How Long Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Last?

How Long Does a Chiropractic Adjustment Last?

One major concern among chiropractic patients is the length of time that a treatment session takes. For instance, some are so cautious of their budget that they expect an adjustment to last them a lifetime or at least several years.

Meanwhile, there is the other side of the spectrum, and these patients are over-anxious and want to recover from their condition post-haste. As such, they want the treatment to be felt immediately, or as close to immediately as you can get. Lastly, there are the few who don’t mind making regular trips to a chiropractor for wellness purposes, provided they see the results.

So, how long should your sessions last? To find out the answer to that question, let’s read on, shall we?

How Long Is Each Visit?

The total duration of each session is determined by your doctor’s treatment plan, but you can expect your chiropractic visit to typically last around 20-30 minutes on average.

How Long Do Adjustments Take?

Generally, an adjustment can take between a couple of minutes and half an hour, depending on the severity of your condition. However, the duration of an adjustment during your chiropractor will depend on several factors, including the severity of your condition when you first visit.

If it is just minor, then one or two adjustments should be enough to cure you completely. However, if you have been in pain for several weeks or months already, you can expect that the doctor may have to do more work to get you back on your feet and for treatments to take longer per visit.

What is Spinal Alignment?

A chiropractic adjustment is a form of spinal manipulation that aims to relieve tension and reduce pain in the back, neck, and joints. Most people don’t realize that an adjustment is not “finished” until it corrects their spine and brings them back into alignment again.

The good news is that chiropractors can check your x-ray or MRI to see exactly where your problem lies and then adjust your spine accordingly. The procedure should take about a minute or so. That being said, don’t expect to walk in and leave soon.

It’s Not a One-Minute Treatment

For many, a chiropractic adjustment is not a one-minute treatment. A chiropractic adjustment is done to clear disruptions on the spine that may be the reason why there’s a dysfunction on the nerve, the muscles, the bone or the joint.

The disruptions are called subluxations and they are not easy to fix. So, don’t expect to walk into a chiropractor’s office and leave within a minute. Similarly, don’t expect your issue to clear within a minute of leaving the chiropractor’s office.

It usually takes time. Some take days to feel the effects and others weeks. Just think about this for a minute – How long does it take to recover from surgery? Of course, it’s never immediate. Some people are fortunate to take days while others take weeks or months. 

So, expect the same after a chiropractic adjustment. How you will respond largely depends on the type of injury and the strength of your muscles and ligaments.

Treatment Duration Depends on the Type of Injury, Strength of Muscles and Ligaments

The time for adjustment and recovery depends on the type of injury you have. If your condition has been there for weeks or months already, then expect that recovery will take several sessions to resolve completely.

If you are new to this and just feel some muscle aches here and there because of a sudden accident, then one session should be enough. However, this is not a guarantee that you will never get any back pain again. In fact, it can come back if your body isn’t aligned properly because of bad habits such as slouching the shoulders or having poor posture while working at home on your computer all day long.

Severe Injury Treatment and Recovery

Some injuries are more severe than others. Therefore, expect the less severe ones to heal much quicker than the severe ones. For example, a bone injury is likely to take 5-6 weeks before you can find relief after a chiropractic adjustment. If the injury is to the tendons or ligaments, expect it to take about 8 weeks to start experiencing full relief.

In case it’s cartilage or a vertebral disc that’s injured, then you may have to wait for months. The same can be said about back injuries. In the meantime, you are expected to undergo several adjustments. It doesn’t mean that you only need one adjustment to find relief. In short, the more severe the injury is, the more adjustments you are expected to go through.

Strength of Your Muscles and Ligaments

Another factor that affects how long a chiropractic adjustment lasts is the strength of your muscles and ligaments. If you have weak ligaments, it can take as much as one month to start feeling relief after an adjustment.

However, if your ligament is strong enough, then expect several adjustments for the best results. In the meantime, you may need to do some exercises at home so that your muscles become stronger too. Your chiropractor can recommend stretches and exercise regimens that will benefit your muscles and ligaments.

Lifestyle Modifications can help

When leaving the office of a chiropractor, expect to go out with a dozen instructions. Often, the instructions are directed towards making lifestyle changes. It’s estimated that more than 60% of chiropractic patients start getting relief after their first session because they opt to make lifestyle modifications. This is concerning:

  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising more regularly
  • Quitting smoking

So it’s generally advisable to live a healthy, active lifestyle if you are looking to reduce chiropractic visits and be in a position to enjoy the effects longer.

