Do Chiropractic Adjustments Have Side Effects?

Do Chiropractic Adjustments Have Side Effects?

There are many advantages to visiting a chiropractor for a spinal adjustment. After experiencing pain in the neck or back or any other area, you may leave feeling relieved, relaxed, and refreshed. You may also describe the feeling as more energetic or lighter than before the adjustment. A SnapCrack chiropractor has seen many patients leave with an upbeat attitude that allows them to carry out their daily tasks without constantly thinking about pain.

However, it may also happen that some patients do not enjoy such a positive experience either immediately after the adjustment or during the following days. They may complain of soreness, aches, and other feelings of discomfort, not understanding whether these sensations are normal or whether they mean that the work they had done will bring about the improvement they sought once this discomfort is over. If this has happened to you or to someone you know, you may want to read on to find out more about the side effects of chiropractic adjustments, why they happen, and whether they are cause for concern.

What is the Purpose of Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care offers patients the option of dealing with different conditions, illnesses, or injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system without needing surgery or prescription medications. Both acute and chronic pain responds well to chiropractic adjustments.

Patients visit a chiropractor to relieve neck and back issues, although these adjustments help with fibromyalgia, vertigo, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, and many other conditions.

What Happens During an Adjustment?

During your initial consultation, your chiropractor will take the time to understand your condition, how, where, and how often you experience pain, and perform the necessary tests to diagnose the problem. Once armed with this information, your chiropractor will design a treatment plan specifically formulated to treat the condition that has brought you there.

However, there is no reason to imagine an adjustment as a forceful and painful movement that will crack your joints. On the contrary, a chiropractor is trained to treat your body gently and align your joints by understanding in which direction the vertebra is misaligned and what minimal force would be required to realign your spine.

They start by deciding whether the optimal results may be achieved if you’re placed on your stomach or made to turn to your side. In all cases, they want you to be relaxed enough to allow them to make the adjustments.

What Are the Most Common Reactions to A Chiropractic Adjustment?

Most spinal manipulations have no side effects at all. Even if you were to feel discomfort, it would typically disappear within a couple of days or even sooner. Here are some of the side effects you may experience during that time.

Mild Soreness or Aching

This is the most common side effect of an adjustment, and it presents itself as sore muscles in the treated area. You may feel the effect of the adjustment for a few hours and should report to your chiropractor if the feeling persists for more than a couple of days. To relieve the pain, place an ice pack on the affected area to help the soreness dissipate faster.

Neck Pain and Headaches

Manipulations to the neck area are common when you visit a chiropractor and are perfectly safe. Your chiropractor will work on your neck to improve the range of motion, relieve tension or pressure, or reduce muscle spasms. This manipulation may result in temporary neck pain or headaches. Should you feel these side effects, put an ice pack on the affected area and allow yourself some time to rest.


Most patients tend to feel energized after a chiropractic adjustment, but others will complain of a lingering feeling of fatigue. This should dissipate quickly, but you can help it along by avoiding any strenuous activity immediately after treatment to allow your normal energy levels to come back.

Dizziness and Nausea

These are uncommon reactions, and a small percentage of patients experience them. Taking time to relax, drinking plenty of water, and eating a light, mild diet, will allow these minor side effects to disappear.

Why Do Chiropractic Adjustments Have Side Effects?

Different explanations exist for the side effects you may experience after a chiropractic adjustment. Here are some of them.


By applying pressure to the affected area, your chiropractor allows blood flow to increase. This results in toxins from the patient’s body, and the reactions to this release of poisons from the system include tiredness, headaches, and even a slight fever. Once these toxins leave your body, you should feel energized.

Compressed Nerves Being Released

If you have old injuries or areas where nerves are compressed, an adjustment may revive feelings associated with the injury. Talk to your chiropractor if this happens; they may schedule a series of appointments to rid your body of any remaining pain and to work toward a full recovery.


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