Though having a chiropractic adjustment is a safe and effective method to alleviate mechanical-related pain and discomfort. It is not uncommon to experience additional post-treatment soreness following a visit to the chiropractor. The soreness usually presents anywhere from minutes to a day after being adjusted, and patients will typically describe the soreness as being similar to delayed onset muscle soreness following a good workout at the gym. It’s onset may be alarming at first, but the soreness is usually only temporary and normally resolves within 24 hours.
While the primary goal of a chiropractic adjustment is to restore/ improve proper range of motion to a skeletal joint. There is a side effect involving a localized inflammatory response. During a traditional hands-on adjustment, whereby the joint is moved past its normal elastic barrier. Surrounding soft tissues that support the joint( including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the joint’s membrane) are quickly stretched beyond their usual familiar limit. The area then goes through an inflammatory process to help repair sudden changes in these tissues, leading to the feeling of achiness, and soreness. Of course, post treatment soreness may also result from other obvious sources such as myofascial release, or intentional stretching of muscles as part of treatment.
While post- treatment soreness may be uncomfortable, there are a number of ways to help minimize its severity. Before reaching into the medicine cabinet for an over-the-counter pain reliever, try using some of these other methods listed below:
1.) Apply a cold ice pack to region of complaint for 15 minutes, and then repeating 3-5x times throughout the course of the day to help relieve immediate onset of inflammation.
2.) Try applying a topical analgesic containing Menthol, such as Biofreeze, for a powerful cooling sensation. Which can help alter the perception of pain from sensory nerves.
3.) Perform gentle, specific exercises/ stretches as recommended by your chiropractor.
4.) Reduce overall sugar intake, and instead consume foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as: tuna, salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
5.) Take a natural anti-inflammatory nutritional supplement, as recommended, such as Boswellia Complex, Tuna Omega-3 Oil, or Tumeric Forte from Standard Process.
6.) Increase your overall daily water intake to stay hydrated.
7.) Get adequate, restful sleep using a supportive mattress and pillow.
8.) Reduce overall stress through rest and relaxation.
***Be sure to ask your chiropractor for more home-care recommendations that are appropriate to your care plan.