Do Chiropractic Adjustments Cause Pain?


You’ve gotten out of bed after a restless night due to chronic back pain. You’re unsure if the pain is coming from your mattress or golf swing. Perhaps you bent down to pick up your child and felt an intense, sudden pain in your lower back as it decided to tighten up. It hurts to move your neck or pick up the groceries in either case. Likewise, walking or making sudden movements may cause pain. You have no idea how you will get through your workday, let alone deal with the unpleasant commute.

Back pain can be excruciatingly painful and incapacitating. It impacts your sleep and productivity and can be a significant source of depression and anxiety. Although many people are hesitant to try it for the first time, seeking an adjustment from a licenced chiropractor is an entirely safe and effective way to relieve pain. People frequently report feeling relief even after their first visit, even though it may take several chiropractic adjustments. But, for unfamiliar people, what exactly is a chiropractic adjustment? And more importantly, how painful is this type of treatment?

What exactly is a chiropractic Adjustment?

When a licenced chiropractor recommends an adjustment, it simply means they will apply pressure to your back to realign your spinal column. With time, this realignment relieves your pain, promotes better posture, and improves your body’s physical function. In general, chiropractors manipulate the joints with their hands or a small medical instrument in a quick and controlled manner.

Do chiropractic adjustments cause pain? What do they think?

Adjustments are a straightforward outpatient treatment that can be completed during your lunch break. An adjustment causes little to no discomfort. You may hear pops and cracks, but you should not experience severe pain. You probably won’t be after if you weren’t in pain before the adjustment. Some patients may experience mild soreness or minor aches following a chiropractic visit. These little aches are described as feeling similar to those experienced after vigorous exercise or intense stretching.

Chiropractic adjustments have risks.

As with any medical procedure, the risks must be understood. These risks are uncommon, but you should know them before your first chiropractic adjustment.

A herniated disc or aggravation of an existing herniated disc

Lower spinal column nerve compression

A stroke risk associated with a neck adjustment (this risk is minimal)

Always consult a doctor or medical provider to learn more about your situation. Some people should not have a chiropractic adjustment. Do not seek chiropractic care if any items on the list describe your health history.

  • Osteoporosis is well-known.
  • Any tingling or numbness in your arms or legs
  • Any unusual weakness in your arms or legs
  • Spinal cord cancer is a type of cancer that affects the spinal column.
  • If you have a higher risk of stroke,
  • Any spine instabilities

Chiropractic adjustments: What to Expect

Seeking an adjustment may be intimidating for someone who has never received chiropractic care. You will be led into a private exam room, just like any other visit to the doctor’s office. This room will most likely have furniture that looks like a comfortable masseuse table or chair. This is because you are frequently asked to lie on your stomach or back and relax during the adjustment.

The chiropractor will address your pain concerns and explain the treatments that they can provide. The doctor may ask questions about your medical history or review any x-rays you’ve had. Then, the chiropractor will place you on the table and explain what they are about to do. The chiropractor will begin your treatment once you are at ease.

As the doctor performs the procedure, you may hear pops and crackles from your joints, but you should not feel any intense pain. The doctor may perform a second or third adjustment depending on your symptoms. After they are finished, the doctor recommends simple aftercare measures, such as ice packs or heat pads to help you manage your pain. It is important to note that each type of adjustment available is unique. The following explains some of the most common adjustments made by licenced chiropractors.

Neck adjustments 

Neck adjustments are performed by manipulating your cervical vertebrae to improve joint mobility. This is usually done while lying on your back in a relaxed position. The chiropractor gently touches your neck and rotates your head from side to side. Neck adjustments are frequently used to treat chronic headaches and neck tension.

Lower back repositioning

A lower back adjustment can be accomplished in a variety of ways. One common technique is for the patient to lie on their back and gently rotate the hips so that one leg is over the other and the patient’s lower body rests on the hip. Again, you may hear some snaps and cracks from your joints, but this type of adjustment is painless.