Common questions for a chiropractor: Is chiropractic care safe?

Risk is a normal part of living, and no matter how cautious we can be, we must always weigh the risk vs reward of anything we do. As with any health care procedure no matter how minimally invasive it can be there is always the question of safety. This is always an important question to ask because we are talking about your health here, and when it comes to chiropractic care we truly have that in our hands.

In a study from 2007, Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey, Thiel et al. determined that when it came to cervical or neck manipulation performed by a chiropractor that risk factor was about as close to zero as is possible. This is a tremendous finding, and their research was not based on a small group of people either.

Data were obtained from 28,807 treatment consultations and 50,276 cervical spine manipulations. There were no reports of serious adverse events.

Thiel et al showed that these effects both included right after the patient received a manipulation to the neck, and up to seven days later. Side effects no matter what are common. It’s important as a patient to understand that whether you’re in pain, or just looking for some relief from tension or anything else that may bother you, you may experience soreness following care.

It is always advisable if you’re doctor does not provide you with some home relief instructions, even as simple as ice or heat therapy like a cold or hot pack, that you ask for those instructions. I always try to advise my patients what to do and expect after their care.

Published by Troy Schott

I started off in 1994 with a standard American karate that I can best describe as a cross between TKD and Kenpo. I currently study and train Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, and Taijiquan with Tim Cartmell, which I have been doing off and on since 2005. I also do Jeet Kune Do, first under one of Paul Vunak's instructors, and then under Ed Monaghan, an instructor under Jerry Poteet, and now I train every once in a while with some of Tim Tackett's guys. I also occasionally take a BJJ or judo class, have trained and fought in San Da, and trained in Muay Thai. I am a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic in Southern California. I am an avid kettlebell, and body weight practitioner.

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