The primary purpose of an adjustment is to restore function to the parts of the spine that are no longer working properly. There are three main benefits of an adjustment. The first is to relieve discomfort by reducing the irritation to the spinal nerves that are between your vertebra. This may even have a positive effect on your general health as those nerves also go to your organs. For example, it's not unusual for a woman to come in for treatment of lower back pain and get the side benefit of decreased cramping during her monthly cycle. The second and probably more significant benefit (although, as you are hurting today it may be hard to appreciate) is to possibly reduce the rate of arthritis and degenerative wear and tear to your spinal joints. By reducing the rate of degenerative changes, you are reducing the risk of the original problem returning or becoming a chronic condition. The third benefit has a significant anti-aging effect by increasing flexibility. After practicing chiropractic for over 25 years my belief is that stiffness ages us more than anything else.
Today you will probably have received your first chiropractic adjustment. If you think of an adjustment as an exercise I do to your spine, you will have a better understanding of what to expect.
When someone decides to exercise for the first time they know that they are going to be doing something good for themselves. But when they go into the gym for that first time, they aren't going to try to lift 200 lbs. on 10 different machines. Hopefully, they'll start with light weights on just a couple of machines and then gradually increase the workout. The same is true of my adjustments. The first few adjustments are very gentle and then, based on your ability to handle the adjustments, the treatment is increased. As with the exercise analogy, even if you start off with light weights you may still be sore the following day even though you are doing something good for yourself. This is also true of your first adjustments.
The most important rule is communication! Your honest feedback to me about how you and your body are handling the adjustment allows me to refine your treatment to best suit your needs.
If you have any questions you are strongly encouraged to ask.