Maintenance of a Spinal Adjustment

We are dedicated to help you with your health care program and treatments to regain and maintain your health and well being. However, we can only help those who desire assistance and accept the responsibility to “take charge” of their health care. This means taking action by following the recommendations to bring about the healing response in conjunction with the appropriate care we provide.

We are aware of the fact that you are not born with the education and information to properly care for your body, therefore, please do not hesitate to ask questions. The more you know about how to care for yourself, the more effective your care is.

We ask that initially no one else treat your spinal column. This is in order that we may best monitor your condition. Surgery requiring a general anesthetic, a serious injury or trauma, certain spinal treatments, or a motor vehicle accident can cause your pattern to change. Any of these situations may require a new series of x-rays to determine any changes that have occurred. This is done before any further adjustment could be preformed. In monitoring your condition, should it be necessary, we will refer you for additional care to other health care professionals.

There are short and long term suggestions for maintaining your spinal health following an adjustment.

Short Term
The Initial Healing Cycle (6 weeks)

1. Avoid strenuous activities and sports; walking is recommended.

2. Rest assists the body in its recuperation be sure to arrange your schedule to include rest.

3. No massage should be performed on your neck/shoulders for a period of 7 days.

4. Avoid hyperextension or flexion of the neck, or any jarring situations which cause the head to move quickly in any direction.

5. Feel free to use your head through its normal range of motion; just don’t use it!

Long Term

The body continues to restore and restructure itself subtly for, sometime, up to 3 years following the initial corrective care. It is of the utmost importance that you retain the correction through regular chiropractic check-ups. We strongly suggest that you adhere to the prescribed schedule of follow-up visits. Symptoms are not always a sign of a misalignment, but also can be a sign of healing. The absence of symptoms does not always indicate that the body is in alignment.

1. When washing hair at the hair salon – support neck with a towel, or sit face forward into the sink.

2. When visiting a dentist – ensure your neck is supported (ie: towel) and bring head forward when possible.

3. Sleeping – your pillow should support the head and neck in its natural position. DO NOT SLEEP ON YOUR STOMACH, position yourself on your back or your side with legs flexed. Use an extra pillow to support your legs.

4. Don’t use the armrest of the couch as a headrest while watching T.V. or reading.

5. Don’t read in bed nor fall asleep in a sitting position (plane or auto). Where the head and neck are not well supported.

6. Always bend at the knees when picking anything up. This will minimize back strain. When lifting, keep your back straight, hold the object close to you, and let your legs bear the strain.

7. For a shoulder-check, or backing up your car, turn your shoulders as well as your neck to decrease the strain.

8. Cross your legs at the ankles. Crossing at the knees could aggravate an existing back condition and interfere with circulation.

9. Don’t use your shoulders and head to support a phone.

10. Your mattress should be firm but not hard.

11. Should you find yourself remaining in the same position for an extended period of time – i.e.: driving, reading, desk-work – it is advisable to allow yourself at least 30 seconds of conscious relaxation periodically.

12. Try to set aside time each day for complete mental and physical relaxation.

13. When rising from a lying position, turn on your side and use your arm to assist yourself into a sitting position. Swing your legs forward as the body rises.

14. Do not use your head as a lever.

15. Watch your posture – Stand tall, sit tall, sleep tall, think tall.

It is recommended that you see your family physician annually for a complete physical examination. Preventative screening procedures scheduled by your family physician are very important to your over-all well being. Examination of the musculo-skeletal system may not detect other conditions.

“Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has a meaning.” -Victor Frankl

Be Alert to Possible Changes

After an adjustment, you might experience a variety of changes within your body. These changes are due to modification of the nerve supply and the normal healing response of the various tissues.

The diversity in the type of changes is due to the different nerves affected in each individual case. There are many nerves in the spinal cord; each governing an intricate part of the whole body. However, the doctor does not adjust because of the symptoms but bases the adjustment on different objective measurements and checks that determine neurological integrity that assures a correction has been made.

