This is a common fear among many first time patients. Although an adjustment may look frightening or even sound like it, it is not painful. Many people find it relaxing and relieving. In order to ease any nerves, it is important to understand what’s going on physiologically.
So what is the popping sound during an adjustment? The pop comes from a release in gas between the joints, just like cracking your knuckles. This gas is harmless, and pain free. There are even some low force chiropractic techniques that do not involve any cracking. In addition to understanding the “pop’ there are some relaxation techniques to help the adjustment go smoothly.
These techniques allow maximal comfort and efficiency of the adjustment, by allowing the muscles and body to relax. One of the most common places people tense up is during the neck adjustment. This is completely normal since it is such an important area of the body. In order to keep the muscles of the neck relaxed, try imaging you’re laying on a pillow. People will subconsciously try and hold the weight of their head, but the more loose the neck is, the easier the adjustment will be. Typically, if you are someone who likes to be in control this can be more difficult to do.
Sometimes, there can be soreness after an adjustment, just like after a workout. The adjustment stimulates the muscles, which can lead to fatigue. Icing after an adjustment can help prevent or relieve the pain. The pain should be mild, if it is extremely intense it is recommended to contact the chiropractor. Your chiropractor should strive to provide you with ease and care during the adjustment. As the patient, do not be afraid to tell the doctor if something was uncomfortable. Once the first time adjustment jitters pass, you’ll be jumping on the table every appointment.