In our last post, we detailed what to expect from your first visit to a chiropractor, including the consultation, examination and report of findings.
Once your doctor has identified your problem and explained their recommended course of action, they will begin your treatment.
So what type of treatment should you expect?
Depending on the chiropractor you see, treatment may vary greatly. All chiropractors have their own techniques, so your treatment will depend on your doctor’s preferred technique. However, in almost all cases, your chiropractor will adjust your spine. The adjustment consists of the doctor finding areas of your spine that are out of position or not moving properly, and correcting the issue. In most cases, the adjustment is done my hand, with the doctor using a light force to put a vertebrae into the proper position.
Generally, you will hear pops or cracks when the adjustment is performed. Don’t worry, nothing is breaking or cracking. The sound is a release of gas, mostly carbon dioxide, from the joint space. The adjustment should NOT be painful. However, since the doctor has to put their hands into areas that are already painful, it might be uncomfortable, but it should not increase your pain.
About 10% of patients report mild soreness after their first adjustment, which typically resolves within 24 hours. This is similar to going to the gym for the first time in a few years.
After the adjustment, your doctor may choose to use additional therapies. This may include muscle stimulation or soft tissue mobilization to help relax muscles, and mechanical traction to help relieve pressure between each of your discs.