How Often Will I Need Adjustments?

If you are having chiropractic adjustments for prevention or wellness purposes, expect to go through at least one adjustment a week for about 9 weeks. In such a case, you can expect to start feeling the effects almost immediately.

For pains like headaches, joint pains and muscle pains, expect to attend 3 sessions a week for about 4 weeks. Upon completion of your program, the adjustments can last you for weeks or months depending on these four factors.

What Adjustment Technique will my Doctor Use?

The technique used to adjust your body has a lot to stay about how long your treatment will last. For example, manual adjustments tend to take more time to yield results and their effects are often short-lived. Instrument-aided adjustments, on the other hand, are quick to yield results and the effects are long-lasting.

The problem is that not every chiropractor uses assistive devices to offer adjustments as they are expensive and come with a few risks. You may also be expected to pay a little extra for the adjustments. But if you don’t mind the cost and have a chiropractor you can trust, going for instrument-aided adjustments is not a bad thing.

Do Chiropractic Adjustments Hurt?

Since chiropractic care is a hands-on approach, it can sometimes sting. But this pain will not last for more than a few days at most, and your doctor will prescribe some medications to help you cope with the discomfort if necessary.

However, if the adjustment hurts too much or causes severe pain that doesn’t go away even after taking medication, you should tell your chiropractor right away.

What’s the Average Time To Feel Results?

Typically, patients start feeling the effects of a chiropractic adjustment immediately after their treatment session ends. However, in some cases, it takes a few days for people to feel better and begin noticing changes in their conditions.

What is interesting though is that most patients at Cool Springs Chiropractic say that they can feel an immediate difference in their conditions right after the first visit.

What you should know is that any changes are not permanent until your body has adapted to its new state of health. This takes some time so expect results to start showing up on a weekly basis for about two months or more depending on these four factors.

What is the Popping Noise You Hear During an Adjustment?

If you ever popped your knuckles before your parents put a stop to it, you know the sound. The noise from that is the same one you hear during a chiropractic adjustment.

The sound is due to the release of gas or air bubbles that are trapped in your joints. Your doctor will only make the adjustments when these gases have gathered enough pressure for them to pop out, which can be quite uncomfortable but bearable.

Why Do You Have to Keep Coming Back?

This is a question that is difficult to answer. How long you have to keep coming back depends on your condition, treatment plan and chiropractor’s advice.

Most doctors will provide an estimate of when they think the treatments are no longer necessary but what you should know is that this time frame might change if either your health or lifestyle changes.

For the most part, adjustments should be usually done on a regular basis to keep the spine healthy and relaxed.

Is There a Way to Make Adjustments Last Longer?

Yes, and most patients are quick to ask how they can make their treatment last longer once they hear about the expected duration. Here are some basic tips to help your adjustment last longer:

  • Choose a chiropractor you trust—This is the most important factor because even if you get a treatment plan that lasts for only two weeks, it will not be effective unless your doctor can deliver on their part of the deal.
  • Practice good posture—If sitting too long or slouching when reading has become second nature to you, this habit needs fixing with time and practice.
  • Take care of your spine—Adopting a lifestyle that does not put unnecessary stress on the back or neck can help keep adjustments from being necessary. This includes eating well and exercising regularly.
  • Plan your visit—If you know when your next appointment is coming up, it will be easier to stick to a certain lifestyle so that the adjustment can last longer.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate—You need to drink plenty of water to get rid of body toxins like uric acid that are known to slow down your response time to chiropractic adjustments. The more you hydrate, the likelier you are to improve the effects of your adjustment.
  • Rest well—It’s not just about having to sleep for 8 hours but being able to enjoy your sleep. The healthier you sleep, the longer you enjoy the effects of a chiropractic adjustment.
  • Stick to your treatment plan—If you know what your doctor prescribes, take the time to follow their instructions so that they can work with you.
  • Stay active—If you have a sedentary lifestyle, it will be even more difficult to enjoy the benefits of chiropractic adjustments. You should know that being active is not only about exercising but also taking time for recreation and fun with family and friends.
  • Use Kinesio tape—If your doctor prescribes it, Kinesiology tape can help keep the pressure where adjustments are needed and more. You can also ask about this option if you want to enjoy maximum benefits from chiropractic treatments.
  • Ice your muscles—This is not just about reducing the pain but also getting rid of tissue fluids that interfere with your body’s ability to heal. Use an ice pack whenever you have time, relax and let it do its magic for at least 20 minutes in each affected area. Adding Epsom salts to your bath is also effective for soothing sore muscles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the common questions we get asked at Cool Springs that are related to how long chiropractic adjustments last.

