Visiting a chiropractor for a neck or back adjustment is the first step in reducing your pain. While it often takes a series of return visits before your discomfort is completely eliminated, treatment from this health professional can improve your mobility and restore your quality of life. Chiropractic adjustments are typically short -- after your first consultation appointment, subsequent visits to the chiropractor's office can often be less than 30 minutes. Because some major physiological changes can arise from your adjustment, it's best to give your body ample healing time after your appointment. Here are three self-care tips to follow.
Don't Push Yourself
It's best to avoid excessively pushing yourself physically or emotionally in the immediate hours after your chiropractic adjustment. Your body has just undergone a major shift and rest is important. If your schedule allows it, it's ideal to head straight home and rest for a bit. Avoid putting yourself in an awkward physical position -- too much sitting in the car or slouching at your desk, for example, can partially undo the progress made during your appointment. Likewise, it's ideal to avoid stressful situations. Stress can cause tight back and neck muscles, which can work against the results of the adjustment.
Use Heat Or Ice
Some chiropractic patients experience a little discomfort in the hours after their adjustment -- especially if their body was highly out of alignment. The discomfort will subside on its own, but you can find relief by applying a hot pack or cold pack to the area. Always ask your chiropractor which type of pack is best. For certain patients' specific physical issues, chiropractors will often recommend a cold pack over a hot pack. Avoid poking or self-massaging the area around your back or neck. Your body has just gone through a significant change and you don't want to do anything that could minimize the positive impact of the adjustment.
Try Some Light Exercise
Unless your chiropractor specifically advises against exercise, it's often helpful to try a light activity such as walking the day after your adjustment. This type of exercise is moderate enough that it won't cause discomfort to your back. Additionally, walking promotes circulation, which is an important part of the healing process and is an effective way to strengthen the muscles that help your body maintain proper posture. Don't push yourself too much -- try walking for 20 or 30 minutes and evaluating how your body feels.
If you have specific questions about getting a chiropractic adjustment, talk with a doctor like Wilson Angie to learn more.