Headache After Chiropractor Visit? There May Be a Reason Why

When you make an appointment for your chiropractic care, you are probably looking forward to immediate relief. These visits are ideal for relieving a variety of pain, most commonly in your neck and back. However, it’s common for some people to have a headache following a visit.

If you’re experiencing a migraine upon leaving an adjustment, we’re here to help. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about chiropractor headaches and you’re well-being. We’ll tell you what exactly happens during a visit, what may cause a headache or migraine following an adjustment, and how this affects your treatment.

Effects Following Chiropractor Visit

headaches after chiropractic adjustment

Can chiropractic treatment adjustments cause headaches? Before we get to the answer, it’s important to understand what happens during your initial visit.

For chiropractic adjustments, whether it be for a herniated disk, low back pain, or a simple adjustment, licensed practitioners use their hands and tools to manipulate your spine. The force used can improve your body’s function, movement, and nervous system.

Chiropractors can help with the pain in necks, back problems, low back pain, joints, muscles, and even headaches themselves. So when considering the long-term benefits of these visits, a headache from an adjustment is considered only a temporary effect.

Because doctors are manipulating your joints, there may be some slight pain as your body adjusts to its increased functionality and movement. As the body adjusts, it may be uncomfortable before you begin to feel relief. For example, some people experience minor neck pain ending an initial visit for an adjustment.

While there may be short-term discomfort, chiropractic adjustments’ effects and goals are to relieve you of your existing pain. Give your body some time to adjust to its newly found relief.

Why a Headache Can Occur After an Adjustment

We mentioned there might be neck pain

upon your first visit for an adjustment due to your spine readjusting. But why would you experience your headaches worse due to one visit if adjustments should help?

Let’s talk about why you get headaches resulting from your treatment. Headaches are a result of your body reacting to chemicals or toxins. For example, if you are using bleach to clean, breathing in the chemical can be a cause.

The most likely culprit for headaches worse with chiropractor visits is your body’s chemicals, which behave differently with an adjustment. This change will be new for your body and might be the reason for your adjustment headaches.

What Can Cause a Headache or Migraine Upon Chiropractic Adjustment

When your spinal joint is in poor shape, the chemical signals in your body can’t flow the way they need to. They get caught up in the misaligned joints and achy muscles. When a doctor relieves you of these aches and pains, the chemical signals can suddenly go where they need to.

Although the chemicals are going where they need to, that doesn’t mean your body is ready for it! Just as your body needs to adjust to its spinal motion, it also needs to adapt to the chemicals’ differences. As the chemicals flow correctly for the first time in a while, you may experience a chiropractic adjustment headache.

If you have a headache following neck adjustment visits, this shows your muscles and joints are adapting to a better functioning system. Though the properly flowing chemicals and better movements may cause short-term discomfort, this is a small price to pay to improve spinal motion for several weeks!

Possible Effects Of Neck Adjustments

The answer to “Can chiropractic adjustments cause headaches?” is yes. The newly free-flowing chemicals most often cause an adjustment headache in your body and may cause a range of other effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle soreness and spasms
  • Hemicrania

A headache following chiropractor appointments isn’t fun, but it is also a sign that your body is recovering. Over time your body will grow accustomed to spinal manipulation. You will experience pain relief and may have fewer headaches overall. However, there are some things you can do to lessen a headache or migraine from a chiropractic adjustment:

  • Hydrate: Your body is working hard to recover. Make sure you take care of it! Keeping your body hydrated is important for your overall health, and it can help your body upon a visit.
  • Pain medications: If you frequently have headaches following your appointments, you may want to prepare and practice healthy living. You can begin with an ice pack, or taking pain medication before your appointment may lessen the negative effects succeeding your visit. Speak with your chiropractor about this option to see if it’s right for you.

What To Do

Notify your chiropractor if you have a headache resulting from an adjustment. They will be able to advise you as to the best course of action. Whether you have a headache or not often depends on the individual, but a headache following a neck adjustment visit will often go away on its own with the help of care.

If you are in the Sacramento, CA area and are looking for an experienced chiropractor like Dr. Doug Loehrer, a member of the American Chiropractic Association, visit Sunrise Chiropractic today!

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