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Side Effects of Chiropractic Treatment

Here’s What to Expect Following a Chiropractor’s Appointment Chiropractic treatment can provide relief from pain and injuries in various parts of the body – especially […]

Here’s What to Expect Following a Chiropractor’s Appointment

Chiropractic treatment can provide relief from pain and injuries in various parts of the body – especially those in the neck, back, and spinal region. Treatment from a licensed chiropractor is the best way to address pain and other symptoms like stiffness and limited range of motion.

Many patients fear that they will experience pain following chiropractic treatment – particularly first-time patients. There is very little risk in receiving chiropractic treatment, and your chiropractor will explain your treatment in detail to you.

Still, you may experience some minor side effects following your treatment. These side effects provide little risk and can be treated easily – rest is an effective solution in most cases.

Read below to learn about some of the side effects you can expect.

Possible Side Effects From Chiropractic Treatment

It is possible to experience one or more of these side effects following a chiropractic adjustment. If you are ever uncertain about the risks of these side effects, speak to your doctor.


Having a headache following treatment may indicate that your body is reacting to the stress of a new physical experience. Be sure to stay well-fed and hydrated in advance of your appointment. You may choose to treat your headache with an ice-pack or use a pain relief medicine.


Similar to a headache, you may feel dizzy as the result of your brain’s reaction to your body adjusting to a new physical experience. If this occurs, lie down and avoid using machinery, rapid movement, or looking at screens.


You may feel tired after your chiropractic appointment. Adjustments to your spine and neck can take pressure off your nervous system. While this releases stress and tension, it can also leave you feeling tired. Give yourself plenty of time to rest after an appointment.

Pain in Treatment Areas

It is not unusual to experience some soreness after receiving treatment that your body is not used to, but harsh pain is rare. Give yourself time to rest following an appointment to maximize its effectiveness. If pain persists, visit a doctor.

Toxic Release Symptoms

Though it is rare, some patients may experience flu-like symptoms or stomach upset after their chiropractic appointment. This is known as toxic release. When this occurs, the process of adjustment flushes out toxins that were built up in your body due to misaligned joints. In other words, this is your body’s way of naturally getting rid of toxins to maximize the treatment’s success.

If you experience this side effect, drink plenty of water to further expel any toxins from your body. If it persists, visit a doctor.


It is rare to experience nausea following a chiropractic adjustment. Still, this side effect may indicate that your body is adjusting to the experience of new treatment, or that it wants to flush out toxins that were built up from before your treatment. If this side effect persists, visit a doctor.

Always Talk to Your Chiropractor About Side Effects

Most side effects following treatment are rare, but if you do experience one or more, be sure to let your chiropractor know. They can offer advice, treat the side effects, or provide you with coping strategies ahead of time. For example, they may suggest different timing for pre-appointment meals or extra hydration on the day of the appointment.

What You Need to Do After Your Chiropractic Session

There are steps you can do to minimize the risk of experiencing side effects, or limit their intensity and duration if you do experience them. Consider these tips.

Drink Lots of Water

It is always important to stay hydrated, but replenishing your body’s fluids and flushing out any released toxins is especially important after chiropractic treatments. Prioritize drinking plenty of water on appointment days.

Get Some Rest

Your body has been moved and adjusted in ways it may not be used to, and you may feel sore as a result. Give your body plenty of time to rest and recover from the unfamiliar or uncomfortable movement and any resulting tenderness.

Eat Healthy

Good nutrition is key to feeling well at any time, and it can help limit some of the side effect mentioned above. Avoid eating processed foods, instead opting for more nutritious selections. Fruits and vegetables are particularly helpful, as they are high in vitamins and electrolytes, can relieve side effects, and help your body recover faster from the exertions of chiropractic treatment.

Exercise Regularly

The more often you move your body, the more energy and flexibility you will have. As a result, chiropractic adjustments will feel more comfortable, as you will be less stiff and sore. Don’t overdo it – stick to what your body can handle.

Try moving every day – even simple movements like stretching or walking can help.

Regular, tailored chiropractic treatment can go a long way toward relieving pain related to misalignment in the back, neck, and spinal areas. Most side effects are rare and minor, and usually go away quickly. If you’re concerned about any side effects you experience following a chiropractic appointment, speak with your chiropractor and visit a doctor.

Elysian Wellness Centre