Will I see improvements with just one adjustment?
That is ideally what we are trying to achieve. However, it is extremely rare that anyone needs just one adjustment that resolves all of their health problems. We all like instant results, but the human body does not work that way.
If you cut your finger and cover it with a band-aid, the band-aid does not fix the cut. When muscles, ligaments and nerves have been damaged, they take time to heal. The good news is that no matter your age, your body never forgets how to heal itself. All it needs is the time and opportunity to do so.
Holding the Correction
As your body heals, the important thing is that the adjustment holds. I often use the expression, “The adjustment is holding,” which means that a joint is staying in the correct position. There are 3 reasons that an adjustment may not hold right away:
Your muscles/ligaments get weak. They are not strong enough to keep the vertebra where it should be. Your nerves are resistant to change (aka muscle memory). Your body must unlearn bad habits. Life goes on. By doing the same things that caused the vertebra to misalign in the first place (eg sleeping the wrong way, working and driving too much, etc), your body will take longer to heal. As your body heals, generally your adjustment holds longer. And the longer the adjustment holds, the better!
What Can I Expect After an Adjustment?
There are three possibilities that follow a chiropractic adjustment.
1. You feel better.
About 50% of people notice a positive change following an adjustment. About 30% of people may experience fatigue, headaches, or soreness from using muscles that have not been used for some time. Symptoms usually settle within 48 hours, but we will provide you with strategies to minimize any discomfort you may experience.
2. You feel the no change.
The changes that need to be made inside your body take time. However, there is a chance that your condition may not respond to chiropractic treatment. If, after starting care you experience no positive results within 2-6 weeks, we will refer you to another health practitioner in order to achieve your goals.
3. You feel worse.
Although exceedingly rare (less than 0.01%), we are required by law to inform you of the possibility that chiropractic care may exacerbate cerebrovascular insufficiency, severe disc injuries, or other pre-existing conditions. That said, I have never come across a single case of severe injury following a specific Upper Cervical correction performed by a qualified Upper Cervical chiropractor. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask us.
Eriksen K, Rochester BP, Hurwitz EL. Symptomatic Reactions, Clinical Outcomes and Patient Satisfaction Associated with Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Prospective, Multicenter, Cohort Study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:219 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-219.
Leboeuf-Yde C, Hennius B, Rudberg E, Leufvenmark P, Thunman M. Side effects of chiropractic treatment: a prospective study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1997;20:511–515.