Chiropractic Adjustment Benefits, Risks, and Other Things to Know Before Your Visit

A doctor examining a patient to provide the best chiropractic adjustment benefits.

When you suffer from back pain, neck pain, or headaches, seeking medical care seems an obvious choice to minimize or eliminate that pain. However, what type of care you choose can impact how your pain is treated and how long the relief lasts. If you’re on the fence about chiropractic care, learning the facts about chiropractic adjustment benefits can help you make a well-informed decision and can put you on the path to overall wellness and permanent pain relief.

Chiropractic Adjustment Benefits

It’s well-known that chiropractic adjustments can relieve pain and improve your range of motion; however, there are a variety of other benefits to receiving chiropractic adjustments, including the following:

  1. Improve blood pressure: Some studies show that a chiropractic adjustment can give people suffering from high blood pressure the same results as taking certain high blood pressure medications. However, there are side effects of high blood pressure medications, such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, and weight loss, that should be noted. Chiropractic adjustments can help manage your blood pressure without these negative side effects.
  2. Minimize lower back and neck pain: Approximately 80% of all Americans experience some sort of lower back pain at some point in their lives. While certain medications and surgeries are options, they can be dangerous, expensive, and sometimes ineffective. A chiropractic adjustment can significantly reduce your back and neck pain using a non-invasive technique. Chiropractic treatment is also cheaper than other methods of back pain management.
  3. Reduce inflammation: Inflammation is one of the top causes of pain, joint issues, and tension. Many times a medical doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatories, but those don’t get to the root of the problem. Chiropractic adjustments help evacuate inflammation from the joint and restore normal motion to the joint, which can lead to several positive benefits like chronic lower back pain relief, reduced muscle tension, and relief of joint pain.
  4. Relieve headaches: Aside from back pain, headaches are the most common ailment chiropractors tend to. More than 200 studies examining the benefits and effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments for headache relief conclude that it does work. Back misalignments can cause muscle tension and pain, which can result in both tension and migraine headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate both.
  5. Improve gut health: A chiropractic adjustment optimizes your body’s function, including the digestion process. Experienced chiropractors are very knowledgeable about what can be done to help heal your gut and any nutrition recommendations you may need. The attention to your gut health can also boost the immune system, which can help prevent infection.

While there are many chiropractic adjustment benefits, there are also a few risks; however, many of these risks are rare.

Chiropractic Adjustment Risks

A chiropractor providing chiropractic adjustment benefits to a patient.

Overall, the chance of experiencing serious complications from chiropractic adjustments is very small; however, these risks should be taken into consideration before treatment with a chiropractor. It is generally a good sign if a chiropractor reviews these with you before treatment.

When looking at a meta-analysis of the risk of chiropractic adjustments, also known as spinal manipulation, the risks are relatively low and benign. People may experience pain, stiffness, nausea, headaches, or other low-level responses. However, most experience pain relief with no adverse responses.

This is very typical of most manual therapy and rehabilitation. When the body is healing, it will create inflammation, which can be experienced as pain, so it’s important to remember that pain doesn’t equal damage.

However, if the pain is persistent, then it’s a good idea to move away from manual adjusting to a low-force technique, such as using a gentle adjusting instrument, which can mitigate most adverse responses, large or small.

There are reports of more severe adverse responses to spinal manipulation, whether performed by a physical therapist or chiropractor, but these severe adverse responses are rare, only occurring in approximately one out of every two million to five million cases. Research is clear that there is no causal relationship between severe adverse responses and spinal manipulation. The reported severe adverse responses are associated with injury to a nerve, disc, or artery and were independent of age, meaning older patients were no more at risk than young patients.

However, it’s important to note that those who suffer from spinal cancers, severe osteoporosis, or bone abnormalities should not get manual chiropractic adjustments due to an increased risk of severe complications.

To experience the maximum chiropractic adjustment benefits and to mitigate potential complications, it’s important to be prepared for your first visit so that your chiropractor is aware of the issue and where and why it exists in the first place.

Preparing for Your Chiropractic Visit

If you’ve never had chiropractic care, you need to be prepared for your first visit. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Bring what you need with you: Gather any necessary items like medical records, your insurance and identification cards, and a form of payment. You may want to consult your insurance provider beforehand to see your coverage options.
  2. Arrive with time to spare: Plan to get to your appointment about 15 minutes early so that you can fill out any paperwork that is needed prior to your consultation.
  3. Dress for comfort: Avoid anything constrictive, tight, or that lacks stretch because your first appointment may include a chiropractic adjustment and x-rays or other treatment.
  4. Be prepared to explain your pain: It’s important to clearly communicate all of your symptoms, problem areas, and concerns. Avoid withholding information. Be prepared to share how your pain started, how long you have had it, what seems to make the pain worse or better, and what you have been doing to ease it.
  5. Mentally and physically prepare for the exam: Your chiropractor is very much like other physicians. They may order x-rays or MRIs and conduct a physical exam. Your chiropractor may ask you to perform certain physical tasks as part of the evaluation process. These could include touching the floor or walking across the room and back.
  6. Get ready for your first chiropractic adjustment: Be sure to talk to your chiropractor about any fears or concerns you have about an adjustment. With chiropractic adjustments, you may or may not hear popping or cracking sounds. This is normal, and these sounds (or a lack thereof) do not indicate the effectiveness of the adjustment.
  7. Ask questions: To receive the maximum benefit, you must understand and embrace the treatment plan provided by your chiropractor. If you have any questions, be sure to ask before you leave.

At PostureWorks, we use evidence-based Chiropractic BioPhysics® techniques and go beyond the capabilities of a chiropractic adjustment, to restore your alignment to its natural state. Our spinal and postural care plans are completely individual and are based on a personal analysis that includes biometric readings. With a combination of postural exercises, neuro-muscular reeducation, and spinal alignment traction, we will help you safely see long-term improvements in your spinal health.

There are many chiropractic care benefits, and we would love to help you live your best, pain-free life. Whether you are suffering from back pain, neck pain, frequent headaches, or carpal tunnel syndrome, our experienced team of chiropractors can help. Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function while eliminating the source of pain and circulatory and nervous dysfunction. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive. Contact us today to schedule your appointment or to learn more about chiropractic adjustment benefits.

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