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What to Expect Before And After a Chiropractic Adjustment

Undergoing a chiropractic procedure can be nerve-wracking, especially if it’s your first time. You may not know what to expect before and after the chiropractic adjustment. However, there’s nothing to worry about because the treatment is safe and causes minimal discomfort. 

What can you do to make sure your initial consultation goes smoothly? What steps can you take to make the most of your visit? Your well-being and recovery are always in the best interest of your chiropractor, and they want you to adopt good pre- and post-adjustment habits to ensure great results.

This blog discusses the different things to expect before and after a chiropractic adjustment. It also shares tips on preparing for your procedure and dealing with post-chiropractic concerns, such as physical movement and side effects. 

What Happens Before a Chiropractic Adjustment?

You will need to undergo an initial consultation before your chiropractic session to ensure you are fit for the treatment. The initial consultation also helps the chiropractor understand your condition and specific needs. At the end of your preliminary visit, you’ll receive a diagnosis for your condition, a prescribed treatment plan, and an anticipated length of treatment to set your expectations.

Your initial consultation generally covers three areas, namely: 

History and Symptoms

You will be asked to fill out forms and answer questions regarding the condition, such as when and how the pain started, where it is felt, and any description you can provide about the ache. During this time, you’ll also provide your medical history, including any pre-existing conditions or prior injuries and any medications or treatments provided by other health professionals.

Chiropractic Exam

This portion includes tests to assess the affected area. You may be asked to move in a specific manner, perform posture exercises, or have your blood pressure and reflexes tested.

Diagnostics Studies

In some cases, diagnostic studies will help reveal pathologies and structural abnormalities for a more accurate diagnosis. For example, x-rays, CT, and MRI scans will help create a more suitable treatment plan for the patient.

Getting Ready For Your Chiropractic Adjustment

Arrive Early

As with any medical visit, you must complete the provided paperwork before proceeding with your treatment, including patient forms, insurance, etc. It’s common courtesy to arrive at least 15 minutes before the procedure to provide the chiropractor adequate preparation time.

It’s also best to inform the clinic ahead of time if you cannot arrive on time or if you need to reschedule your treatment to avoid inconveniencing other patients.

Dress Comfortably

One of the first questions people new to chiropractic treatments ask is whether or not they’ll have to take off their clothes. The answer is no. Undressing is not necessary for your treatment. You can remain fully clothed, and this won’t affect the procedure.

We recommend wearing comfortable clothing that isn’t too revealing and constricting. Ladies should avoid wearing skirts or dresses as they will be asked to lay in specific positions, while tight jeans will limit your range of motion.

Moreover, you should avoid wearing jewelry and accessories that could get caught on equipment. Before starting your session, you can store your earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Similarly, some portions during your procedure will require you to lie face down on the chiropractic table. If you wear glasses, we suggest stowing them away before your procedure.

What to Do After Chiropractic Adjustment


Undergoing chiropractic treatment manipulates your joints, bones, and muscles. As a result, it helps release toxins and promotes body regeneration. We recommend hydrating after the procedure to ensure these toxins don’t settle back in and prevent pain from reoccurring. Drinking enough water also helps keep your spine supple and flexible by nourishing your body’s discs between the vertebrae. 

Generally, it would be best to drink about half of your body weight in ounces daily. If you weigh 120 pounds, 60 ounces of water is enough to keep your body well-hydrated.

Avoid Vigorous Movement

Stimulate blood flow by performing light movements, such as a short walk, gentle swim, or lax bike ride. You may also try yoga and daily stretching to strengthen your core muscles and remain balanced after the procedure. These exercises will help expedite your body’s healing process as long as they’re done in moderation. Moreover, we recommend avoiding strenuous activities, such as weight lifting, as they can compromise your recovery. 

It’s best to consult your chiropractor for guidelines on exercising. You may be asked to take a few hours off before exercising, while others may take longer to get back on their feet. Your chiropractor’s recommendations will depend on your background, fitness level, and the treatment you’re recovering from.

Deal With Post-Chiropractic Soreness

It’s common to feel mild soreness or minor aches after a chiropractic adjustment. Don’t worry, as the soreness usually goes away within 24 hours. The discomfort will dissipate the more you visit your chiropractor.

Pay Attention to the Side Effects

There are various side effects of chiropractic adjustment, such as the following:

  • Flu-like symptoms: As a result of toxin release, you may experience a runny nose or fatigue.
  • Nausea: Adjustments can cause you to feel nauseous for a few days. The discomfort can occur intermittently for about two to three days.
  • Headaches: This common side effect is often minor and short-lived. You can nap or apply an ice pack to remedy your headache. 
  • Dizziness or brain fog: A chiropractic procedure causes some patients to experience lightheadedness or feel like they’re walking through a dream. It can often be resolved by drinking water or taking a short nap.

Stay on Track with Your Chiropractor’s Treatment Plan

Your chiropractor will create a treatment plan that best matches your body’s needs. Make the most of your chiropractic adjustments by following their recommendations. You may feel better after one session, but it’s best to retain the momentum and stay on course to prevent reinjury and retain proper alignment.

Visit the Life Clinic blog to learn more about the benefits of a chiropractic treatment plan.

Dr. Reza Alizadeh

Dr. Reza is the visionary behind LifeClinic. His leadership is the foundation for the patient and team member experience, and overall direction of the LifeClinic. As the creator of IMJT, Dr. Reza continues to be the primary teacher on this technique.

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