Why am I Feeling Weird After a Chiropractic Adjustment?

by | Aug 9, 2023 | 0 comments

8 min read

Stepping off the chiropractor’s table can be a bit like emerging from a deep tissue massage, a yoga class, or even a strange dream. You’re in that glorious post-cracking haze where you feel lighter and maybe a bit wobbly.

Your body and nervous system have spent a long time holding onto those spinal misalignments. So, when a chiropractor comes along and puts things back into place, you will experience some temporary symptoms like mild soreness, headaches, or fatigue.

It’s like going to the gym for the first time in ages — you’re working muscles that have been on vacation, and they’re not super thrilled about being back at work.

But fear not! This is all part of the healing process. After your body has had its “Aha!” moment, you’ll notice a drop in those nagging aches and pains!

“Embrace the side effects of chiropractic adjustments as a bold step toward a healthier ‘you’!”


Do Chiropractic Adjustments Cause Toxic Release Symptoms?

You’ve had your first adjustment, you’re relaxed beyond measure, and then — wham! — you start experiencing symptoms like headaches, fatigue, or even a runny nose!

Some chiropractors chalk it up to a ‘toxic release’, a theory that suggests adjustments can release toxins that have been piling up in your body.

However, ‘toxic release’ might be a bit of a misnomer. There’s no concrete evidence suggesting that chiropractic adjustments cause a significant release of toxins in your body. Even the creator of this term couldn’t describe the specific toxins removed through chiropractic care! (Seaman, 2016)

In reality, the ‘toxic release symptoms’ is your body’s natural response to change. Your body has just been through a bit of a shakeup, and it’s reacting the way it should: through inflammation, adjusting fluid balance, etc. But as your body adjusts to these new, healthier patterns of movement and function, these symptoms will undoubtedly fade away!


Is the “Popping” Sound a Cause for Concern?

chiropractic care

When your chiropractor applies a specific, controlled force during an adjustment, the pressure in the joint changes. This pressure shift allows a gas bubble to escape from the joint fluid, causing that popcorn-in-the-microwave sound we’re all familiar with.

This popping sound is also known as cavitation, and it’s completely normal. It’s the same principle that makes your knuckles crack when you give them a good stretch! (Bakker and Miller, 2004)

So, rest assured; despite the sound effects, there’s no crumbling infrastructure in your body or joint components playing pinball.


Why Do I Feel Anxiety After Chiropractic Adjustment?

Our bodies and brains are linked in mysterious ways! Feeling a bit anxious after a chiropractic adjustment isn’t unusual, as long as we understand the science behind it.

Your spine is the main channel of communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Any sort of adjustment to your spine can influence the way those messages are being sent, received, and processed. And sometimes, that could stir up some unexpected emotions or feelings like anxiety.

Always remember: you’re not alone in this. Many patients feel a range of emotions after chiropractic care, from relief and calm to anxiousness. If your anxiety becomes worrisome, have a chat with your chiropractor about it. They’ve heard it all, and they’ll have some advice on how to deal with it.


The 5 Temporary Side Effects of Chiropractic Adjustments

the 5 temporary side effects of chiropractic adjustments

1. Don’t Be Surprised if You Feel Sore

A bit of soreness after a chiropractic adjustment is like the badge of honor you get after a solid workout!

Your muscles and joints are accustomed to being in the wrong position and, once corrected, they will protest a little. It’s like when you finally stop slouching at your desk and sit up straight — your back might complain a bit, but in the long run, it’s all for the better.

The soreness should be mild and temporary, lasting no more than a day or two. If it’s more severe, or lingers longer than that, give your chiropractor a call. They’ll be able to guide you on what’s normal and what’s not, and what you can do to help ease any discomfort.


2. The Treatment Area Will Be Slightly Bruised

Bruising after a chiropractic adjustment can occur, although it’s not the norm.

Sometimes when the chiropractor is moving things around, the tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin can break, leading to minor bruising.

