A patient may experience worse neck pain after chiropractic adjustment after undergoing the chiropractic adjustment. Reactions following a chiropractic adjustment differ considerably from person to person.

10 Causes of Worse Neck Pain after Chiropractic Adjustment

A patient may experience worse neck pain after chiropractic adjustment after undergoing the chiropractic adjustment. Reactions following a chiropractic adjustment differ considerably from person to person.

These may range from a great sense of exhilaration immediately after the adjustment, to a feeling of pain and sorrow. Aching or soreness in the spinal joints or muscles is the most common response to spinal manipulation.

If this discomfort or soreness occurs, it typically occurs within the first few hours of treatment and does not last more than 24 hours. Ice packs also reduce the effects of this chiropractic technique more rapidly.


10 Causes of Worse Neck Pain after Chiropractic Adjustment

To better understand why you may have worse neck pain after a chiropractic adjustment, check out the following reasons explaining the phenomenon below.


This is a common cause of worse neck pain after chiropractic adjustment. Essentially, through this correction, you activate inhibited or inactive muscle groups to restore equilibrium to your body.

This can induce a certain amount of discomfort in these muscles for a brief period after a correction.


This may not be a common cause of worse neck pain after chiropractic adjustment because, for muscles over-stimulated, you are more likely to feel relieved after a correction. Although some soreness may come from these muscles, most of your soreness will come from your under-stimulated muscles used more often than not.


When your spine or neck is back in place, it may take some time to get used to, which can cause you to feel worse neck pain after chiropractic adjustment. That’s why it’s important to keep your prescribed treatment plan in place to keep your correction on a long-term basis.


If you have had misalignment or subluxation, there is a risk that your body has adapted to misalignment. In reality, when experiencing misalignment, you may not even feel pain! All in all, the longer you’re misaligned, the more likely you’re to feel worse neck pain after chiropractic adjustment.


Vascular injuries have been documented on the most serious side of chiropractic-related issues, and chiropractic medicine opponents use this by advocating for no spinal manipulation of the cervical spine. VBA is one potential severe complication of chiropractic neck manipulation and can cause soreness.


If the spine is out of proper alignment, it (along with the muscles and tendons attached to it) would be under a lot of tension. Over time, this can contribute to the build-up of toxins.

As the chiropractic adjustment corrects the spine, these pressures are released along with the toxins. The end effect of this toxin release can be a transient rise in discomfort, typically no longer than 24 hours after adjustment.


When you get an adjustment, the vertebrae will be shifted slightly. Your muscles need to adjust to the bone movement, so they may end up lengthening or slightly shortening, which may contribute to soreness.

The soreness is due to the movement of the bones and not to the pressure of the chiropractor.


When you’re adjusted, your entire immune system starts to jump, which means it’s functioning at optimum efficiency to clear out what’s wrong with your body.

This can lead to some neck pain, coughing, a runny nose, or some sneezing, or occasionally even a full-blown cold.

Know that all of these “symptoms” are your body displaying signs of wellness, and they are your body’s way of getting rid of bad things inside of you.

Without the adjustment, you will most likely still have been sick, but with the adjustment, the illness’s duration and length are greatly decreased.


Digestive changes can be a shocking and frustrating response to chiropractic adjustments on the neck.

Since your digestive system is directly connected to the vertebrae, changing your digestive system can cause some surprising fluctuations in your bowel movements.

Some people with constipation or IBS problems may experience more frequent bowel movements after changes, whereas those with normal bowel movements may see a rise in irregular digestion.

If this is the case, speak to your chiropractor, primary care physician, physical therapist, or orthopaedic surgeon about these improvements if they are long-lasting or have an effect on your everyday life.


The June 2010 article in the “Open Neurology Journal” lists the main head and neck injuries caused by car crashes and chiropractic manoeuvres as the two most important risk factors for CAD. Cervical artery dissection, or CAD, describes the detachment of the carotid or vertebral artery wall layers in the neck or cervical spine and is marked by pain in the neck, headache and vision loss.


Many medical treatments come with risks-including chiropractic. The risk of chiropractic care is minimal.

Your chiropractor should take a comprehensive history and conduct a thorough review to rule out risk factors. The American Chiropractic Association claims that “neck manipulation is a surprisingly safe technique.

While some studies have associated high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain form of stroke or vertebral artery dissection, recent research indicates that this type of arterial injury frequently occurs spontaneously or in day-to-day activities and is uncommon.

However, the chiropractor should always inform the patient of the risks involved no matter how small and uncommon.


Soreness is the natural side effect of a spinal change. Some people have slight aches in the areas of the body that are adjusted.

Chiropractors usually aim to use a gentle approach to the treatment of alignment issues. However, certain aches may be caused by some form of alignment.

Previous accidents, past traumas and other things can affect a person’s response to treatment. You may feel pain in your muscles and joints.

Usually, the pain does not last longer than 24 hours. Some patients share that their pain goes away quickly and lasts just a few hours after the adjustment.

Chiropractors claim that routine treatments will reduce the pain absolutely.


If this discomfort is due to your adjustment, one of the best ways to relieve, it is with moist heat. By applying moist heat to your sore muscles, you encourage your joints and muscles to relax more.

Another way to help pain is through the Epson salt bath. This is a perfect way to help your muscles relax before going to bed.

In the end, if your chiropractor has any advice about how to cope with soreness, be sure to follow their recommendations.

Plus, it never hurts to tell your chiropractor anything you feel after adjusting to make sure your treatment plan continues to help you.

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