determine the best treatment plan for your needs. Full recovery may require a few weeks or a few months of treatment, depending on the severity of the problem.

How long does it take for cervical subluxation to heal?

Cervical subluxations are those that occur in the upper part of the spine. Because of the constant use of the neck in turning the head to perform many of the normal activities people perform every day, healing can take several months to complete.

Can chiropractor fix subluxation?

Yes, chiropractors deal with a variety of subluxations in their practice. They are trained to employ a broad range of techniques for relief from pain and problems with mobility.

How long does it take nerves to heal after chiropractic adjustment?

If the problem is minor and the person is in good general health, recovery can occur over just a few weeks. More serious subluxations may require a number of chiropractic sessions to provide relief. Some injuries may require “maintenance treatment” to ensure lasting normal function in the area.

Can exercise fix subluxation?

Exercise can be helpful in repairing a minor subluxation or misalignment. Gentle stretching exercises are recommended to strengthen muscles surrounding the joint. You can then gradually increase the exercise until the joint becomes stronger. Additional treatment may be required if exercise fails to provide full relief from discomfort.

How long to rest after subluxation?

Rest is an important component of recovery from subluxation. The amount of rest needed will depend on the severity of the subluxation. In some cases, applying ice and heat, along with a few days rest, will initiate the healing process sufficiently to reduce pain and problems with mobility. However, when subluxation is more severe, you may have to rest for several weeks to allow the injured joint to heal.

Can subluxation be permanent?

Unfortunately, unless a subluxation is treated, it can become a chronic problem that causes pain, joint instability, nerve involvement and difficulty with normal movement. “Favoring” the injured area can cause the individual to give up certain activities that cause too much stress on the injured area.

What is the immediate treatment for subluxation?

A period of rest is the initial treatment for a subluxation. This measure prevents further damage to tissues and facilitates the healing process. Ice packs can help to reduce swelling in the joint, followed by heat packs to relax muscles, improve flexibility and speed healing.

What is the long term effect of subluxation?

If left untreated, a subluxation can lead to chronic pain and degeneration of tissues in the affected joint. You may experience increasing problems with swelling, limited range of motion and increasing problems with stability in the joint that can make your normal activities more difficult.

How long does it take for a chiropractor to align your spine?

A typical spinal adjustment takes about 45 minutes at your chiropractor’s office. The chiropractor will first discuss your current symptoms and will determine what needs to be done to provide immediate relief. Additional techniques, such as those listed at the Spine-Health web site may be needed beyond simple adjustment to improve soft tissue injury and improve range of motion.

How long does it take a chiropractor to realign your back?

A chiropractor will design a care plan specifically for your individual needs, which will affect the amount of time required to realign the structures in your back. A subluxation may need adjustment in one area, but the spine functions as a complete unit, and the chiropractor may determine that other areas of the back, such as in the cervical area at the top of the spine or the lower back where nerves connect to the lower extremities are located.

What is the best treatment for subluxation?

Rest is the most important measure you can take to help repair a subluxation that has occurred in a joint. Application of ice will help to reduce swelling, and warm compresses will stimulate healing and improve mobility. Over-the-counter non-steroidal, inflammatory pain-relievers are generally used to manage discomfort from a subluxation. Your chiropractor can provide manual adjustment, traction and soft tissue manipulation to help reduce swelling and pain. Corrective exercises will help to strengthen structures that support the joint and help improve mobility during healing.

Is massage good for subluxation?

The principle behind massage is to improve blood flow to an injured area, stimulate the production of natural healing biochemicals and to reduce anxiety due to pain and concerns about an injury. Massage can be a beneficial method for many types of injuries, including subluxations. According to the Mayo Clinic site, massage can also help to reduce pain and improve sleep quality.

Can massage help subluxation?

Misalignments can cause pressure on muscles and nerves that lead to soreness and inability to use the muscles normally. Massage helps to increase blood flow to these areas, bringing healing nutrition and pain-relieving natural chemicals to improve comfort levels.

How to fix subluxation of the spine

Chiropractic treatments can help to fix subluxation of the spinal vertebrae, to reduce discomfort and instability, and to return the spinal column to normal function. An individualized care plan may consist of manual adjustment of the spine, mobilization techniques, as well as soft tissue methods to treat sore muscles and ligaments that result from the spinal misalignment. Exercise and ergonomic changes can also well to relieve discomfort from subluxations.

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