How Will You Feel After Your Adjustment?

Congratulations on receiving your first chiropractic adjustment!

Wondering how you’ll feel after your first few adjustments? Read on:

Research indicates that some patients receiving chiropractic adjustments may experience a mild side effect of some kind (Cagnie, Vinck, Beernaert & Cambier, 2004; Chaibi, Benth, Tuchin & Russell, 2017). Many patients feel the effects of an adjustment right away, while it may take a bit longer for others. Since everyone is unique, it’s impossible to make exact predictions about how your body will react to the first adjustments from Dr. Foss, so here are some common experiences reported by patients to help you prepare for the possibilities!

Some people report feeling great!

They may have suffered from symptoms for years due to subluxations interfering with their nervous system and, once adjusted, they may immediately notice symptoms disappear. This is an exciting experience! However, keep in mind that one adjustment isn’t enough for long-term correction, and you may find that the symptoms return a short while later. Don’t despair! You’ve only just begun your care plan after all. Even if the symptoms don’t return, it will take more adjustments to return your vertebrae to their correct alignment (especially if the subluxations are severe and/or have been there a long time), so it’s vital to continue following your care plan.

Some feel a little bit sore…

Other people report minor discomfort after their first adjustments, particularly in the areas of greatest subluxation. A 2017 study by Chaibi, Benth, Tuchin and Russell indicates that 11.3% of patients receiving chiropractic adjustments during the study experienced a mild, localized tenderness afterward. Muscle soreness is also a common experience and was noted by a study in which 13% of participants reported sore muscles after an adjustment (Meier, Evans, Hartvigsen, Shulz & Bronfort, 2015). The muscles around your spine have been pushing and pulling in the same directions for many years, which has maintained the misalignment of your vertebrae. Now those muscles are being asked to push and pull in the directions that maintain correct alignment, so it’s only natural to expect them to be a bit sore!

Regardless of the type of discomfort, it tends to be mild and usually occurs within 4 hours after an adjustment and resolves within 24 hours (Cagnie, 2004).

(Side note: the “muscle memory” that maintains incorrect vertebral alignment is why multiple adjustments are needed to correct the spine – the muscles need to be retrained!)

Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Foss about any concerns!

Some people report not feeling much different.

Lastly, some people report not feeling any different after their first adjustments. Even though you may not notice any effects, rest assured that important changes are taking place! Chiropractic adjustments won’t always make you feel better instantly, but they’ll make you heal better instantly! 

Cagnie, B., Vinck, E., Beernaert, A., & Cambier, D. (2004). How common are side effects of spinal manipulation and can these side effects be predicted? Manual Therapy,9(3), 151-156.

Chaibi, A., Benth, J. Š, Tuchin, P. J., & Russell, M. B. (2017). Adverse events in a chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial for migraineurs. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice,29, 66-71.

Maiers, M., Evans, R., Hartvigsen, J., Schulz, C., & Bronfort, G. (2015). Adverse events among seniors receiving spinal manipulation and exercise in a randomized clinical trial. Manual Therapy,20(2), 335-341.