Is a chiropractic adjustment permanent?

The short answer is no because the recovery time varies from person to person. The adjustment can last longer when your lifestyle changes for the better, you listen to your doctor’s recommendations and if there are no external factors that may interfere with how long an adjustment lasts.

How frequently should a person get adjusted by a chiropractor?

It depends on your condition, treatment plan and chiropractor’s advice.

How long does a spinal decompression last?

The duration of each session can vary for patients based on their physical capabilities and the severity of their conditions. However, you should note that this type of therapy is not permanent even though it can provide immediate relief from chronic back pain.

How do you maintain a chiropractic adjustment?

The answer is to follow your doctor’s recommendations and stick with them as much as possible. If you do, the results will be more promising than if you treat it like an experiment or a one-time treatment option.

How long do back adjustments last you?

After chiropractic back adjustments patients feel significantly better immediately after completion of treatment, depending on the severity of the problem and the doctor’s treatment plan. The results start showing within 1 to 4 weeks of chiropractic therapy.

Is my chiropractor scamming me?

No, a chiropractor is not scamming you unless they are performing unnecessary treatments. If your doctor is recommending treatment options that do not benefit or improve how long an adjustment lasts, then it’s time to find another provider for the best results possible.

Why are my chiropractic appointments so short?

The short answer is to make chiropractic affordable for more people. The length of an appointment may vary according to the severity and type of condition that you have, but it’s also beneficial because patients can be treated in just 30 minutes or less.

How long is an initial chiropractic appointment?

An initial chiropractic appointment is usually longer than the follow-ups because it requires a full medical history and physical exam to diagnose your condition.

How long does an initial adjustment take?

The time frame in which an initial adjustment lasts depends on how active you are. An adjustment will last longer if you have a sedentary lifestyle because it’s more difficult to keep the spine in proper alignment without regular chiropractic care as your core muscles weaken over time.

Do chiropractic adjustments work?

Chiropractic adjustments are effective for patients with injuries or medical conditions that need ongoing care to correct the alignment of their spine and joints. Many patients begin to feel relief in as little as a few weeks after starting treatment.

Why do chiropractic adjustments feel so good?

It’s because the spine and other joints are being aligned which can be painful at times. In some cases, you will feel relief right away while others may need a few visits to get the best results possible depending on their condition and how long it has been affecting them.

How long should I stay after a chiropractic appointment?

You can leave the office immediately if you feel better or wait until your doctor says that you are ready to go home depending on your condition and treatment plan.

How Will I Respond to Treatment?

Every patient responds differently to chiropractic adjustments. Some are quicker than others, and the differences are due to the following:

  • Age – Younger patients are expected to respond much faster to chiropractic adjustments and they are also expected to enjoy the effects much longer than seniors. This is because the older you are, the less flexible you become.
  • Activity – Individuals who are living an active lifestyle respond quicker to chiropractic adjustments. They also experience long-lasting effects if compared to individuals living a sedentary lifestyle. So, if you want your adjustment to last longer, get active.
  • Fitness level – The fitter you are, the likelier you are to respond quickly to a chiropractic adjustment. This translates to a longer duration of its effects. As a result, chiropractors will advise you to keep on exercising and eating healthy after an adjustment.

The Takeaways

The duration of a chiropractic adjustment depends on several factors, so it’s hard to put a definite timeline on it. Back adjustments may vary depending on the severity of your condition, but it is important to keep in mind that chiropractic care can also be very beneficial for certain health conditions.

Many patients feel relief immediately after they get adjusted and if you want an adjustment to last longer, stay active. Chiropractors advise their patients to exercise regularly and eat healthy because the fitter you are, the longer an adjustment will last.

Whether it’s your first time seeing a chiropractor or if you are unsure if it’s time for your next adjustment, contact Cool Springs Chiropractic in Franklin, TN, and we can help! Just call us at 615-503-9900 or use our online form to conveniently book your appointment.

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