What to expect following spinal manipulation or an adjustment
The purpose of spinal manipulation is to realign, misaligned vertebrae, restore proper joint functioning and intersegmental motion and, of course, to reduce joint related pain. Your doctor of chiropractic uses various methods to identify these dysfunctional areas, such as observation and static and motion palpation of the vertebrae or joint.
Generally, spinal manipulation is not uncomfortable or painful and usually is quite relieving in nature. Commonly, patients will experience the feeling of decreased pressure or decreased compression in the spinal segments or joints following a spinal adjustment. Occasionally, especially if the muscle tissue surrounding the joints are taut or spasmed or if the spinal/joint segments have been restricted or misaligned for a long period of time, the adjustment may be uncomfortable. Fortunately if this occurs, the discomfort is typically momentary following the adjustment.
Occasionally, one may be sore following the treatment but this is not typical and will frequently pass within 1-2 days. If you are sore for more than 1-2 days, please discuss this with the doctor at your next visit. Typically, icing the area for 15-20 minutes following a treatment shortens the period of soreness. Remember, this is not a common event and your spine may need time to adapt to a new, more correct position or alignment on the journey to healing.