Chiropractic adjustments are an effective way to relieve pain and improve mobility. But how long will the results of your chiropractic adjustment last?

The answer varies from person to person, but several factors can influence how long you’ll experience relief.

Your Body’s Ability to Hold a Chiropractic Adjustment

How well your body maintains a chiropractic adjustment depends on your muscle function, connective tissue health, and stress levels. Here’s how these factors contribute:

Your Muscle Function

Muscle function is a factor for how long does a chiropractic adjustment last.

Strong, balanced muscles act as natural stabilizers for your spine, reducing the strain on joints and supporting the adjustments.

Meanwhile, tight muscles can pull vertebrae out of alignment, making adjustments less effective.

There are two main ways to ensure that your muscles support your spinal health as best they can:

Neurological Integration System (NIS)

Neurological Integration System (NIS) can help your body hold chiropractic adjustments by enhancing your muscle strength, and releasing excess muscle tension. For example, if you have neck pain, we can make sure that the muscles in your neck are at their maximum strength because they are under full neurologic control by your brain. No amount of exercise can replace the benefits of NIS, because NIS works with the neurologic communication within the brain to control your muscles.


Exercise can help your adjustments last longer by supporting your overall structure. For example, many patients who have chronic low back pain benefit from core strengthening, which supports the spinal column.

Consult with Dr. Lerner-Powers or your local chiropractor to determine what the best approach is for you.

Your Connective Tissue

Healthy connective tissues (fascia, ligaments, tendons) allow for proper joint movement and help maintain adjustments. Your connective tissue should have flexibility and resilience to support your joint motion, which is improved by chiropractic care.

But if your connective tissue is too flexible, such as is often the case if you have Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) or hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD), then you will need to rely more on other stabilizing factors such as muscle strength and good ergonomics to maintain your adjustments. This is because your connective tissue provides less structural support than normal.

By contrast, if you have tight or restricted connective tissue, such as from unresolved adhesions or spasms, the tension could pull you back out of alignment.

Again, Dr. Lerner-Powers or whoever is your chiropractor will assess what your needs are and recommend a plan to address them.

Your Stress Levels

Stress levels affect how long chiropractic session results last.

Stress triggers muscle tension, which can pull joints out of alignment and make adjustments less likely to hold. It can also affect your posture, most commonly contributing to slouching. One of the easiest ways to quickly relieve stress is to use First-Aid Stress-Tool (FAST), a mind-body stress and pain relief exercise.

You may also want to schedule a Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) session, which can help you release stress you didn’t even realize you were carrying.

Your Activities

Exercise is helpful for overall health.

Your activities have a lot to do with how long your chiropractic adjustment will last. Ergonomics, fitness, and exercise are key factors.


Poor posture and repetitive strain at work or home can pull your spine out of alignment, so that you need a chiropractic visit more often than if you maintain good posture.

Ergonomic improvements (ergonomic furniture, lifting techniques) help maintain proper alignment and extend adjustment benefits.

Fitness and Exercise

Regular exercise strengthens muscles that support your spine, reducing stress on joints and promoting alignment.

Certain activities that involve heavy lifting, twisting, or impact can strain your spine, potentially shortening the holding power of adjustments. Athletes often seek chiropractic care more frequently due to the physical demands of their sports, especially if they involve twisting or impact.

Your Nutrition

Proper nutrition is important for maintaining back adjustments.

A healthy diet provides essential nutrients for bones, muscles, and tissues, which can lengthen the holding power of chiropractic adjustments.

For example, ensuring that you have enough energy from your diet helps you maintain good posture, which helps your adjustments last longer by promoting normal biomechanics, or movement.

Dr. Lerner-Powers uses functional nutrition to ensure that you have the nutritional foundation that you need to get the best results from your chiropractic care.

The Chiropractic Adjustment Itself

In DNFT Chiropractic, we expect your chiropractic adjustment to last about 6 months or longer.

This is in contrast to chiropractic techniques that call for adjusting the same vertebrae, or spinal level, week after week. DNFT chiropractic adjustments are highly detailed adjustments that restore proper alignment of both bones and soft tissues–such as discs and ligaments–for the most enduring results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Based on your initial exam findings and other factors, Dr. Lerner-Powers will recommend a frequency to help you achieve your goals in a particular time frame. For DNFT chiropractic, most patients begin with a weekly adjustment before a re-evaluation exam at 6 weeks.

