Pain After Chiropractic Adjustment

by Pam
(Dallas TX)

For starters, I should say that I visited a chiropractor regularly in my youth to address muscle spasms I had from scoliosis. I never had a bad experience and swore by the results I experienced--less back pain and also relief from frequent headaches.

Recently, I decided to try a new chiropractor closer to where I now live. Everything seemed to go well, and I only had mild soreness in my upper thoracic region (just above my shoulder blades) the day after. However, in the days after that the pain became more and more significant. It has now been a week and a half and it hurts to lean my head forward, to tuck my chin down, to support my head when leaning back (for instance, laying back in bed is painful as my upper back/neck are holding up my head), to turn my head fully to either side, and to lift my arms behind my head (for example, the motion required to put hair in a ponytail).

The adjustment I suspect caused the pain was done while I was face down on the adjustment table. The chiropractor stood at my head and pushed down on my spine, just above the shoulder blades.

I've tried calling the office to find out what this pain could potentially be from, and how serious it may be, but they are closed for the holidays. I have no intention of returning for another adjustment from this doctor, but I'm curious to know if this is something that should resolve on its own or if I should look into alternative treatment. Any insight would be very much appreciated!

Hello Pam,
Don't despair. If you haven't had treatment for some time then after treatment pain is not uncommon. What is of concern of course is that it's getting worse, not lessening.
Just be careful for a few days, avoid heavy stuff and see if it doesn't settle.

You have to follow your gut feeling about returning to this person. Does he take your complaint seriously, or are you just being fobbed off? Certainly I'd phone and talk to the chiropractor.

Changing your chiropractor, dentist, doctor is always a bit tricky, especially when you have had a good relationship with someone for years.

But if you are some some distance away, then it makes no sense to travel for hours to see someone you like and trust.

If you are resolved not to return to this person, then start doing some homework, talk to friends and family, and see if you can get the same of another chiropractor in your area.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, it happens. My patients too occasionally!

Let us know how you get on.

Dr b

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