What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

At your initial visit, your chiropractor will ask questions about your health history and perform a physical exam, with particular attention to your spine. Your chiropractor may also recommend other examinations or tests, such as X-rays.

During the adjustment

During a typical chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor places you in specific positions to treat affected areas. Often, you're positioned lying facedown on a specially designed, padded chiropractic table. The chiropractor uses his or her hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a joint, pushing it beyond its normal range of motion. You may hear popping or cracking sounds as your chiropractor moves your joints during the treatment session.

Additional therapies

Your chiropractor may recommend other treatment approaches in combination with chiropractic adjustment, such as:

  • Heat or ice
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Exercise
  • Weight loss

After the adjustment

Some people experience minor side effects for a few days after chiropractic adjustment. These may include headache, fatigue or pain in the parts of the body that were treated.

Oct. 10, 2012