Should I Worry About Side Effects from a Spinal Adjustment?

Chiropractic care has gained popularity as an evidence-based, non-invasive and drug-free approach to managing various musculoskeletal conditions.

Central to this form of alternative medicine is a spinal adjustment, also known as chiropractic manipulation, adjustment or “getting your back cracked”. 

While many individuals have found relief and improved mobility through chiropractic care, concerns about potential side effects associated with chiropractic adjustments have arisen.

Let’s explore the safety of chiropractic care and examine whether there is a need to worry about side effects from a chiropractic adjustment.

Understanding Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic manipulation and spinal adjustments involve the skilled application of controlled force to specific areas of the spine or joints.

The objective is to relieve stiffness in your joints, which may be causing you some pain and discomfort. 

By reducing joint stiffness,  the adjustment aims to reduce pain and improve mobility. 

Potential Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Numerous patients have reported positive outcomes after undergoing chiropractic manipulation and research has demonstrated for it to be effective for complaints of the neck, back and other areas of the body caused by nerves, muscles, joints and related tissues

Some potential benefits of chiropractic care include:

  • Pain Relief: Chiropractic care has been effective in managing conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, and certain types of joint pain.
  • Improved Mobility: Chiropractic adjustments can enhance joint mobility and flexibility, leading to a better range of motion and overall function of your body.
  • Non-Invasive Approach: Unlike surgery or pharmaceutical interventions, chiropractic care is non-invasive and generally carries fewer risks.
  • Holistic Care: Chiropractors often emphasize overall wellness and may offer lifestyle advice to support patients’ health.

Safety of Chiropractic Adjustments

When performed by an experienced chiropractor, chiropractic adjustments are considered safe for the majority of patients.

However, like any medical intervention, there are potential side effects to be aware of, though they are generally mild and temporary. These side effects and risks vary according to each patient’s condition. Your chiropractor will advise you if it is safe to perform an adjustment based on your personal medical history and condition.

Some possible side effects include:

  • Soreness: It is common to experience mild soreness or discomfort in the treated area, which usually resolves within a day or two.
  • Fatigue: Some patients may feel tired or lethargic after an adjustment, but this feeling is typically short-lived.
  • Increased Pain: While chiropractic adjustments are meant to alleviate pain, there are instances where a temporary increase in discomfort may occur.

Risk Factors and Precautions

Chiropractic care may not be suitable for everyone. Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects.

It is essential to inform your chiropractor about:

  • Osteoporosis or Bone Conditions: Individuals with weakened bones may be at higher risk of fractures during spinal manipulation.
  • Spinal Cord Compression: Chiropractic adjustments are generally avoided in cases of spinal cord compression, as it could lead to neurological complications.
  • Cardiovascular Disease: Individuals with a history of stroke should inform their chiropractor. Adjustments are generally avoided in this scenario. While research does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between chiropractic treatment, arterial damage and the occurrence of stroke, your chiropractor may choose to exercise caution and offer you other forms of therapy to assist you in your recovery. 
  • Recent Surgeries: Patients who have undergone recent spinal surgeries should consult their surgeon before seeking chiropractic care.
  • Medical History: Provide your chiropractor with a comprehensive medical history, including any pre-existing conditions or ongoing medical treatments.

Chiropractic Treatment: Benefits and Considerations

Chiropractic care, including chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulation, can be a safe and effective form of physical therapy for managing certain musculoskeletal conditions.

When performed by a qualified chiropractic professional, the risks of serious side effects are minimal.

The benefits often outweigh the mild and temporary discomfort experienced by some individuals after an adjustment.

However, it is crucial to discuss your medical history and any concerns with your chiropractor to ensure that chiropractic care is appropriate and safe for your specific needs.

If you’re seeking reliable and experienced chiropractic care, consider scheduling a consultation with Atlas Physio.

Our team of healthcare professionals and skilled chiropractors are dedicated to providing personalized and effective treatments to address your musculoskeletal concerns.

Contact Atlas Physio today to embark on your journey toward improved health and mobility!