Reactions Following a Chiropractic Adjustment

Reactions following the chiropractic adjustment vary from person to person. The most common reaction to chiropractic adjustment is aching or soreness in the spinal.


Chiropractic adjustment is a popular way of treating back pain. Often a doctor of chiropractic medicine performs spinal manipulation to treat subluxation of the spine, the altered condition of vertebrae causing pain. Reactions after chiropractic care can vary, depending on the intensity of the treatment and the severity of the condition.

Studies have shown that chiropractic treatments for lower back pain rarely result in negative reactions. The most common side effect reported is discomfort to the area for 1 – 2 days following chiropractic care, which can be effectively treated with ice or analgesics.

More extreme reactions can occur after a chiropractor manipulates the cervical, or upper spine. Chiropractors make adjustments to the alignment of the neck and spine, and on very rare occasions this can cause vascular complications. The most serious of this type of complication is called vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke. However, studies have found that the risk for VBA is no greater with treatments from chiropractors than with primary physicians.

Chiropractic adjustments are a safe way to maintain spine health and treat pain. The best way to minimize negative reactions is to establish good communication between chiropractor and patient. Chiropractic medicine offers effective treatments to relieve a number of back ailments, including pain due to chronic conditions or injuries. By clearly communicating exactly how a patient is feeling, as well as any mitigating circumstances like medications being used, chiropractors can make the proper adjustments to the spine.

Although chiropractors do not prescribe medicine or perform surgery, they do offer a wide array of treatment. Often spinal manipulation is done is conjunction with a prescribed exercise and stretching regime specifically designed for the patient’s particular back problem. All too often, a negative side effect of chiropractic treatment is due to a patient failing to follow through on specified directions after leaving the office.


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