What Happens to Your Body After A Chiropractic Adjustment?

North Jersey patients who have never experienced a chiropractic adjustment often have many questions about how they will feel and what they can expect. At Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy, we’re happy to answer questions from new and current patients. With offices throughout North Jersey, in convenient locations such as Oakland, Wayne, Fair Lawn, and Closter, our chiropractors and physical therapists are ready to help you address many different health concerns from chronic pain to migraines to mobility issues.

Here we’re going to focus on addressing our most frequently asked questions about one of the most popular and common chiropractic therapies – the spinal adjustment. A spinal adjustment can be incredibly helpful in numerous ways, so if you have ever considered this therapeutic option, hopefully understanding what happens after the procedure will convince you to explore this healing option.

What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?

Sometimes called a spinal manipulation or spinal adjustment, this hands-on procedure is designed to correct spinal misalignments. These misalignments can have an impact on a variety of systems in the body and be a cause of chronic pain. From headaches to lower back pain, neck pain and sciatica, an adjustment can help improve a variety of conditions. Many people are surprised to learn that conditions not directly affected the back can even be addressed with a spinal adjustment.

During a chiropractic adjustment, you’ll lie on your stomach so that your chiropractor can apply strategically placed quick movements to jolt the joints of the spine back into place. This is a completely safe procedure but should only be conducted by a trained chiropractor. It’s important to note that during an adjustment, your chiropractor is helping to positively stimulate the nervous system to encourage proper functioning. There is never any movement or changes made to the spinal cord, which is often a concern of patients.

To ensure your safety, you should always make certain that you visit a practice with a doctor of chiropractic. At Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy, our team is comprised of several doctors of chiropractic, so if you’re a North Jersey resident, you can rest assured there are several highly-trained chiropractors you can trust for spinal adjustments.

Does Everyone Hear Popping Sounds During an Adjustment?

“Popping sounds” have become widely associated with chiropractic adjustments. The sounds you may hear during an adjustment are simply trapped gas, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide being released when pressure is applied to the joints. It’s common and can help to relieve pressure. However, not everyone experiences these noises and a quiet adjustment can be just as beneficial to a patient’s body as one filled with popping and crackling noises.

What Happens to Your Body After Receiving an Adjustment?

The goal of a spinal adjustment is to make sure all of the joints and parts of your spine are aligned so that proper movement can occur. When our spines are out of balance, many parts of the body can be affected. A misalignment can cause posture to shift, which can lead to back, head and neck pain. It can also limit mobility and even put unnecessary pressure on the organs surrounding the back such as the digestive system.

Are There Side Effects After an Adjustment?

A spinal adjustment aims to facilitate proper movement of the joints in the back. Because of this, many patients tell us that they feel reduced pain and an enhanced range of motion. Some patients even report an overall energized, good feeling post-procedure. After an adjustment you may feel “back to your old self,” and have an instant feeling of relief and better mobility. When this transformation happens, it’s easy to believe that no further care is needed. But we encourage patients to always follow the suggested treatment plan, so that joints, muscles and tendons don’t revert back to their old ways. We discuss more about after-care in a bit, but first let’s address another common post-alignment concern.

While encouraging greater movement of the joints, an adjustment can allow the region to experience a detox. This may result in temporary cold-like symptoms in the day or two post-alignment. This is nothing to be concerned about and actually is another sign that the procedure worked. When toxins are released from these joints, the body needs some time to process and eliminate them, hence why these symptoms may occur. Each person’s body is different, so it’s important to realize that no two people will have the same post-alignment experience. The good news is that any less than desirable side effects will fade away quickly in the immediate days following an adjustment.

How Long After An Adjustment Will I Feel Improvements?

It’s important to look at a spinal adjustment as a part of an overall chiropractic therapy plan and not a one-and-done type of therapy. A chiropractic adjustment works to relieve pressure within the joints of the back. However, there is a crucial next step. After an adjustment, you may feel ready to take on the world, enjoying the relief of reduced pain and stiffness. But to enjoy long-term benefits, a chiropractic adjustment should be paired with therapies that retrain and strengthen the supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments so your body continues to be in alignment. If you skip this second step, the benefits may slowly decrease in the subsequent weeks and you’ll be in need of another alignment to again correct the joints.

Ready to Enjoy the Perks of Being Fully Aligned?

As you can see, a chiropractic alignment is a great first step in addressing chronic issues like back and neck pain, headaches and mobility issues. An alignment can instantly provide pain relief, but is best if used in coordination with an overall strengthening and therapy plan to maintain these life-improving benefits. At Oakland Spine, our highly trained chiropractors are ready to answer any of your questions related to a chiropractic alignment. If you live in North Jersey and suffer from chronic pain or other issues, consider visiting one of our conveniently located offices for a consultation. Here, our team of experts will guide you through the healing process. With offices in  Oakland, Wayne, Fair Lawn, and Closter, there’s sure to be an Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy location that’s close to home! Reach out today and start saying yes to all of the things chronic pain has been keeping you from enjoying.