Chiropractor : My Neck Hurts After Adjustment

It is normal for your neck to hurt after a chiropractic adjustment. Reasons for pain after an adjustment include:

  • Your spine is adjusting to its new position
  • Your nerves are adjusting

Many people see a chiropractor to address pain caused by issues with their musculoskeletal system, often debilitating pain in their neck or back. Chiropractic treatment is used to manage pain and address the underlying cause in joints, muscles, bones, and connective tissue, like cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It is sometimes used alongside conventional medical treatment.

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Why Does Your Neck Hurt After a Chiropractor Adjusted It?

Neck adjustments are a commonly prescribed chiropractic treatment. They are commonly used for patients with chronic pain or other symptoms following an accident, illness, or chronic use injury. When carried out by professionals, neck adjustments are considered safe and effective.

The goal of a neck adjustment procedure is to relieve pain. However, you may still feel some pain before you begin to feel better. Neck pain after an adjustment is normal, and your neck may hurt because:

  • The realigned vertebrae have moved from their previous position. Your body becomes accustomed to how they have been, even when that position was misaligned and causing other issues.
  • You are now using muscles that were previously unused when your neck was in the improper position.
  • Your nerves are adjusting to your body’s new position.

When our chiropractors realign them, it can lead to sore muscles or joints, which is just a confirmation that alignment has happened. However, if you’re in severe pain, or your pain limits your activities for more than 24 hours, please return to the doctor for further tests to confirm what may be wrong.


What Is a Chiropractic Neck Adjustment?

Neck adjustments (cervical manipulation) involve adjusting the upper seven vertebrae of the spinal region. This area is subject to restrictions and, ultimately, aches and pains due to its job of supporting the head while maintaining high amounts of flexibility and movement.

The neck must work seamlessly with many soft tissues of the shoulders, chest, and upper back to move smoothly and maintain a large range of motion. When something goes wrong with this process, pain and limited range of motion are common. Something as simple as sleeping wrong can cause pain in the neck.

To remedy a misalignment and reduce stress on the neck, chiropractors perform neck adjustments with precise movements, applying slight pressure to the neck with their hands. This process offers several advantages, such as:

  • Increasing the flexibility of connecting muscles
  • Toxin release
  • Relieving tension and pressure
  • Removing restriction in neck muscles
  • Improving the mobility of the cervical spine
  • Restoring the range of motion

Patients often report that a chiropractic neck adjustment allows them to experience an improved ability to turn and twist the head and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness. In addition, neck adjustments are a natural substitute for surgery and opioid pain relievers for patients who seek a less invasive treatment. Many people find relief from chiropractic care. They can manage their pain and avoid undergoing additional treatment, including surgery.

To Minimize the Risk of Neck Pain, Only Allow a Chiropractor to Perform Your Neck Adjustment

Only a chiropractor is fit to carry out neck manipulations safely and effectively. These physical manipulations may involve special types of equipment or a traction table, or they may just involve your neck and the chiropractor’s hands.

Neck adjustments are a safe procedure, and qualified and experienced chiropractors focus more on neck alignment than “cracking” your neck to reduce the risk of blood vessel strain. You should not fear a chiropractic adjustment by our team and know that it is not a concern if you experience some soreness in the first 24 hours following treatment.

Who Should Get a Neck Adjustment From Our Chiropractors?

As stated earlier, different individuals get neck adjustments for various reasons. However, our doctors perform a careful screening before neck manipulations to ensure you’re a good candidate for chiropractic care. This will occur during your initial consultation with our team and will likely include:

  • A thorough health history
  • A physical exam
  • X-rays or other medical imaging

Assuming we determine you are a good candidate, your treatment can begin the same day. If chiropractic care is inappropriate for your condition, your chiropractor will refer you to the appropriate healthcare provider who can help.

Below, we’ve highlighted some possible scenarios in which you might want to visit one of our clinics to see if a neck adjustment is right for you.


