Is Chiropractic Care Unsafe?

The fear of chiropractic being potentially dangerous is common among people. Most people fear being paralyzed, or having a stroke. Chiropractic has been around for more than a hundred years and the documented cases of a chiropractic injury have been extremely low, especially when compared to the number medical injuries. One study showed for patients aged 66-99 with “risk for a neuromusculoskeletal problem, risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk within 7 days was 76% lower among subjects with a chiropractic office visit as com-pared to those who saw a primary care physician” (Whedon).

Chiropractic is a gentle, natural way to improve nervous system function. When done properly, an adjustment should not take much force. In fact, one study showed the force it takes to sever the spinal cord is equivalent to the impact created by a 500-pound car crash-ing into a wall at 30 miles per hour (Pbs). Therefore the likeliness of a chiropractor hurting your spine and causing paralysis is very unlikely.

There are only a couple different scenarios when someone should not be adjusted. These include certain spinal injuries, severe degeneration, certain grade herniations. It is important that the chiropractor takes certain precautions with these patients such as X-rays and low force adjusting techniques. Another population that some may think can not go to the chiropractor are pediatrics and pregnant women. Kids can be adjusted as early as birth and it is extremely important to their wellbeing to do so. Pregnant women are also encouraged to get care throughout the entire pregnancy. In most cases, this helps the birth process and overall pregnancy go much smoother. Both of these populations are safe to receive low force adjustments.

Stay informed, do your research, and realize there are many false claims about every profession. When preparing to go to your chiropractor, make sure to tell them about any previous injuries, car accidents, surgeries, or conditions. You could even ask to observe an adjustment before receiving yours to help calm any nerves.

Whedon JM, Mackenzie TA, Phillips RB, Lurie JD. Risk of traumatic injury associated with chiropractic spinal manipulation in Medicare Part B beneficiaries aged 66 to 99 years. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 Feb 15;40(4):264-70. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000000725. PMID: 25494315; PMCID: PMC4326543.

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