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How You Should Feel After A Chiropractic Adjustment
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How You Should Feel After A Chiropractic Adjustment
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How You Should Feel After A Chiropractic Adjustment

Jan 25, 2017 | Chiropractic, Headache, Health Tips, Symptoms

A chiropractic adjustment uses a series of techniques to improve joint function, reduce nerve interference, and release muscle tension. The goal is to restore alignment, relieve pressure on the nerves that control your muscles and joints, and allow for improved circulation. 

Of course, it’s also important to understand how you should feel after an adjustment so you can tell if something isn’t right. This article discusses common side effects and what you should expect during the recovery period following an adjustment.

Why Is It Important To Learn About The Side Effects Of Chiropractic?

The most important reason to know about the side effects of any treatment is to allow the chiropractor and the patient to understand what to expect and act accordingly. 

Moreover, your chiropractor is required by law to inform you about the possible side effects of the particular treatment they will administer, and it all comes down to the right to information. 

Bear in mind that some patients don’t experience any side effects at all. However, with knowledge of potential side effects, you should be able to make an informed decision about your treatments and be prepared if you need to weather any side effects.  

It also serves the chiropractor’s interest to inform you in advance. This precaution clears the chiropractor of any post-treatment dangers if you chose to proceed with the treatment after being informed.

Why Do I Feel Sick After Chiropractic Adjustment?

Everyone’s physiology is different, so the effects of varying treatments can vary, including chiropractic treatments. Likewise, numerous studies have been carried out to determine the distinctive side effects of various chiropractic treatments and help patients understand what to expect.  

These studies were conducted on volunteers in clinical studies or were the result of conclusive surveys carried out on patients in various chiropractic clinics.

Although spinal manipulations are generally considered safe, some patients may feel side effects during and after their treatments. This is because of your body’s natural reaction to any adjustments of the neck and spine. Adverse reactions to this treatment are common, and they generally tend to arise and disappear in a brief period immediately after treatment. 

Read on to find out more about the possible side effects of chiropractic treatments you may experience. 

What is Toxic Release? 

Before we go any further, it’s good to understand toxic release and its role in causing the negative aspects you may experience during your chiropractic manipulation session. 

Toxic release happens when your body receives chiropractic adjustment, and any toxins in the area treated are released. This release is a positive thing, and your body is being cleansed and gets better. 

According to the theory of negative and positive reactions, the adverse side effects simply imply that your body is positively reacting to the adjustments and sending your system back into homeostasis (equilibrium). Unfortunately, temporary side effects may result from this process, which we’ll discuss next.

Stomach & Abdominal Pain After Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractic adjustments help more than just your spine and back. For instance, visceral adjustments are used to relieve anything from Hiatal hernias without surgery to a case where a burning feeling in the abdomen was alleviated in a young girl when no other medical treatment worked.

And while it’s not common, stomach and abdominal pain after chiropractic adjustment do occur. It happens in some patients due to the pressure applied on your stomach by the doctor’s hand or any other adjusting instrument during the procedure, but the side effects should be mild.

Nausea After Chiropractic Adjustment

Nausea can occur during and after a spinal adjustment. What follows are some of the reasons that can lead to nausea in both cases after a chiropractic treatment.

Nausea During Adjustment

Nausea or vomiting will usually arise during the visit or within an hour after your visit. How likely you are to experience it depends on what condition your chiropractor is treating and the area of adjustment. 

So, what’s behind it? There are a few things behind this side effect; for one, a chiropractic adjustment repositions the spine into proper alignment. And as the spine aligns, toxins, tension and stress are released into your body.

So, what’s behind it? There are a few things behind this side effect; for one, a chiropractic adjustment repositions the spine into proper alignment. And as the spine aligns, toxins, tension and stress are released into your body. 

When this happens, it can shock your system, leading to queasiness. However, it is a common myth that if you experience nausea, it means your body is rejecting the chiropractic treatment. So don’t be alarmed, as this is your body’s normal response to spinal and neck manipulations. 

Secondly, the position your body is in while undergoing treatment may cause your stomach to churn too. For example, you are lying on your stomach for a prolonged period, and that’s known to upset a patient’s stomach. 

Thirdly, neck joint manipulation is also a common cause of nausea in some patients. And lastly, there are many various reasons people get sick to their stomach, including nerves. 

