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Going to the chiropractor because you’re struggling with pain in the back, neck or hips can bring much-needed relief. But what happens when the initial relief you experience with your chiropractor subsides, and you actually start feeling worse? It happens, and it’s not a sign that something went wrong. If you feel worse after seeing the chiropractor, here’s why.


For most people, a visit to the chiropractor means instant relief. At Dr. McSweeney’s office here in Reno, her approach to holistic chiropractor means a number of tools and techniques, including massage to properly relax and prepare the body for treatment. That alone can ease and release tension, helping patients feel much better. But if you notice soreness a few hours after your appointment — a sensation that may worsen the following day — don’t panic. This is a sign that there are changes happening in your body, and it’s important to give yourself time to adjust and adapt. What you’re experiencing is the after-effects of misalignments in the body that have been corrected. Muscles, ligaments and joints are re-adapting to the improved position of the vertebra, and that takes time.

Exercise can be a good comparison. If you lift weights or go for a run for the first time in a while, you’ll likely feel sore and weak for a few days afterward. It doesn’t mean you had a bad workout, but rather that your body is being to adapt to these positive changes.

Dr. McSweeney will advise if you can expect to feel sore after a treatment, and she may recommend therapies like ice packs or an anti-inflammatory medication to help. Don’t assume that feeling sore after your adjustment is a sign of a problem, and remember that Dr. McSweeney is always here to answer questions and offer guidance if you’re concerned. Above all, keep in mind that chiropractic care is less of a quick fix and much more of a process.