This common question comes up time and time again. Why am I sore after a chiropractic adjustment? or, I felt worse after I went to the chiropractor. This is not an uncommon side effect. Most chiropractors review common side effects of chiropractic adjustments before the treatment occurs, but if your chiropractor did not; here’s what to expect.
A chiropractic adjustment is very similar to getting your braces tightened at the orthodontist. Your teeth are secured to your jaw bones; they are joints too. You get braces because your teeth are in the wrong position. You get a chiropractic adjustment because the bones in your spine are in the wrong position. When you change the teeth or put pressure on the joint there may be pain and soreness. A chiropractic adjustment is no different. When a chiropractor adjusts your spine he is putting pressure on a joint. The good thing about making changes to a joint is that the pain typically only last a day or two.
Why am I sore a couple days after an adjustment?
The reason you are only sore for a day or two is because your body starts fixing the problem. Have you noticed that you may be sore after the adjustment, but then two days later you feel ten times better than you did the first day you came in? Two things happen:
- Your muscles start gaining muscle memory of the new position of the joint. Getting regular adjustments helps keep your muscles toned, and helps remind the muscles how they are supposed to hold the joint in place.
- Your bones actually start laying down new bone. Wolf’s law is a theory developed by the German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff (1836–1902) in the 19th century that states that bone in a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads under which it is placed.” When you get a chiropractic adjustment your chiropractor puts pressure on the bones of the joint, and the joint adapts and changes.
Not every patient has pain after a chiropractic adjustment. There are many variables and factors that contribute to pain after an adjustment, for instance how lax or taut your ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the joint are. If you have decreased range of motion due to tight muscles you may experience more stiffness and soreness after a chiropractic adjustment.