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How To Relieve Pain After Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractic care aims to allow your body to function optimally as it releases tension on the nervous system, improving mobility of the joints and muscles whilst alleviating pain. In the process of your body changing its set point, temporary discomfort may arise as a side effect of the chiropractic adjustment.

Most commonly, people may experience some soreness or stiffness following their care. This should go away on its own in a day or two. However, here are our tips to relieve any pain you may experience in your healing journey.

Holding the blue ice pack on the painful lower back


Heat packs are a great tool as they create a new temperature stimulus for your brain to concentrate on, rather than the pain in that area. Placing a heat pack on the affected area will warm up the soft tissues a few centimetres deep. This promotes blood vessels to increase in size, or vasodilate, and allows an increase in blood flow to the muscles in the area. This can help to relieve tension and discomfort for a period of ~20 minutes while the heat pack is still warm and can remain for a short time afterwards. Follow the individual instructions on the heat pack for safe use.


An ice pack can also be used for analgesia. Similar to heat, it can reduce pain levels felt in the area of use. Apply it indirectly to the skin for a period of 20 minutes every one to two hours, keeping a barrier between them, such as a tea towel or clothing, to prevent skin burn. It may not assist in muscle cramping compared to a heat pack, so please speak to your chiropractor regarding which may be best for you. Alternating between heat and cool is another combination that your body could benefit from.

Gentle Movement

Moving the body despite some discomfort is important for blood flow, mobility, and relieving pain. We know from research that bed rest is not best for recovery; rather, too much rest can prolong injuries. Moving within pain tolerance, aiming to keep levels below a 4/10 on a pain scale, is going to assist in your body improving faster. Using the range of motion released by the chiropractic adjustments is going to help maintain the benefits for longer. Following your prescribed exercises from your chiropractor will enhance your results as your nervous system integrates the activated muscles into these movements.


The body heals and repairs itself while sleeping, so it’s important to prioritise an early night for your recovery. To be comfortable side-lying, a pillow may be placed between the knees to keep the pelvis stacked in neutral as you rest. A pillow in front of the chest with your top arm resting along it may also prevent twisting through the spine. If lying on your back, placing a soft pillow underneath the knees and having a thin pillow supporting your head may help. When we are lacking sleep, we may be more sensitive to pain as our threshold lowers. To assist in managing pain and inflammation, a fairly firm, supportive mattress and pillow are essential to support your body and promote a good night’s sleep.

A woman helps a man with chiropractic

Be reassured that some discomfort is a normal part of progress. To increase your comfort while your body is adjusting to these changes, we advise getting enough sleep and using heat, ice, and movement for this purpose. If you still have questions, speak to your chiropractor at Wilder Living Chiropractic, and they’ll be happy to guide you through this.

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The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional chiropractic advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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