The 4 T's of Misalignment's

The 4 T's of Misalignment's

One of the most common question my patients have for me is “what causes my spine to move out of alignment, and why does this happen to me so often?” I tell these patients that there are multiple answers to this question, and they are what I call “The 4 T’s.”


The first cause of pain I will discuss is Trauma. This is probably the most well-known cause out of the four.

A few examples of traumas I frequently come across are slips, falls, car accidents, and exercise induced injuries. Injuries of this nature knock, or “misalign,” the spine in the moment they happen and will typically cause immediate (or only slightly delayed) pain, inflammation, swelling and muscle spasms.

These misalignment's occur due to irritation, or pinched nerves reducing your body's ability to function, move, or just complete the daily functions of life.

Trauma can also result from simple repetitive, or continual movements that are a part of everyday life, like 8 hours of mouse/computer work, or the same activity at work all day. 


The next “T” of the four is for “Toxins”. Think of your body as one big conglomerate, or mixture, of chemicals. When the body is healthy and balanced chemically, it’s in a state of homeostasis (balance). Depending on the toxic chemicals you ingest through food, drink or the environment, your homeostasis can be disrupted and become imbalanced.

Toxins include poor food choices, smoking, drinking, sweeteners, too much caffeine, GMO foods, air pollution, household cleaning agents and even polluted/poor drinking water. These imbalances can cause muscle contractions or allergic responses. The body’s inability to handle these toxins cause misalignments or subluxations of the spine.


The third cause is Tension, or stress, and is likely the most common cause of subluxations.

This stress can be personal, financial, or work related; the causes vary from person to person. When you start thinking about these stressors, the muscles in your neck and upper back become tight. This tension can cause the spine to misalign, or the muscles to pull your spine out of alignment. The continual stressors of life can lead to chemical imbalance in muscles (lactic acid or trigger points) and excess secretion of stress hormones, this can make your muscles tight, stiff, spasmed or fatigued.


The last of the 4 “Ts” is Technology. Most of us deal with a great deal of technology every day, using devices such as computers, laptops and smart phones. Whether they are used for work, school, or personal use, it’s becoming almost impossible to avoid the use of electronics in our daily lives.

We live in an age where almost every person (young and older) has a computer and a smartphone. On average, Americans’ spend about 2.7 hours per day communicating/texting on their cell phones. The average teenager alone now sends over 3,339 texts per month! Handheld communication has become a global epidemic, especially within our young teenagers.

The result of this excessive use in technology has resulted in a new, recent diagnosis of “Text neck” for many patients, which leads to neck pain, stiffness and headaches.

Text Neck Syndrome is a rapidly growing health condition where repeated stress injury occurs due to excessive use of handheld devices and texting. This “head down” posture changes the cervical curve in your spine, putting additional stress and pressure on your upper back muscles.

Long term complications are disc degeneration, disc herniation, muscle damage, nerve pressure, migraine headaches, and early onset of arthritis of the spine. Some changes may become permanent, but you may have the ability to change your posture and prevent additional long-term changes, and chronic pain experience.

So, there you have it, the 4 main causes of misalignments of the spine. The most effective way to treat these subluxations/misalignments is through chiropractic care, which helps restore balance and proper alignment of the spine. Sheppard Chiropractic will help locate, analyze and correct these misalignments, and help improve/correct any imbalances in your system.

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