As a new chiropractic patient, you may be wondering how you’ll feel after your first spinal, or chiropractic, adjustment. Many people are anxious before they come in because they associate a spinal adjustment with old-school, painful cracking techniques. While we do offer the old fashioned popping techniques if that’s what you prefer, we also have numerous highly effective “crackless” methods that will be sure to improve your spinal health and reduce nervous system interference. You may also be wondering if it’s going to hurt and when you’ll feel relief from your pain. Because the healing process affects each person differently, there’s no foolproof way to know for sure how you’ll react or how your body will respond to your first treatment. But, you can take solace in knowing that a sense of relief, and the healing effects of chiropractic care are sometimes felt almost instantaneously after your first chiropractic adjustment.
During your initial visit, you’ll be asked about your medical history, current condition, pain or symptoms, and if you’ve had any injuries sustained from sports, car accidents, or other physically traumatic events. You’ll have a thorough examination and get X-rays taken of your spine to determine what course of treatment or technique will be best for your body. when you return, your chiropractor will explain to you (in understandable, non-scientific terms) what is going on in your body and exactly what your options are when it comes to treatment. After this consultation, you’ll receive for your first adjustment.
first-chiropractic-adjustmentHowever, you should try to familiarize yourself with common chiropractic care and what exactly adjustments do. Many things cause our spines to become misaligned or misplaced. These stuck joints, known as subluxations, are the result of improper motion of spinal bones, which can affect nerve communications between your brain and your body. This means that they can choke or irritate nearby nerves, causing numerous problems with your health. Just some of these problems include headaches, back and neck pain, and even stomach problems. An adjustment will add motion to the subluxations, drastically reducing their effect on your nervous system. Now that you understand what an adjustment is and how it works, you’ll be able to better understand what is going on at your first one.
Many patients feel a lot better almost immediately after their adjustments. Especially if their bodies have spent years in misalignment, the relief will be highly noticeable and amazing. While patients’ responses do vary, many people feel more relaxed and flexible after they leave the office. Other people report feeling powerful energy surging through their body because their nerves are working properly for the first time in years. Some feel a bit tired as their bodies want to heal and go to sleep to do so.
Your chiropractor should warn you though that the relief you feel may not be permanent. In more severe cases, the patient may need to come back for several treatments before the spine is fully restored to proper alignment.
In some cases patients feel crooked or a bit off, since they are now aligned for the first time in a long time, and their bodies have gotten used to the incorrect postures. In addition, people may feel a slight amount of soreness or aching feelings in the spinal joints. Soreness around the subluxation is normal because it’s the area where muscles have been pulling for a long time, so moving them any differently will cause some discomfort. Retracing is another common effect after an adjustment. People may revisit the discomfort of an old injury as their body is trying to heal. This is rarely a problem, but is an indication of deep healing. This usually happens within a few hours of the treatment, and doesn’t last longer than 24 hours. A mild analgesic can relieve these pain symptoms.
Sometimes patients don’t feel any differently after their first adjustment, which is also completely normal. This doesn’t mean that the adjustment didn’t work or that nothing has changed. The normal energy flow is newly restored in your body and it may take a few days before you notice a real outward effect. This shouldn’t discourage you from receiving chiropractic care! In most cases, your body won’t be completely healed after just one adjustment. Your chiropractor should guide you in the process every step of the way and let you know how you’re body is responding to the treatments as you go along. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Keep an open communication with your chiropractor, so that you can effectively get the results that you want out of your adjustments.