Why do I feel sore after a chiropractic adjustment?

If you’re struggling with stiff muscles, spasming or pinched nerves due to spinal misalignment, a chiropractic adjustment may be necessary. However, one of the big challenges that can crop up after an adjustment is soreness in other places or in other muscle groups. Why do I feel sore after a chiropractic adjustment? Well, if you’re lucky, the new soreness will be less intense and shorter lived than the original pain.

Because spinal inflammation can make this pain worse, you may need to use ice on your spine for short periods of time. Icing an injury, particularly a nerve injury, can be extremely effective but it is not comfortable. However, once your chiropractor gets that spinal misalignment addressed, you may feel soreness and pain in muscles that were just fine. Part of this is because the correction may stimulate under-developed muscles.

Managing the Soreness Until You Recover

When you head to the chiropractor, make sure you take a water bottle. The release of a spinal adjustment can send a lot of toxins into your bloodstream. Load up on water to help your body flush out the joints and bloodstream. Keep your body limber and loose after your adjustment; a short walk or some simple stretches can maintain your new alignment and stretch out formerly sore muscles.

If your misalignment has been going on for a while, you may suffer a release of free radicals when the joint is unfrozen. Make sure that your diet is loaded with antioxidants as you work your way through the adjustment aftermath. Focus on fresh, raw veggies in deep colors to gather up those free radicals and cleanse your blood flow. Consider also adding green tea to your daily routine for even more antioxidants.

When you get home after an adjustment, consider adding a moist heat pad. You can easily DIY a heat pad. Place a folded kitchen towel flat in a large Ziploc bag and slowly add water until the whole towel is wet but not saturated. Put this in the microwave just enough to warm the water. Place a paper towel between the bag and your skin and just let it lie against the sore muscle for 20 minutes. Once the time is up, take the heat off and stretch a bit.

If your whole body is sore, run a warm bath and add a sprinkle of Epsom salts. While plain table salt is made of sodium and chlorine, Epsom salts contain magnesium, oxygen and sulfur. Not only is this better for sore muscles, but regular salt can be extremely drying to your skin. If you’re going to soak your whole body in the water and only have table salt, just use the water.

Any time you apply heat or ice to an injury or a sore muscle, you need to use a timer. Icing your spine can greatly reduce inflammation around the spinal column. However, if you fall asleep on the ice pack you may find yourself in a lot more pain than when you went to bed. You may also end up with frostbite, which will only add to your misery.

Inflamed tissue treated with heat often expands, which can turn ordinary inflammation into serious pain and may even lead to spasms. Until your spinal impingement has been addressed, keep ice on the spinal column to avoid inflammation in the spinal sheath. Once it’s released and you feel the nearby muscles start to move and possibly ache, you can add heat to great effect.

Keep moving. One of the big challenges you may face after your adjustment is exhaustion; it’s hard to sleep when you hurt. Once your spine has been brought back into alignment, you may want to do nothing but sleep. However, those newly freed up muscles need to stay loose to clear out inflammation and lactic acid. Gentle movement and slow stretches can prevent you from suffering new spasms and risking additional misalignment.

Your chiropractor can help you find ways to stay in proper alignment. It’s important to remember that one of the things that can reduce impingement risks is to build up new muscle tissue along the spinal column. If your workouts are leaving your sore and stiff, you may have long term misalignment that needs adjusted. Ready to get started? Call us today at 205-637-1363.

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