How Should I Feel After An Adjustment?


The chiropractic spinal adjustment, that removes pressure on your nerves and rebalance your body structure, can be a very powerful procedure. The moment that a chiropractor corrects your vertebral subluxation complex, hundreds of bodily functions and activities are affected.  The flow of nerve impulses over the spinal cord and spinal nerves is normalized and your body begins to function the way it should.


Peace & Relaxation  
After an adjustment you may experience a feeling of deepening peace and relaxation. This relaxed feeling may last for the rest of the day or the week and often leads to a deep refreshing sleep. Others have at times felt a warm feeling flowing to various parts of their bodies that's very soothing. Some feel very energetic and do all their chores or business that day with a light, happy feeling.


Relief Of Symptoms


Others may find that their symptoms have begun to disappear, that the problems that they came to the chiropractor for have begun to lessen after the first visit. And, there are some people who feel no difference after an adjustment. That does not necessarily mean that they are not benefiting from their adjustments, it just means that they're not feeling any external reaction.


Adjustment Reactions


Other people, usually a small minority, may feel discomfort, muscle soreness or even some pain and they may experience a headache or some other uncomfortable feeling.


What Causes Adjustment Reactions?


  1. You may be experiencing a detoxification or cleansing of your body after the adjustment. When poisons leave the system, there may be discomfort such as headache, sniffles, a slight fever, strong feelings of drowsiness, lethargy or similar reactions.

  2. The muscles are realigning the spine after the adjustment. Often these are muscles that haven't worked properly for years and may be in a weakened state. Now that the muscles are working again they may become sore or "charley horse." This condition is temporary and will soon disappear after the muscles have strengthened themselves.

  3. Sometimes nerves that were impinged or compressed for years are now "coming back to life" or healing and are becoming sensitive again. Old injuries that haven't healed completely may reawakened in order for more complete healing to begin. Most fascinating, memories and feelings associated with the original injury also some to the surface. "When the original energy is discovered, the repressed emotional components of the somatic injury frequently and concurrently release."(1) This phenomenon is known as "retracing" and may be a necessary and desirable part of your healing.(2)

  4. Nerves that begin to send nerve impulses or 'life energy' may send a burst of healing energy through the body again and this may give you an experience of being euphoric or 'high.' This may also occur as you experience a sudden release from longstanding stress fixations in your body.

  5. Some people are in such good general health that they may feel no different, while others may feel no different for the opposite reason - they are so ill that they have lost sensitivity to their body.


Fortunately, even those who experience such reactions to their adjustment later enjoy the feeling of well-being that usually accompanies an adjustment after a short period of time.


As You Continue Your Care


As you continue your chiropractic care and your spine and your nervous system continue to release deep-seated stresses, you may begin to notice:

-Better balance, smoother movement, and as a result, more energy.

-Increased awareness of your spine, its movements, areas of tightness, and/or restrictions.

-Increased ability to breathe more deeply, more awareness of your breathing.

-Awareness of you body stress.

-More emotional relaxation.


You may spontaneously change you eating habits, feel an increase to desire to exercise, go for walks, or become more sensitive to your work and leisure.


The Most Important Benefits


However, with all the interest in what is consciously perceived, please remember that the true benefits of the adjustments are usually found below the level of consciousness. It is when the nerve communication to the heart, lungs, joints, sexual organs, skin, eyes, ears and the brain itself are improved that the true benefits of chiropractic care are experienced.

The true benefits of chiropractic care are the preventative benefits: better night's sleep, more energy and a better nerve system function.




    1. Upledger, J. & Vredevoogd, J.D. Craniosacral therapy. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press, 1983, p. 251.

    2. Coulter, H.L. Divided legacy. A history of the medical thought Vol 1V: Twentieth century medicine: The bacteriological era. Washington, DC: Center for Empirical Medicine. 1994, pp. 340-343.