If you’re someone who bruises easily, or if you’re taking blood thinning medication, then the odds of earning a couple of souvenir bruises go up.

If the bruising is minimal and not causing you grief, just keep an eye on it. It won’t take long before it recedes completely.


3. You’ll Experience Irregular Bowel Movements

Chiropractic care primarily focuses on the health and functionality of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. While its direct influence on the digestive system, including bowel movements, is not as thoroughly studied, some chiropractic patients have reported changes in bowel activity following adjustments.

The basis for this claim lies in the interconnected nature of our bodily systems.

The nervous system plays a crucial role in regulating bodily functions, including digestion. Spinal misalignments or subluxations interfere with nerve signal transmission. When these misalignments are corrected via chiropractic adjustments, some patients experience improvements not only in their initial symptoms but also in seemingly unrelated areas, such as bowel regularity.

Please note, however, that any bowel movement changes following a chiropractic adjustment could be coincidental. Irregularities in bowel movements are often influenced by diet, hydration, exercise, stress, and certain medications.


4. You’ll Notice Flu-Like Symptoms

Some patients report flu-like symptoms after a chiropractic adjustment due to the aforementioned ‘toxic release.’

But don’t panic! It’s not an actual flu, and the symptoms won’t last long. Your body is just having a bit of a clean-out, like when you decide to clean out your garage and you stir up a bunch of dust. Annoying in the moment, but better in the long run!


5. Should I Feel Dizzy After Chiropractic Treatment?

“Is it weird to feel dizzy after a chiropractic treatment?”

Your body just went through the shakeup of getting back into alignment, and it’s still reacting to changes in the position of the joints, especially in the neck. So, don’t be surprised if you get that weird, disoriented feeling when you stand up too fast.

Fortunately, the dizziness doesn’t last long and isn’t anything to worry about.

However, if you feel like you’ve been stuck on a merry-go-round, it’s a good idea to check in with your chiropractor.


How to Shrug Off the Side Effects of Chiropractic Manipulations

how to shrug off the side effects of chiropractic manipulations

1. Allow Your Body to Rest

Your body’s been through a bit of a workout and needs some time to relax and adapt to all the changes following a chiropractic visit.

Think of it like this: you wouldn’t run a marathon right after a gym session, would you? Same thing here.

So kick back, binge your favorite show, or dive into a good book. Just chill for a bit.


2. Drink Plenty of Water

Next, drink plenty of water. Your body can use a little extra hydration when it’s healing. Plus, staying well-hydrated can help your body flush out any toxins that might have been released during your adjustment.

So, keep a water bottle handy and sip away!


3. Get Some Light Exercise

Light exercise is indeed beneficial after a chiropractic adjustment.

Post-adjustment exercises can help maintain the flexibility and mobility achieved during your session, and keep your muscles active and engaged. Think along the lines of gentle stretches, walking, or yoga. These activities improve blood flow, promote healing, and help your body adjust to its new alignment.

But remember, we’re talking light exercise here. Nothing too strenuous or high-impact that could potentially undo the good work of your chiropractor.


4. Flood Your Body With Healthy Nutrients

Optimal nutrition will speed up recovery after chiropractic manipulation.

Fill up on nutrient-rich foods to give your body the fuel it needs to heal and repair. We’re talking fruits, veggies, lean proteins — you know, the good stuff!

chiropractic care

Schedule an Appointment Today to Boost Your Overall Health Through Chiropractic Care!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere. 

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic treatment services! Our chiropractic offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD, areas. Also, feel free to access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic treatments!



  1. Bakker, Mischa, and Joyce Miller. “Does an Audible Release Improve the Outcome of a Chiropractic Adjustment?” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, Sept. 2004, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1769448/. Accessed 1 Jul. 2023.
  2. Seaman, David R. “Toxins, Toxicity, and Endotoxemia: A Historical and Clinical Perspective for Chiropractors.” Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, 3 Sept. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127911/#:~:text=It%20is%20important,of%20spinal%20subluxation. Accessed 1 Jul. 2023.

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