Following a car accident, the bones of the spine may shift out of their original position or lose their normal motion, in what’s called vertebral subluxation complex. This condition is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms that affect the spinal column. Histopathology is one of its five major interrelated components, and it occurs when a person’s body temperature rises due to an increase in lymph and blood supplies. As a result, inflammation and swelling occur, causing discs to rip, project, herniate or depreciate.
The individual may experience:
The lymphatic system is a subdivision of the circulatory system, and it consists of lymph vessels, lymph nodes and lymph (translucent fluid containing white blood cells). The lymph vessels transport lymph throughout the body, allowing the white blood cells it contains to fight off foreign substances and rid the body of toxins and waste.
Lymph flows in one direction — up toward the neck — and within its own system. It travels into the venous blood stream via the subclavian veins (located on the sides of the neck). Plasma, the yellow liquid component of the blood, distributes nutrients and removes waste, before leaving the blood cells and going back to the venous circulation system where it will continue on as venous blood. That which does not leave becomes lymph. It too makes its departure, leaving the tissue and entering the lymphatic system throughout lymphatic capillaries.
After a car accident or other trauma, if the spinal bones lose their natural motion and position (spinal kinesiopathology):
In these instances, the body may react to these traumas by increasing its blood and lymph supplies. This is how the body reacts to the perceived threat. However, this excess in blood and lymph supplies can have adverse effects. Beyond causing the body temperature to rise, the discs of the spine can become inflamed and swell. As a consequence, they may protrude, tear, herniate or deteriorate.
To help, your chiropractor may first choose to perform spinal adjustments to get the spine back into alignment and free trapped nerves. This may not only reduce pain and restore mobility, but could allow the lymph and venous system to reduce its supplies since the trauma is no longer considered a threat that needs to be corrected.
Some spinal adjustment techniques may include, but are not limited to:
Once the spine has been realigned, your chiropractor may then implement soft tissue work to loosen the muscles around the spine and push fluid out of inflamed and swollen areas.
If you are suffering from vertebral subluxation complex, talk to your chiropractor about what he or she can do to help treat your condition and relieve your symptoms.