CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENT LEFT WITH MORE PAIN THAN HAD BEFORE
(Daytona Beach, FL)
Is it normal or okay to have more pain after an adjustment than before I had it? I had an adjustment yesterday and my lower back was very "stiff". He did his adjustment and when he was done I was in extreme pain and could hardly walk. He said it was because the muscles didn't know what to do yet....Today, I am still in pain, although it is better, and cannot bend to put on shoes or socks...I have never experienced feeling worse after an adjustment and this is a new Doctor, so I am just curious if this is really acceptable...
A certain amount of "after-pain" lasting perhaps up to 24 hours is not uncommon. Longer than that is certainly not acceptable. Well, let's be gracious and say two days.
But acute, severe pain after the treatment is surely not the norm, but yes it does occasionally happen. It's one of the reasons that the wise doctor is fairly conservative and gentle in the initial phase of treatment until s/he get's to know the patient's back. Each is individual and has its quirks.
You say it is improving, so I wouldn't be too anxious at this stage. You make no mention of increased leg pain, that I would consider in a more serious light.
In the meantime, use ice for pain-control (an icepack in a tea-towel for about 20-30 minutes), try not to bend, be careful not to sneeze (blow your nose if you feel a sneeze coming on), sit less, perhaps much less.
One last thought: after the treatment, your back will be vulnerable for at least a few hours and sometimes a day or two. You didn't do anything silly immediately after the treatment? Sometimes the doctor gets the blame, but in reality the patient sneezed, or went and played a game of golf...
Discuss this thoroughly with your chiropractor at the next visit. If you feel he does not take your concerns seriously, then I would go elsewhere.
To be quite honest, every back is unique, and the clinician has to work that "this works" and "that makes it worse". Provide you feel s/he is thinking, considering, taking his time, be patient. If you are being rushed in and out, no examination, no history, (take a look at his notes: does he write down exactly what tests were positive and how he treated you?)
In short, is he conscientious, thorough and careful with your body. You obviously have been to other chiropractors before, so you know what I mean. If the answer is yes, then be patient... if not, well you know what to do. Vote with your feet.
I hope this has contributed.
PS: I don't buy that "the muscles don't yet know what to do".