Dislocations or subluxations occur throughout the body, usually in response to a significant quick force that is unexpectedly experienced through a joint. When dislocation of a joint like the shoulder or elbow occur, even if the joint is “put back in place”, there is often damage done to the soft tissue around the joint. Accordingly, assessment by medical professional is a good idea to determine if treatment is needed. Despite this potential, many people experience this dislocation with no injury to the surrounding tissue. For those that do, treatment may be necessary. Subluxations at the spine also occur commonly but usually have less effect on the function of the joint and surrounding area however still can produce significant pain or disturbing ache.
For peripheral joints, relocation is important and if possible a trained professional should assist to minimize further injury to the soft tissue as the joint surface are moved back into place. The first stage includes inflammation control with modalities like ice, E-stim, laser, or light therapy and stabilization with bracing or wrapping. Immediate ranging of the joint is important to achieve and maintain mobility. The second stage includes stabilization through secondary muscle support of the area.
For Spinal Subluxations, relocation or adjustment is usually achieved without any further injury and easily achieved independently however help to reposition the vertebra is sometimes needed. Physical therapy treatment of these situations include, joint mobilization, exercise, and stretching. Most commonly, subluxations are corrected easily with physical therapy treatment.