As a new chiropractic patient, you may be concerned about how you'll feel after your spinal adjustment. "What will happen when I'm adjusted? Will I feel better right away? Will it hurt afterwards?" These are all normal questions. But each patient is a complex and unique individual. It's impossible to predict exactly how any one body will react. However, it may be reassuring to learn how other people feel.
Most patients feel some effect of the adjustment immediately. Many people say that they feel more limber and relaxed. Some describe the effect as a surge of energy and vitality. Still others report an almost immediate decrease in the symptoms they've been experiencing. Headaches may suddenly disappear and people who had trouble walking into the office because of back pain may, literally, dance out the door. At this point, they usually have to be reminded that chiropractic didn't "cure" or "treat" their headaches or backaches. The chiropractor located and corrected the subluxations that had made it difficult for the body to take care of itself. Patients who receive immediate relief also have to be reminded that severe subluxations may have existed for a long time. Several adjustments may be needed before the vertebrae can be restored to correct alignment. The temporary disappearance of a symptom doesn't mean that optimum health has been achieved.
Although many of the changes taking place feel great, there are some which may cause minor discomfort or concern. For instance, some people report slight soreness in the area of the subluxation. This is not uncommon. After all, the muscles around the area have been "trained" to pull in certain directions. Now, they are being asked to pull in a different direction. Some soreness may be expected, although it is normally quite mild and usually temporary. Another effect is a light-headed feeling. Many patients actually enjoy this temporary "high", but others find it disconcerting. It, too, is normal.
Because of subluxations, there may be parts of the body which haven't received normal nerve flow for years. Suddenly, the impulses are rushing to these cells, sending and receiving new messages from the brain, filling the patient with a burst of energy that can literally leave him or her dizzy. The feeling, generally lasting just a few minutes, should be recognized as physical evidence of the body's healing power at work.
The release of this healing power can also stimulate nerves which have long since been "anesthetized" by lack of normal energy flow. When these nerves are reactivated after an adjustment, they may actually be more sensitive than before. This phenomena, known as "retracing", is part of the healing process and should decrease as the healing continues.
The Changes Within
Some patients say they don't really feel any different after their adjustments. Still, they realize that many changes are indeed occurring within the body, even if there are no outward signs.