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When the Spine is Dislocated

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A dislocation of any bone in the body can be a painful and troublesome experience. A dislocation occurs when any of the joints in the body move out of their regular position. For a total dislocation to happen, there is no contact between any surfaces of the joint. With a partial dislocation, some degree of contact is still present.

If one suspects he or she might have a dislocation, a doctor should be seen as soon as possible. The patient should not try to move or relocate the joint on his own, as this is something only a professional should do. When a joint is dislocated, the surrounding nerves and blood vessels can become compressed or highly irritated. If one attempts to relocate the joint on his own, he can risk causing more harm to himself and perhaps create a long-term problem. Until a doctor can be seen, simply support the dislocated joint, apply ice without pressure to help reduce the swelling and pain, and keep the patient warm.

The reason for immediate medical attention when a joint has become dislocated is that the ligaments and tendons can become stretched or forced apart, thereby losing some of their elasticity. This can create a permanently weakened joint. When treated quickly and properly, most dislocated joints will heal in about six weeks. However, there exists the likelihood that it will happen again. For obvious reasons, the first step in treatment is pain relief.

When a spinal dislocation occurs, it is typically the result of a vehicular accident, a serious fall, or some type of sports injury. Spinal dislocations tend to occur more frequently in adolescents due to their highly active lifestyle and invincible attitudes. When one has sustained a spinal dislocation, it is usually accompanied by a fracture.

At the risk of stating the obvious, with a spinal dislocation, there is a great deal of associated pain. There will be immobility of the joint and sometimes a deformity is noticeable. The high pain levels may also cause the patient to become nauseated.

The most common form of treatment is to decompress, reduce, and finally stabilize the spinal structures.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.