Here is another "Puzzle & Paradox" for rumination:
For newcomers to this forum, these P&Ps are Propositions, not facts or
dogmatic proclamations. They are intended to stimulate interaction among
users working in different fields, to re-examine traditional concepts, foster
distance education, question our beliefs and suggest new lines of research or
approaches to training. We look forward to responses from anyone who has
views or relevant information on the topics.
PUZZLE & PARADOX 126: SUBLUXATION PARADOX
We constantly hear from colleagues and some therapists that someone's spine
or neck is "out of alignment" or that the bones in some or other part of the
body are "subluxated" (or held in a prolonged state of chronic partial
dislocation or "mal-location"). At the same time research informs us that
the ligaments and connective tissues involved with those joints are extremely
tough, only slightly extensible and resist deformation very powerfully.
Even outside the body in being tested in vitro, ligaments and fasciae have to
be subjected to considerable force to produce significant extension for even
short periods, so how is it possible for apparently resting levels of muscle
tension to produce sufficient force to maintain persistent "subluxation"?
Of course, if the connective tissues concerned are actually damaged or
herniated, then dislocation may be one of the well-known consequences, but if
the alleged deformation is not of that magnitude, then how can a "partial"
dislocation be maintained.
Naturally, the use of therapy to "release" the hypothetical tension assumes
that these viscoelastic tissues, despite prolonged imposition of tension,
display perfect hysteresis and return to their pre-pathological state
immediately after manipulation or whatever treatment is deemed to be
How can one reconcile these diametrically opposed views? Are there any
radiological scans or other studies which have confirmed the existence of
"subluxations" or low level connective tissue disturbances which allow
"partial dislocations" or "misalignments" to occur chronically, even though
powerful muscles contractions from adjacent muscles may override the alleged
chronic tension produced by tissues which are hypothesized to maintain those
Dr Mel C Siff