If you have recently been in an accident and feel pain in your neck, upper back, or shoulders, you should consider seeing a chiropractor for a neck adjustment. This may be the best option if you’re not comfortable undergoing surgery or using medications to manage your pain.

Accidents can misalign the spine as well as cause other injuries. Our chiropractor can diagnose your concern, help you manage the symptoms, and treat the underlying issue. A neck adjustment, for example, can realign your upper vertebrae following an auto accident.


Whiplash is a type of neck injury that occurs when a sudden jolt forces the neck to whip back and forth, causing the neck muscles to sprain or strain. Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy could allow you to recover faster and without using pharmaceuticals for pain relief.

Your Job Requires You to Sit All Day

If you have a job that requires you to sit in the same position all day, you may benefit from a chiropractic neck adjustment. This is because sitting in one position all day is bad for the neck as it puts pressure on the vertebrae. Many computer users also drop their heads to look at their keyboards or screens, creating an unnatural curve and leading to chronic pain. A spinal adjustment may help.


If you notice swelling in your neck, a neck adjustment procedure might help. The swelling may result from fluid buildup, injury, or infection. Our doctors can assess your symptoms and prescribe a plan to address them.


Degenerative conditions like spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis (the wearing down of the joint and cartilage) can cause neck pain as you age, hence the need for a chiropractic neck adjustment. A comprehensive plan from our doctors could help you better manage your pain and continue the activities you enjoy as you grow older.

Frequent Headaches

A simple neck adjustment chiropractic procedure may cure persistent headaches. Chiropractic treatment for headaches can reduce the frequency and intensity of many types of headaches, including migraines. It can also address underlying causes of tension headaches and those caused by poor posture and other musculoskeletal concerns.

What Should You Expect During a Chiropractic Neck Adjustment?

During your initial visit to the chiropractor, they will carry out some exams and inquire about your medical history to determine if you’re a candidate for chiropractic care. If you qualify, your chiropractor will try to locate the source of your pain (if any) to determine the best treatment.

Diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan may also be conducted to understand your musculoskeletal system better.

The chiropractor will also perform physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, they will closely examine your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, observing action that causes pain.

The Physical Exam

The chiropractor will observe your spine, its curvature, and its alignment. They’ll also feel for muscle spasms and inspect your shoulder region.

The Neurological Exam

For the neurological exam, your chiropractor will examine your reflexes, muscle strength, and pain region.

The Neck Adjustment

During the neck adjustment, your chiropractor will tailor your treatment to meet your needs. First, the chiropractor will apply pressure to the neck region while facing down on a table that divides your body into segments.

The chiropractor may gently stretch your joints beyond their usual range of motion or apply a rapid, controlled force on a joint using their hands or other small instruments. This helps release trapped gasses in your joints and realign the vertebrae in your spine if they are just slightly out of alignment.

Some Ways to Minimize the Pain After a Neck Chiropractic Adjustment

Below are some ways to manage pain after a spinal adjustment:

  • Drink a lot of water before and after your neck adjustment procedure. This aids in toxin removal and ensures the joints and muscles are lubricated and hydrated.
  • Be consistent with your chiropractic care plan. Your chiropractor knows what’s best for you, so trust them. Go to all appointments and continue your care plan until it is completed.
  • Eat healthily. This gives your body the necessary nutrients to heal and recover as soon as possible.
  • Ensure you get a good night’s rest after your procedure. This allows your body time to heal itself.

Our team of chiropractors and physical therapists can provide neck pain relief. When you come to us, we create a custom treatment plan to help you recover.

Visit Our Chiropractor for Neck Pain After an Adjustment

Are you looking for a neck adjustment and injury treatment center near you? Contact us today at Specific Care Chiropractic for help with severe neck pain, muscle soreness, and other issues after a neck adjustment. We can recommend a treatment plan to help you get your health back.

We have locations in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Lehigh Acres. Call us today at (239) 631-5445.