Is Chiropractic Safe?

We see a large number of patients in our Philadelphia office, and Bridesburg Spine and Injury Clinic has helped countless people manage a range of health problems. In spite of this, the primary worry that seems to prevent many women and men from seeking treatment is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Fortunately, according to three different studies (out of many on the topic), the answer to this question is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"

Australian Study: Chiropractic is Safe

The first article(1) was published in Spine and involved 183 adults. Each test subject was affected by spinal pain, and half of the people received real chiropractic care whereas the other half received two fake chiropractic adjustments. Data was collected after each real or fake adjustment to see whether or not any unfavorable negative effects occurred as a result of the real chiropractic adjustments.

The doctors found that no participants documented any significant adverse adverse reactions in any way after getting one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some participants did report that they had a headache (just 9% of people) or muscle stiffness (37%) after treatment, but the effects were not of a serious nature.

Nationwide Survey Finds that Chiropractic Adjustments are Safe

The second research study(2), also published in the important medical journal, Spine, was done in an effort to ascertain the safety of chiropractic care. The test group was much larger -- 20,000 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all patients.

Once again, the experts discovered no serious adverse side effects. The authors computed the risk of total side effects to be approximately six out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. And, just as with the first study, some participants did report non-serious, milder, side effects such as dizziness (about 1.6%) or a headache (4%), and this caused the researchers to conclude that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."

Chiropractic Is Safe for Your Children

The third research paper(3) is different from the previous two pieces of research, as it concentrates on the safety of chiropractic care for kids. In this article, researchers investigated results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic adjustments.

Out of 5,438 chiropractic appointments made for the children, chiropractors answering the survey documented only three cases where there were adverse side effects. When parents were questioned, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."

Based on these three studies (and many more!), chiropractic has been deemed safe and effective for everyone. To learn what chiropractic care can do for you, call our Philadelphia office and schedule an appointment today at (215) 743-5330.

References

  1. Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
  2. Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
  3. Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.
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