The retracing enigma: Why am I sore after an adjustment?

So, you started going to the chiropractor, that’s great, we’re so excited for you! These first few steps of your journey on the road to optimal health and wellness are crucial. But let’s say, maybe after a few adjustments where symptoms were initially improving, an old, possibly familiar soreness starts flaring up again. Or maybe even a forgotten injury has reappeared. What the heck, right? Isn’t chiropractic supposed to help?

First off: Don’t panic. This is a totally normal experience called retracing, and although it’s not very common, it does happen to some patients. Here’s what’s happening to you, what you can do about it, and what comes next.

What is Retracing?

Retracing is when a patient experiences a temporary increase in symptoms, old injury flare-ups, soreness, dizziness or discomfort after an adjustment. It is a temporary experience that doesn’t happen to everyone.

Why is it Happening?

The body can heal itself, but healing isn’t a linear process, it goes up and down, stopping and starting. Retracing is a result of the body beginning to mend. Think of it like this, especially where old injuries are concerned, now that the body has begun the healing process, the parts of you that have learned to compensate for injuries or strain are now starting to finally heal as well. This could result in some lingering soreness or discomfort.

What Should You Do?

Again: Don’t panic or get upset. Retracing seems discouraging, but it’s short-lived, usually only lasting a short period. It’s critical to continue moving forward with your chiropractic care. You don’t stop going to the gym just because your new routine has your body a little sore, right? Keep attending your appointments and let your chiropractor know that you may be experiencing symptoms of retracing.

What Can You Do NOW?

While keeping up with your regular adjustments, here are some things you can do to feel better. First, take it easy! If you’re sore or experiencing discomfort, now is not the time to push yourself—it’s OK to relax and get some rest. Remember to stay hydrated, so your body is functioning at its best and getting the nourishment it needs. Another way you can help is by using cold therapies.

Remember: this too shall pass! You’re doing what’s best for your overall health and wellness, and retracing is just one step of the journey. Everything will be OK, even better than OK, really, because with continued chiropractic care, your body will be functioning at its highest level, so you can live life the way you want to.

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