As you visit your local chiropractor for the first time you may be rightfully excited for your visit. Chiropractic care is a
revolutionary alternative form of medicine that has paved the way for new back treatments that actually work and are very safe and usually completely painless. What you may not be familiar with is the process, which we call a “chiropractic adjustment”. A local chiropractor will start this process usually with a thorough history and physical examination, usually including both neurological and orthopaedic tests. Once this is complete he or she will begin the chiropractic adjustment process.
Operating under the theory many common causes of back pain can be attributed to a misaligned vertebra. This may have an effect of the nervous system, which needs to be working correctly at all times. Chiropractors assess, detect and correct the “vertebral subluxation” which is affecting normal function. Your expert local chiropractor will perform what is sometimes referred to as a “specific chiropractic adjustment”. All this means is that chiropractor will carefully, manually physically adjust your body so that the spine is realigned. This is actually less painful than it sounds and looks! After your chiropractic adjustment, however there will be a period of recovery and a number of precautions you should take.
The healing process will start off slowly but as you heal over time the results will be hard to argue with. You’ll have no regrets. But what to do until then…?
1. Take it Easy
Most professionals, particularly your expert local chiropractor, will recommend that you walk immediately after the adjustment, rather than sit, for at least 10-15 minutes post adjustment. This is because during this time the realigned joints are hypermobile and may want to slip back to their readjusted position. Also, take it a little easy for at least 3-5 days after the chiropractic adjustment if you are in the initial stages of chiropractic care. This means that should avoid heavy lifting, intense work, or any strenuous physical activity. Unfortunately for our enthusiastic athlete friends this will also mean refraining from becoming too active in sports. Your body needs to heal and for that it needs rest. Even if the pain is minimal or not there at all, let your body rest. You may regret it later if you don’t.
So you shouldn’t necessarily stuff your face the minute you get home from your appointment! During your course of care, and after your chiropractic adjustment, your body will needs to heal and renew damaged cells and strained tissue that may have been present for a long while. Eating a healthy and balanced diet over the next few days will ensure your body has the nutrients and resources it needs to recover. Drink plenty of water too as this will also aid your body in the process of what you need to do. If you’re not sure if you should have any dietary restriction as you recover, be sure to ask your local chiropractor.
3. Ease Your Body Back into Movement
Make sure to help recover to the max that your sleep takes place on a good quality mattress and with your back straight all night long as it
will help to realign and recover any remaining damage. In addition under the guidance of your local chiropractor, try to engage in some very light stretching exercises. Don’t strain yourself or endure too much pain, you don’t want to set the healing process back. However, stretching is good for the muscles and the body, with great caution and care it can help you back to your feet in no time.
Finally, have patience. Usually you should start to recover in 3-5 days or a week max, but this clearly depends on your presenting condition. You know your body and your Doctor of Chiropractic knows what s/he is doing. Practice common sense and take care of yourself and your back will be better than ever once you have received your series of chiropractic adjustments.