What is post-treatment reaction and why might it affect me?

Post treatment reaction is a common situation which can occur after a first treatment session.

If you think about it logically, you are in pain and not moving like you normally do. This may have happened due to lifting a heavy object or it may be ache which has gradually become worse.

No matter how the injury occurred you have decided to see someone to help alleviate your symptoms. First and foremost, the practitioner who you see is there to try to alleviate your pain.  Some of the treatment techniques performed may be uncomfortable.  In fact, they may make you feel worse initially after the treatment and for up to 48 hours.  This is nothing to worry about as this can be a normal occurrence known as the “treatment reaction”.

As manual therapists, we will work the muscles and joints which are inflamed and restricted.  In doing so, this will likely cause further inflammation as the healing process begins. Essentially, we put a mechanical input into your body so it can begin the healing process.

I tell patients that it is like unblocking a sink; we do what we do so the bodies own healing system can drain the pain away.

Many times, patients say on their second visit they experienced discomfort for a day or after the initial treatment. After the second treatment their symptoms start to alleviate.

A post treatment reaction is something that does occur, but the majority of lower back and neck pains that I see are normally remedied after two treatments.