First, we need to understand Chiropractic care and what an adjustment is. An adjustment is a technique used by Chiropractors to help improve movement and restore function within the spine and nervous system and this takes place during each of your Chiropractic appointments in our office.
After your adjustment, you may feel loose and relaxed – but it is also normal to feel sore or tender later that day or the following day due to the fact that your body is adjusting to its new state of alignment. To help the adjustment hold and improve outcomes, there are some things you should and should not do following Chiropractic care.
Best things to do after a Chiropractic appointment
There are three key things you should do after your Chiropractic appointment:
1. Drink water
Our top recommendation to all patients is to drink plenty of water over the 24 hours following your appointment. Water will help to hydrate your body and flush out any toxins and waste in your system. It will help your joints and muscles to relax and will ease your nervous system along with the Chiropractic care you have received.
2. Take a short walk
Movement is key to maintain muscle and bone stability and functionality. We always advise people to go for a short walk before getting into their cars so their joints and tissues can settle and relax into the adjustments. When walking, be sure to swing your opposite arm with your opposite leg, for proper gait and neurological patterns.
After your Chiropractic appointment, it’s important to provide your body with the right tools so it can remain functional and relaxed, free of stiffness and pain. I suggest incorporating some mindfulness or meditation activities into your daily routine to ensure your mind and body both stay relaxed and stress free. If your body feels tired, rest if you can, preferably lying down in a neutral spine position.
What should you avoid after a Chiropractic appointment
There are always some things that we as Chiropractors recommend our patients avoid doing after their appointment:
1. Heavy workouts
A very common question patients ask is ‘can you workout after a Chiropractic adjustment?’. We always recommend patients to go about their normal daily routines, however heavy workouts do place lots of extra pressure and stress on the body and its muscles/joints. We advise patients to try and avoid doing max effort workouts straight after an adjustment and find a suitable time around their gym or training sessions to come in for Chiropractic care. Now, we have all seen the athlete getting an emergency adjustment on the sidelines during a game, but for regular wellness and best healing outcomes, we recommend a short rest period before intense activity.
2. Prolonged sitting
Although sometimes it can be hard to avoid with work and other commitments, it is recommended that after Chiropractic care you avoid prolonged sitting as much as possible. The reason for this is during your appointment, your Chiropractor has assessed your body and provided the required care to ensure there is reduced joint and muscle tension, so your body is able to function to its optimal potential. Prolonged sitting puts excessive pressure on your tissues and joints which causes muscle tightness, joint stiffness, and an increase in pain. Therefore, if you return to a prolonged sitting position straight after your adjustment, you are putting compression back on your joints and muscles, which will result in stiffness and pain returning faster.
Please note that this advice is generalised, and it is recommended that you follow the directions of your health care professional or Chiropractor.