Your maintenance needs depend on factors such as your age and the activities you perform, and most people benefit from maintenance sessions every one to three months.

The typical DNFT Chiropractic appointment is 20 mins long. If you are new to DNFT Chiropractic, your first chiropractic appointment will be about a half hour, because of the foundational protocols that we will cover.

While individual responses vary, here are common signs that your chiropractic care is effective:

1. Reduced Pain: Noticeable decrease in pain intensity and frequency, especially in the back, neck, and joints.

2. Improved Mobility: Increased range of motion and ease of movement.

3. Enhanced Energy: Feeling more energized and less fatigued.

4. Better Sleep: Experiencing deeper, more restful sleep.

5. Reduced Headaches: Fewer or less severe headaches.

6. Muscle Relaxation: Decreased muscle tension and tightness.

7. Improved Mood: Feeling more relaxed, positive, and less stressed.

8. Enhanced Overall Well-being: A general sense of improved health and well-being.

How long an adjustment lasts depends on individual factors such as your muscle function, activities, and nutrition, as well as the chiropractic technique.

In DNFT Chiropractic, we expect an adjustment at a specific vertebral level to last about 6 months or longer, meaning that from the DNFT Chiropractic perspective, the area will be free of active nerve interference. Results vary by individual.

No, generally chiropractic adjustments are not painful. If you have an unusually high sensitivity to touch, such that any touch at all feels painful, then you may feel temporary discomfort with chiropractic adjustments.

DNFT Chiropractic adjustments are extremely gentle and very well tolerated even by highly sensitive patients. Occasionally, when patients come in with tenderness in an area, they may experience brief discomfort when the area is adjusted, because chiropractic is a type of manual therapy that involves mild pressure.

Once a subluxated area has been adjusted, it will typically feel better and the joint range of motion will be improved.

No, chiropractors know how to space your chiropractic sessions on an appropriate schedule that depends on the chiropractic technique and your condition.

The real concern worthy of your attention is if you are getting chiropractic adjustments too infrequently for your needs.

Yes, it’s generally recommended to rest after chiropractic visits. This allows your body to integrate changes made during the adjustment.

Here are some tips for after your adjustment session:

  • Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours: This includes heavy lifting, intense exercise, and anything that puts a lot of strain on your body.
  • Listen to your body: If you feel tired or sore, rest more. If you feel good, you may be able to resume your normal activities sooner.
  • Get plenty of sleep: Sleep is essential for recovery.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of water helps keep your connective tissues, such as intervertebral discs, healthy.
  • Engage in light activities: Gentle movement, such as walking or stretching, can help to improve circulation and reduce stiffness.

How long you need chiropractic care depends on your condition. Your chiropractor will recommend what you need to achieve your goals.

While individual responses vary, here’s a general timeline for chiropractic therapy:

  • Initial Relief: Many experience some pain relief and improved mobility within 1-2 weeks of starting adjustments.
  • Significant Improvement: More sessions past the point of initial relief are generally needed to address the root cause of the problem. The most noticeable progress typically occurs within 4-12 weeks.
  • Maintenance Phase: Once you reach maintenance sessions, follow-up sessions may be spaced out to once every few weeks or months to maintain benefits.

Factors Affecting How Many Chiropractic Adjustments You Need:

  • Severity and Type of Condition: More complex or chronic issues may take a longer amount of time to respond.
  • Individual Healing Response: Each person’s body recovers at its own pace.
  • Comorbidities– Certain health issues can lengthen the time it takes for your body to respond to chiropractic care or physical therapy. If you have unmanaged diabetes or obesity, for example, you will need to work with your medical doctor to develop a personalized treatment plan.
  • Lifestyle and Habits: Exercise, ergonomics, and stress management can influence outcomes.

While some feel relief within a few minutes of a chiropractic session, others may take a few days or weeks to notice improvement, depending on factors such as underlying conditions, individual response, and additional injuries. Consult your chiropractor for an estimate specific to your situation.

Yes, there is evidence that regular chiropractic adjustments have long-term benefits.

Dr. Lerner-Powers typically finds that new chiropractic patients who have had regular spinal adjustments done–regardless of technique–have very different spines from those who have not had ongoing maintenance. In particular, she finds that patients who have had ongoing chiropractic care tend to have fewer subluxations–stuck areas in the spine–and better muscle balance than those who have not consistently visited chiropractors.

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