Archive for September, 2012

Vertebral Hypomobility More Common than Subluxation

Vertebral Hypomobility More Common than Subluxation

  ‘Vertebral Hypomobility’ is when a motion segment, two mobile, articular and contiguous hard tissues, has compromised range-of-motion in any or all of its respective planes-of-motion.  Only ‘motion palpation’ can determine if two adjacent segments have a reduction of motion and each range-of-motion should be tested.  Although vertebrae may not appear ‘out-of-place’ from palpation or radiography its ranges may be diminished.  Hypomobility is a biomechanical aberration of the spine most commonly observed.

‘Vertebral Subluxation’, a term too often used and misinterpreted, is when a bone is juxtapositioned.  This may be verified with static palpation and radiographs, however, static palpation only reveals the location of the spinus process not its articular facet from where the motion segment originates.  Often, due to ossification center malformations during development, derivations of the length and midline orientation of the spinus process make the spinus process NOT a good indicator of vertebrae location.  Trauma to the spine is the usual etiology of subluxation and it is seldom seen, because it is mostly a transient state of the vertebrae.

‘Vertebral Fixation’ is when a vertebral is locked and not moving through all of its ranges-of-motion.  ‘Locking-up’ is often found in severe and acute spinal conditions only. It usually progresses to hypomobility after the acute phase of therapy.

Please read the entire article under the heading “Low Back Pain” at:  at

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