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Posted on 06-05-2013

Why do I get a headache immediately after I go to the Chiropractor?

woman migraine

I rarely have a patient complaining of headaches after a Chiropractic Adjustment.  However, it does happen once every couple of months or so where a patient complains of an immediate headache after the adjustment. I usually just re-adjust the patient until the headache goes away.

However, these are things you can do if you have a headache after a Chiropractic adjustment:

1. If a headache lingers after seeing a Chiropractor that usually indicates that you need to turn the car around and go back to the Chiropractor.  Likely, a misalignment of the spine or other joints still need to be addressed. Most Chiropractors will be happy to re-adjust you (for free if on the same day) if you have a headache that happened after seeing the Chiropractor. So if you have a headache, turn the car around and go let the Chiropractor know that day and get it fixed.  The cool thing about Chiropractic is that it cures itself...meaning that a mistake with Chiropractic can be cured with Chiropractic.

2. If you have a headache after seeing the Chiropractor and this continues to happen over and over...it could be a sign of other serious underlying conditions. If the Chiropractor cannot resolve it then get him/her to give you a referral to a headache specialist or possibly go get an MRI or similar tests done to ensure you don't have some underlying, more serious condition going on.

3. If you still have headaches after seeing the Chiropractor...simply go see another Chiropractor. Sometimes there is soreness (which goes away soon after a visit) after a Chiropractic Adjustment but if a headache keeps coming on...then it's time to see another Chiropractor who uses other techniques.  I knew one patient that would become so startled with having her neck "cracked" that she'd immediately get a headache. Thereafter, I used a device called the Arthrostim which used light percussive impulses to gently move the vertebrae back into place. "Voila!" No more headaches.  The sudden movement was just too much for her to easily experience. I also knew a patient that had a Chiropractor who used electrical impulse type work done on them - it made the patient queasy and gave them headaches. I treated them differently and the after-treatment headaches stopped.

4. I have found that patients who are ingesting too many drugs, alcoholic beverages or medication sometimes get a headache after adjustments. That can happen because the blood flow, nerve channels are now more "opened up" and all the drugs start to overwhelm the nervous system and the blood flow and create a headache.  This happens with massage clients from time-to-time also I hear. This is rare but I've noticed it happen with patients who are heavily medicated once in awhile. Most patients of Chiropractic however, are seeking a natural way to relieve their pain and therefore don't do drugs and don't take medications but sometimes a night on the town can lead to a headache once the drugs hit the system and deplete the body of the nutrients it needs.  A Chiropractic Adjustment can sometimes cause a blockage to break loose and overwhelm the nervous system and a headache and other symptoms can also occur.  Many patients, sometimes report to me that they have a huge bowel movement or urination episode after their adjustment. Makes sense because the nerve channels and the blood flow are freed up and the organs work better and thus things tend to flow better.  Usually any symptom like a headache will blow over in short order as it is merely a function of the body correcting itself.  The drugs and such will move on and the body will come back to working order.

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