Is Chiropractic Safe?
We see a large number of patients in our North County, St. Louis, MO clinic, and Dr. Mark Holland has helped countless people manage a variety of health challenges. In spite of this, a common issue that seems to stop many people from getting care is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Fortunately, according to three separate studies (out of countless on the subject), the answer to this concern is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"
Chiropractic is Safe, According to Australian Study
The first study(1) was published in Spine and involved 183 adults between the ages of 20 and 85. Each individual reported affected by spinal pain, and half of the individuals received real chiropractic adjustments whereas the other half received two sham chiropractic treatments. Data was gathered after each real or fake adjustment to identify if any unpleasant side effects occurred as a result of the real chiropractic treatments.
The authors found that no participants reported any significant unfavorable side effects in any way after receiving one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some people did state that they had a headache (9% of patients) or muscle stiffness (37%) post-treatment, but the effects were not serious.
Nationwide Survey Reports that Chiropractic Adjustments are Safe
The next research study(2), also released in the important publication, Spine, was done in an attempt to determine the safety of chiropractic. The study group was much larger as it involved just under 20,000 people. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the neck, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all patients.
Once again, the experts discovered no serious adverse side effects. The experts determined the risk of total adverse reactions to be about six out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. Plus, just as with the first study, some people did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (less than 2%) 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 Care Is Safe for Kids
The third study(3) is unique from the previous two pieces of research, as it focuses on the safety of chiropractic care for children. In this case, the researchers analyzed results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic treatment sessions.
Out of 5,438 chiropractic visits made for the kids, chiropractors responding to the survey documented only three cases where there were negative side effects. When parents were surveyed, 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 care has been found to be safe and effective for everyone. To find out what chiropractic can do for you, call our North County, St. Louis, MO office and make an appointment today at (314) 867-8888.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.