Symptoms can also be a positive sign that healing is taking place. In order to heal, the body must go through different cycles of repair, which very often express themselves in some of the following ways:

1. The primary symptoms disappear.

2. The one leg might feel longer.

3. Dizziness or light-headedness, possible headaches may occur.

4. Cold-like symptoms (runny nose).

5. Different muscle stiffness in other areas of the body.

6. Pain in the area of an old injury.

7. Tingling sensations.

8. Digestive changes (including mild diarrhea or constipation).

You do not need to experience these symptoms to experience healing. However, if they do occur, do not be concerned, as they are commonly experienced as the body heals.

As the nerves heal, these and many more positive changes could show up in your body. Don’t be concerned but please let us know so we are able to monitor your case carefully. Remember it takes time (sometimes months or years) for nerves and other tissues to expand to their normal size and heal completely.

Healing is an individual response, dependent on external and internal factors. During the initial healing cycle, a weekly check is recommended. If the adjustment is stable, future checks are required at progressively longer intervals. Once you have reached the level of care which requires maintenance visits, please be sure that your check-ups are no more than 6 months apart.

Our lives can be very stressful. This stress occurs on many levels; physical, emotional, chemical and mental, which can cause the Subluxation to reoccur. For this reason you can prevent or slow the process of deterioration and degeneration by maintaining good balance of the spine and nervous system. Our true nature is to heal and be well. This can be accomplished through preventive maintenance care. That is a positive step for your quality of life.

The Healing Team

Our mind and body are a natural team. Our body does it’s best to carry out the suggestions of our mind. Medical research uses sugar-pill placebos to demonstrate again and again that it is sometimes our belief in a pill, or treatment, which makes it effective. How can we consciously put this powerful tool of suggestion to work for our spinal health and healing?

The Mind Body Connection

Mind and body talk to each other through two main channels of communication: the nervous system and the endocrine system, which serves as a team of hormonal messengers. The information exchanged through these channels directs, coordinates and balances the functions of all our cells, tissues and systems. When stress or tension interfere with these channels, the messages either don’t get through, or are distorted. Our health pays the price for this interference. Fortunately, there are things we can do to support unimpaired mind-body communication.

Stress Reduction and Biofeedback

Stress is the biggest health bandit of all. Biofeedback is technology’s stress sheriff. Through the use of biofeedback instruments which signal us when our body is reacting to stress, we can learn what our automatic bodily responses to stress feel like, and what it feels like to control those responses with relaxation and visualization techniques. After a while we no longer need the instrument to signal us, but can read the body’s more subtle signals. When we know its signal, our own body is the finest biofeedback system of all.

Visualization and Imagery

Visualization – seeing, feeling, sensing or describing a picture with the mind’s eye – is a creative way to team up the mind and the body. Mental images, upon which all thought is founded, have a definite effect on the body’s electrical field. There are pathways between the part of the brain where our pictures are stored and the automatic, or involuntary, nervous system. This means that a picture in the mind’s eye can have an impact on every cell and function in our body.

The Relaxation Response

A complete mind-body relaxation every day can break the stress circuit and contribute to spinal health. Systematically tensing and releasing your muscles compensates for the stress arousal state. This enables the body to rest and recharge.

1. Lie down on a comfortable surface.

2. Breathe deeply, slowly, and fully with your belly.

3. Contract the muscle of your feet. Hold. Release.

4. Then do the same thing with your legs, your hips, your belly – and the rest of your body, all the way to the top of your head.

5. When you have squeezed and released every segment of your body squeeze all your muscles at once as you exhale. Hold. Release.

6. Let your whole body sigh. Relax and rest.


Remember that none of this teamwork will do any good if you are secretly betting against your own team. Talk health to yourself. You’re the coach.

Visualizing a Healthy Spine

Sit or lie in a comfortable, quiet place. Breathe deeply and slowly in and out of your belly. Let your whole body sigh out any tension. With your eyes closed, picture all the muscles and joints of your spinal column exactly how you would like them to be: free of pain, relaxed, strong, flexible or whatever you wish. Then picture yourself doing something. Imagine your body moving exactly as you want it to move and feel. See yourself as graceful, powerful and lithe. Keep this “feeling picture” in your mind’s eye, where you can look at it and frequently visualize the feeling in your body as you exhale. Hold. Release.