How to take care of yourself following your Chiropractic session

Clearly, after-treatment care advice is dependent on your specific condition, but here are some general guidelines, which apply particularly to back pain: 

Aim to help the muscles and joints to relax. 

  • Vary your activity 
  • Move regularly and gently 
  • You can swim, walk, exercise just as you feel comfortable. 
  • If you want to stretch, just gently. 

In short, avoid: 

  • Doing any one activity too long 
  • Sitting too long. 
  • Heavy lifting or heavy work if possible 
  • Bending over too long, for example with housework
  • Travelling long distances 
  • Playing sports too hard.
  • Overstretching muscles hard or repetitively 

Stop any activity if you feel it’s aggravating your condition. 

For Athletes and Sports treatment: 

  • Cross-training for athletes is very helpful. Please read the in-depth article, but in short keep exercising gently, but do alternative exercises that are comfortable and that don’t aggravate your main condition.
  • Don’t rush back to the sport.
  • Keep active gently.
  • Once again, don’t over stretch too hard, or too often which can worsen the pain by making turning it into a repetitive habit, which just becomes a repetitive strain! 

Can I go to the Gym or play active sports after treatment? 

After adjustment the joints will be ‘looser’ for a couple of days, and therefore potentially more susceptible to re-straining so it’s important not to overdo it and to avoid excess exertion if possible.  If the adjustment has helped an acute or recent injury to feel a lot better, please remember the ligaments and muscles that have been strained are in a vulnerable state and can easily restrain during this period, so take it easy! 

Whilst some athletes may have adjustments before or during competition, a healthier balance of taking it easy and allowing the joints to settle is recommended. Vary your activity, walk and move gently, but avoid strenuous lifting, or bending (for example with the housework, DIY or gardening). 

Remember to keep in movement after your chiropractic treatment 

After treatment, although you shouldn’t overstrain yourself, it’s also important that you don’t just go to work and sit all day long! 

Please don’t plan any long car journeys or travelling if possible.  It’s just not going to help the muscle relaxation and the improved mobility that’s been achieved during treatment to last; the joints will simply stiffen more quickly!  

Ice or Heat Treatment 

Ice treatment is often recommended when inflammation of swelling is suspected, even if it is not visible.  Occasionally heat can be used, but must be used with caution, as it can increase or aggravate your condition if it is inflamed. Please see Cryotherapy for more information about ice treatment. 

Soreness after Chiropractic treatment 

It is not uncommon to feel some aching, bruising, soreness or tenderness to the touch after Chiropractic treatment for a couple of days. This is often accompanied by clients reporting their sharp pain has settled, or the joint movement does feel freer.  Usually this is nothing to worry about and settles quickly. 

Some of my best results are when clients say they were sore for a few days but then feel much better! I also feel there is a balance between specific joint manipulations to the locked joints and deep muscle release to the tender spots. More intensive treatment initially can cause more of a reaction, but the condition may settle sooner, sometimes with less treatments required. 

At other times clients prefer, and even respond more quickly to, a gentler approach. There is a balance which is not always easy to find but this is where experience, a good discussion and case history with clients initially can really make a big difference. 

The soreness after treatment can also depend on how able you are to look after yourself, for example if you have to work, or make that long car drive, you may have more soreness than if you’re able to look after yourself in the best way.