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I feel worse after chiropractic: is this normal?

When we visit the chiropractor, we are prepared for the treatment to be both liberating and sometimes a little painful, as he or she plucks out and moves out the points that have become stuck and caused movement restrictions. The treatment is often accompanied by frightening crackling and popping sounds. When it's over, many people feel tired, exhausted and 'broken'. Is this normal?

What happens?

When you come to see me for treatment, you can't wait to feel relief from prolonged - or frustrating, shooting pain. Finally it won't hurt, you think. Then you are surprised to find after the treatment that you 'feel worse' and 'hurt more' than before. (You may even feel that you have a sore muscle 'that you didn't know existed'.) You may wonder many things: that I am a quack, that the treatment doesn't work, that it is unsafe, or that there is something seriously wrong with your body? The short answer to all of these questions is no, but it's important to understand why you might feel uncomfortable after my work.

The pain

The vertebrae move slightly during the treatment. Your muscles have to adapt to the movement of the bone, so they may stretch or shorten slightly, which can cause pain. The pain is related to the movement of the bones, not the pressure applied by the chiropractor. It can also be due to the release of tension in the muscles, similar to when we exercise and get muscle soreness because the muscles have been strained. As the body gets used to the new (correct) position, the muscles adapt accordingly and the pain disappears.

You may feel sick

This is indeed the case. You may feel "oh, I'm sick". It does not mean that you have caught something from me or that I have secretly made you ill by some voodoo ritual. When the treatment is over, most of the time, your whole immune system kicks in, which means it's working at optimum efficiency to clear out of your body everything that shouldn't be there. This can lead to coughing, a runny nose or sneezing, but sometimes it can even lead to all the symptoms of a cold. Remember, all these symptoms are just a sign that you're getting healthier and your body is getting rid of the bad stuff inside you. If you don't come to me, you are probably really ill.

Change your digestion

Like pain and feelings of illness, changes in the digestive system can be surprising, but they are completely natural responses. Because the digestive system is directly connected to the vertebrae in the lower back, and we also touch internal organs when we push, this can change the way you digest. Some people who have constipation or IBS may have more regular bowel movements after correction, while those with normal bowel movements may have more irregular digestion. But this will go away.

How to minimise the "hassle"

First, by not being scared, you know they can happen. If you prepare yourself mentally, it helps. Some of the after-effects of chiropractic adjustments are unavoidable, but there are a few tricks: first, drink plenty of water before you come to see me and afterwards. This will help toxins leave quickly and keep you hydrated. Try to eat little and eat healthy (at least that day) and it also helps to give in to fatigue and rest, even sleep, after the treatment. If you are prepared for these "side effects" you will notice them less and they will bother you less and you know they are completely normal so you won't be scared.

Picture of Zborai Tamás Péter

Péter Tamás Zborai

My name is Tamás Zborai, I am a chiropractor and manual therapist. I can help you with exactly what you are here for! I will take away your pain and even after just one treatment, I will give you back the pleasure of pain-free life and movement.
Picture of Zborai Tamás Péter

Péter Tamás Zborai

My name is Tamás Zborai, I am a chiropractor and manual therapist. I can help you with exactly what you are here for! I will take away your pain and even after just one treatment, I will give you back the pleasure of pain-free life and movement.

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