One thing you can do to help with nausea during your visit is to talk with your chiropractor about the proper way to get off the table after treatment. That’s because getting up the wrong way can cause your head to swim and may even make you vomit. 

Nausea After Adjustment

Some patients may still be nauseated after treatment is finished. Fortunately, after a chiropractic adjustment, the feeling you are going to upchuck shouldn’t last more than 24 – 48 hours afterward. Once home, that seasick feeling can usually be relieved by drinking ginger ale or ginger tea and lying down for some rest. Over the next day or two, your nausea will slowly diminish.

Diarrhea After Chiropractic Adjustment

Experiencing diarrhea after a chiropractic adjustment occasionally happens after a chiropractic adjustment, and it is associated with the toxic release. Symptoms include frequent bowel movements accompanied by pain in the hard belly or lower back areas of your abdomen. 

It’s also quite possible that you may experience a few days of constipation following your chiropractic adjustment. This effect is due to the toxins being released into your body and causing cramps in your abdominal area, making it difficult for you to get things moving along.

Headache After Chiropractic Adjustment

Depending on the chiropractic manipulation you receive, the severity of the headaches can vary. For instance, many patients complain about having mild headaches after a chiropractic session, with most of them reporting that the pain seems to be coming from the forehead. 

Relatedly, one of Cool Spring’s Clinic’s patients advised against receiving any more high-velocity spinal manipulations, saying that after the treatment, he experienced caused “thumping headaches” that only subsided after taking some OTC painkillers.

However, chiropractic care, especially in chiropractic adjustment, can help alleviate severe headaches such as migraines that result from tight muscles in the upper neck and back. The adjustments work to relieve pressure on nerves and facilitate better functioning of the nervous system, thereby reducing the severity and frequency of migraines.

Dizziness After Chiropractic Adjustment

Balance issues, dizziness and seeing stars are common side effects of spinal manipulations. This is because the adjustment causes your brain to become temporarily disoriented as it struggles to compensate for the pressure placed on the head or neck area by your chiropractor’s hands during an adjustment. 

What usually helps is to move your head slowly and gently after the procedure and, as we saw in the case of nausea above, discuss the best way to rise up and get off the table with your chiropractor. 

Flu-like Symptoms After Chiropractic Adjustment

After your very first chiropractic treatment, you are likely to experience flu-like symptoms or what feels like a minor cold or hay fever. Toxic release during treatments is behind these symptoms too, and they are a positive sign that your body is responding well to treatment.

Surveys suggest that in every 100 patients who seek chiropractic treatment for the first time, 20 of them experience this effect. So if you have ever experienced this malaise and never knew what was behind it, now you know.

Sleepy After Chiropractic Adjustment

Patients who have experienced chiropractic treatment sometimes complain about feeling sleepy following a session. This feeling is due to the fact that your body’s energy levels are temporarily down after being adjusted. 

Some patients also complain of feeling extremely tired afterward, and it is because your body is adjusting to how your nervous system is reacting to the treatment. For instance, before your chiropractic alignment, your nervous system was likely jammed up in areas of your frame by the partial dislocation of a joint (subluxations). 

So, take this opportunity to get some rest, and don’t be surprised if you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow!

Other Symptoms to Expect

The side effects detailed above are what you may experience when you go for chiropractic treatment. Some other minor side effects experienced immediately or up to a few days after chiropractic adjustment include tight muscles, sweating at night or aches in the parts of the body being treated.

What to Expect During Recovery of Chiropractic Treatment

As we saw, chiropractic adjustments can have a number of side effects, but these are usually short-lived. Most people experience them during the first session and then feel better from thereon in. Chiropractic clinics will be well-versed about what to do and will be appropriately stocked with painkillers and ice, etc., to handle expected side effects during your visit. Your chiropractor should also be able to provide you with some form of relief from common side effects after your visit too. 

When To See A Doctor

While you shouldn’t be alarmed if you experience the mild symptoms described here, you should discuss it with your chiropractor and seek medical attention if side effects are severe or if your symptoms do not dissipate within three days or so after your treatment is over. 

Additionally, your chiropractor can work with you to find better alternative treatment options if treatments aren’t working out for you.

Are you experiencing back pain, shoulder pain or headaches? Chiropractic can help alleviate these symptoms. Visit us at Cool Springs Chiropractic in Franklin, TN. We offer a FREE New Patient Special, so it costs nothing to visit us. Our staff hopes to see you soon!