When you are in pain and you go to a chiropractor you want to find pain relief as quickly as possible. This may have you wondering how long does it take for chiropractic adjustments to work.
This question can not be answered simply because it depends. A chiropractic adjustment works by restoring motion to your joints that are stiff and not moving properly.
It also stimulates mechanoreceptors and activates all the small muscles of your spine. This all happens due to the high speed of the chiropractic adjustment.
The chiropractic adjustment is a great tool for pain relief because you can usually find relief pretty quickly. Unlike other forms of treatments, you don’t have to take any medications or have anything cut into you.
The chiropractic adjustment is very powerful because it restores motion to your joints. Think about when you wake up in the morning and all your joints feel really stiff and locked up. Then you start moving around and you start feeling looser.
That’s similar to how the chiropractic adjustment works. The Chiropractor just puts motion into a specific joint of your spine or another part of your body to get it moving.
Sometimes it's very hard to move your thoracic spine enough on your own to generate that motion that it needs to make it feel better. The chiropractic adjustment is used right where it needs to go and can help you feel looser and moving better.
The chiropractic adjustment also stimulates mechanoreceptors. Mechanoreceptors are little nerve endings that tell your brain that you are touching or moving a part of your body.
Mechanoreceptors have a very fast signal. They are much faster than nociceptors (pain receptors). By stimulating the mechanoreceptors where you are having pain, we can override the pain and make you feel better.
For example, think about if you were using a hammer on a nail and missed and hit your thumb. The first thing you do is shake your hand like crazy.
This is stimulating all the mechanoreceptors. We do this subconsciously without even thinking about it because our body knows it makes us feel better.
The chiropractic adjustment also stimulates all the little muscles around the spine to activate and create stability.
Your muscles have in them what are called golgi tendon organs. These let the muscle know if the muscle is being stretched.
When a Chiropractor uses the adjustment, they are stretching the muscles to almost its limits and then thrusting a bit further. That final stretch stimulates the golgi tendon organs and turns the muscles back on.
Now that all those little muscles are reactivated, your Chiropractor can give you some rehab exercises that will further strengthen your spine and keep pain from returning.
Rehab exercises are a very important addition to the chiropractic adjustment. We want to keep all of those joints that are now moving better mobile, and we want to keep all those muscles we just activated active.
By skipping out on the rehab exercises that you are given, you are just allowing your body to go back into its faulty pattern of being stiff. Then you’ll start having pain again and have to go back.
All of this is trying to help you find pain relief in a conservative way. There isn’t always a need to take some kind of medication to stop pain.
When you are taking pain medication you are just stopping the signal. There is still something wrong in your body, you just can’t feel it.
In conclusion, this is what the chiropractic adjustment is doing during every visit. You may find relief your first visit, or you may not find total relief until a couple of visits.
It all depends on how stiff your joints are and how much pain you are in. If your joints are moving fairly well, then the chiropractic adjustments aren’t going to have as much effect on you after the first couple of treatments.
You will probably find relief your first visit.
But, if your joints aren’t moving very well then you may not find very much relief your first visit. It’s going to take some time for you to really get all those joints moving and stimulate all the muscles to activate correctly.