If you haven’t been to a chiropractor before, you may be wondering what it will be like. In fact, for some people it’s a little intimidating. Truth is it’s not scary. But knowing what to expect can be helpful so you’re more relaxed when you go. Learn more about how you can prepare and what to expect when having your first chiropractic adjustment.
What is a Chiropractic Adjustment?
A spinal adjustment is a chiropractic procedure that uses pressure to realign your spinal discs. This includes the discs in your neck. By doing this, your blood and other fluids like the lymph fluid, can flow easily to all areas of the body. It also helps your hips and knees to realign with one another, reducing pain you might be experiencing.
You’ll probably hear some popping noises. As the back joints are stretched, the surrounding fluid that contains small pockets of air will "pop” or “crack.” There’s nothing to be concerned about. That’s normal.
What Conditions Does a Spinal Adjustment Help With?
The spinal adjustment can be used as part of a treatment plan for several conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headaches or sciatica. However, you may need other treatments before adjustments are introduced into the treatment plan. The chiropractor will be able to advise you on the right order and timing of the treatments so that your body can heal and your pain improve.
Some women visit the chiropractor during pregnancy to ensure that their baby is in an optimal position for labor and delivery. If you do plan to visit the chiropractor during your pregnancy, be sure the chiropractor is aware so they can make special accommodations for you to feel comfortable and to keep the baby safe.
What to Expect Before, During, and After an Adjustment
Before your first chiropractic adjustment, you'll be asked a series of questions about your health history and any pain that you may be experiencing. You'll likely be asked to fill out paperwork on which you can tell them about any medical conditions you have. Your chiropractor will then talk with you to make sure that you're aware of what they will be doing, educating you on the process.
Next, you will be asked to lay on the chiropractor's table on your stomach. If you’re pregnant you may be put in a different position or if the pain you describe requires some adjustments in a different position, you might lay on your side or sit up.
Most often the chiropractor uses his or her hands to perform the adjustment. Although there are some instruments that may be used to put pressure on specific areas of the back.
Chiropractic adjustments should not be painful, although you may experience some feelings of pressure and slight discomfort at times. Try to relax as much as you can. The more your body is flexible, the easier the adjustment will be.
As soon as your adjustment is done, sit up slowly. Because all of the pathways for your blood are re-aligned, you might experience a headrush if you get up too quickly.
After your adjustment is complete, you will likely feel relieved and comfortable. You may experience some mild tenderness in your muscles. It can sometimes help to take an Epsom salt bath when you get home after your first chiropractic adjustment to help with any soreness you may be experiencing.
Drink plenty of water! There are toxins released that were held in your body when it wasn’t aligned properly. Drinking more water than usual after a spinal adjustment will help flush the toxins from your body.
Other Chiropractic Treatments Along with Spinal Adjustments
Sometimes the spinal adjutment is a part of the overall treatment plan, depending on the cause of your pain and where it’s located. In some cases you may receive electric muscle stimulation or cold laser therapy before or after the adjustment to improve your healing.
How Often Do I Need to Get an Adjustment?
This is something to talk about with the chiropractor. If you’re in the process of treating an injury or a specific pain there might be a couple per week for a period of time. But, if you’re in maintenance mode and you’re not experiencing a specific problem, then once a week is a great way to help your body operate at its best.
Scheduling Your First Chiropractic Adjustment
Now that you know what to expect at your first chiropractic visit, it is time to come in and see us! At Village Chiropractic, located in The Woodlands, we take the time to be sure patients understand their treatment plan before we start. Ask any questions you may have! It’s important to us that you’re comfortable with the plan that’s right for you.