Do Adjustments Hurt?

Many patients associate chiropractic adjustments, or CMT, with getting their "back cracked". The pop or crack frequently heard with an adjustment is simply the release of fluid in the joint space and not a cracking of the bones that make up the joint. The adjustment rarely causes discomfort. However, patients may sometimes experience mild soreness or achiness following treatment, similar to beginning a new workout, and usually resolving within 12 to 48 hours.

Should I Do Anything Before or After Treatment?

During the acute and subacute phases of an injury or during a flare-up of a chronic condition, follow these suggestions to improve the effectiveness of your chiropractic treatment:

  • Avoid inflammatory foods, such as alcohol, red meat, sugars, fried and processed foods and those high in saturated fats. These allow inflammation in the body, which can delay the healing process.
  • Eat foods that aid tissue healing and decrease inflammation, such as fish with omega-3 fatty acids (salmon and tuna) or omega-3 supplements. During the acute and subacute phases of healing, you can also increase lean protein intake to 1 gram protein/kg body weight.
  • Increase water intake. Adults should drink 8-10 8-oz glasses of water daily; maintaining hydration can aid in tissue repair and speed injury healing time.
  • Do the exercises your doctor of chiropractic prescribes. They will strengthen weak muscles, increase joint range of motion and speed up healing.

Are There Side Effects?

Chiropractic treatments are extremely safe for people of all ages. At ALIGN, your chiropractor is thorough in reviewing your history and performing a physical examination, prior to discussing treatment options with you. 

The most common risks are temporary aggravation of an existing condition and soreness. Rarer risks include, but are not limited to: fractures, stroke, dislocations, sprains, minor burns and aggravation of disc injury.

Dr. Johnson employs the safest and most gentle manual techniques to minimize adverse side effects.

In addition, providers of chiropractic are trained in other low or non force techniques for patients with a history of osteoporosis, disc injury, vertebral fusion, or other risk factor.

"I started coming to Align for chiropractic help with some severe cramping in my arms and upper back. They began to help immediately, releasing and realigning my arms and back. I always walk out of Align feeling better than when I go in, and I see progress every week."
-K.V.

A word about the potential for stroke with neck adjustments...

Numerous studies have been conducted regarding the amount of force on the vertebrobasilar artery, a blood vessel traveling through the neck to the brain, during manual adjustment of the cervical spine, or neck. Research shows no conclusive evidence that chiropractic adjustment causes any injury to this artery or subsequent oxygen loss to the brain.