Tips for Chiropractic Adjustment Aftercare
You've just arrived home from your visit with the chiropractor and feel wonderful. Your headache is gone, your neck and back feel great, and your limbs are loose and limber. Unfortunately, that amazing post-care treatment feeling tends to fade after a few days. If you'd like to extend your adjustment effects, try a few of these aftercare tips.
Take It Easy
Although you may feel like you could do absolutely anything after your adjustment, participating in strenuous exercise or activities could undo the results of your treatment and delay healing. Strenuous activities, like weightlifting or replacing the toilet in the guest bathroom, could cause misalignments, or subluxations, in the vertebrae in your back. When the vertebrae aren't correctly aligned, stress on your soft tissues and nerves increases, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion. If you want to maximize the effects of your treatment, it's best to avoid vigorous activity for a day or two. Less stressful forms of exercise, like walking or swimming, are best soon after your treatment.
Do Your Exercises
Your chiropractic treatment plan probably includes exercises and stretches designed to enhance and prolong the effects of your treatment. Stretches keep your muscles, tissues, and joints limber, while exercises strengthen the muscles that support your bones and joints. Performing the stretches and exercises every day is a simple way to prevent or reduce joint and muscle pain. Regular exercise also improves blood flow, prevents scar tissue formation, and could improve your stamina and balance.
Chiropractic adjustments may release toxins that trigger pain and inflammation. Once the toxins are released, they're naturally eliminated from the body. Drinking water speeds the removal of toxins from your body, preventing lingering pain or stiffness. Not sure how much water you should drink? Harvard Health Publishing recommends drinking four to six cups of water per day, although the ideal water intake varies depending on activity level, air temperature, and age.
Focus on Your Movements and Posture
Painting the ceiling, weeding your garden, or other chores that involve holding your body in the same position aren't recommended after a chiropractic adjustment. These types of activities stress the muscles, which then tug on your vertebrae and move them out of alignment. Paying attention to your posture when you're sitting, standing, and walking will help you avoid painful subluxations.
Smooth, fluid movements are important after an adjustment. Jerky or abrupt movements can also lead to strained or stressed tissues, joint pain, or subluxations.
Stay Away from That Comfy Chair
Sitting may seem like the ideal way to take it easy after your chiropractic visit. Unfortunately, the longer you sit, the more likely it is that you'll experience a return of pain. Sitting, particularly if you don't pay attention to your posture, can strain muscles in your neck, upper back, and shoulders, causing subluxations.
Sitting may also shorten the muscles in your pelvis and hips, causing them to tighten and trigger lower back pain. You can reverse the negative effects of sitting by getting up and walking or stretching periodically for a few minutes. Try to stretch or walk every 30 to 60 minutes.
Nurture Your Body with Healthy Food
Chiropractic treatments naturally reduce inflammation, a key factor in pain. After an adjustment, the last thing you'll want to do is eat foods that boost inflammation. According to WebMD, these foods can cause inflammation:
- Whole Milk
- Fried Foods
- Fatty Meats
- Processed Meat, like Hot Dogs, Bacon, and Lunch Meat
- Sugary Foods and Drinks
- Coffee Creamer
Stick to foods that won't increase inflammation, like fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, poultry, fish, and lean meat. Substitute whole grain bread and pasta for varieties made with white flour. Reduce or eliminate sugar in your diet, and stick to low-fat, high-fiber foods. Although a piece of birthday cake or sugary soda or fruit drink is fine for an occasional treat, indulging in high-sugar foods on a regular basis keeps inflammation high.
In addition to following aftercare recommendations, scheduling regular chiropractic visits will help you avoid pain and flexibility issues. Get in touch with our office to schedule your appointments.
Harvard Health Publishing: How Much Water Should You Drink?, 5/22/2023
Yale Medicine: Why Is Sitting so Bad for Us?, 8/28/2019
WebMD: Natural Anti-Inflammatory Diet, 11/24/2022
Mayo Clinic: Why You Should Strengthen Your Core Muscles, 9/22/2022