Patient care

What should you do immediately following an adjustment? 

  • Immediately following your adjustment, go for a 5 minute walk with a good stride length.
  • As soon as you can, apply ice to the adjusted area. This will help to reduce inflammation.
  • Drink water regularly. This will help flush toxins from your body and assist your body to heal.
  • You may notice some soreness after your adjustment. This is a normal response due to irritated and swollen tissues. Take it easy while you are healing.
  • Do NOT sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Avoid recliners, sitting in bed and soft couches.


  • Walk as frequently as possible and avoid lengthened periods of rest in a static position. If you cannot walk, crawl. Movement is good!
  • Remaining active and walking around in effect aides to avoid re-injury and in mobilising the inflammatory fluid around the disc, joints and other tissues, serving to assist in the body’s removal of waste products and toxins caused through the inflammatory process.
  • If a particular movement causes extra discomfort, avoid it.
  • In acute settings, you must avoid strenuous exercise for at least 2 days following your adjustment.

Ice or Heat?

  • Apply an ice pack (that is wrapped in a cloth or paper towel) to the area that your Chiropractor has suggested for a total of 20 minutes. This will help to reduce the pain and joint swelling. This is best completed by alternating 10minutes of ice ON, 10 minutes of ice OFF and 10 minutes of ice ON again. Remove for at least 1 hour then repeat again every 2 hours or as needed.
  • Why do I need to apply ice intermittently? This is because after 12 minutes of ice application, the body will tell blood vessels to dilate again, as it thinks that it is too cold which will therefore allow heat back into the injured area.
  • A short walk should be completed following each period of Ice application, to help further mobilise extra inflammatory fluid.
  • Do NOT use heat for pain relief. Applying heat to the area may ‘feel’ better initially, but it only serves to increase the swelling and irritation. Heat feels nice and soothes symptoms, but will not reduce the cause of why you feel symptoms in the first place. Only use ice.
  • Patients can purchase special gel ice packs from reception at Ballarat Spinal Health


  • This advice is for any sitting, at a desk / in a car / at home / at work.
  • Do NOT sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Avoid recliners, sitting in bed and soft couches.
  • When sitting, position the hips all the way back into the rear of the chair. Support your lumbar spine with a rolled towel / cushion / pillow.
  • Try to ensure your hips are higher than your knees by adjusting your chair or sitting on a towel or cushion to raise the level of the hips. This is especially important for when travelling in the car.


  • On average, humans spend 1/3 of their lives in bed. Having a good, supportive mattress is paramount. Use a pillow that cushions the head and cradles the neck, but allows for a neutral spine position, not tilted forward / up too far.
  • Avoid sleeping on the couch.
  • While sleeping on your side, it is best for your knees to be bent 30-45 degrees. Try putting a cushion or pillow between your legs whilst sleeping on your side to neutralise the position of the pelvis. If sleeping on your back, try putting a cushion or pillow under your knees to better support your lower back.
  • When getting out of bed, roll to your side and use your hands to help you up as your legs drop off the edge. Do NOT sit up directly from laying on your back.
  • Upon arising, apply ice as soon as you can, your irritated joints will have accumulated fluid and swelling overnight. This will help to get you moving sooner with ease.

What exercises should I do? 

Below is a series of videos created by personal friend and mentor Dr. Rahim Salehmohamed (Gonstead Chiropractor) in Los Angeles, California. ​

These videos are an excellent resource for patients who want to see what basic exercises can be done after your adjustment and ongoing during your care. For more detail and questions specific to your case, please ask the Chiropractor at the time of your consultation.

Seated Extension Exercises 

These exercises are an ideal starting point to increase mobility and strength in the spine. Individual recommendations will be made in accordance with the main complaint.