Chiropractic treatment mainly involves safe, often gentle, specific adjustments, done by hand, to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Most often, this requires a short thrust to a joint that can result in an audible ‘crack’, and may bring relief of symptoms as well as an increased feeling of well-being. The ‘crack’ is simply the sound of bubbles of gas popping in the fluid of the joint as the pressure is released.
There is, however, no instant cure, and some patients may experience temporary symptoms such as pain or soreness around the areas being treated, with redness or even bruising of the skin. Spinal disc problems may appear to flare up in the early stages of treatment, and where there is already inflammation, your condition may seem worse to start with. Treatment to the neck may give a distinct light headedness, and occasionally a short-lived headache.
Apart from the adjustment, the chiropractor may use a wide variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound and exercises. If you have questions about any of these, just ask.
Will treatment hurt?
Generally, a chiropractic adjustment does not hurt – although there may be some minor short-term discomfort which quickly passes for most patients. You will normally find that follow-up treatments are much more pleasant, as your symptoms improve and you feel more at ease with your chiropractor.