How Safe is Chiropractic?
We tend to a large number of patients in our North St. Louis, MO clinic, and Dr. Holland has helped countless people eliminate a wide array of health challenges. Even so, the primary issue that seems to stop many people from seeking treatment is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Fortunately, according to three different studies (out of countless on the issue), the answer to this concern is a resounding: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"
Australian Study: Chiropractic is Safe
The first study(1) was published in Spine and involved 183 adults between the ages of 20 and 85. Each participant was affected by spine-related pain, and half of the individuals received real chiropractic adjustments whereas the remaining patients were given two sham chiropractic treatment sessions. Information was gathered after each real or fake adjustment to discover whether or not any unfavorable negative effects occurred as a result of the real chiropractic treatments.
Researchers reported that none of the patients reported any serious negative side effects at all after receiving one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some participants did state that they had a headache (9% of patients) or muscle stiffness (about 1 out of 3) post-treatment, but the results were not serious.
Nationwide Survey Reports that Chiropractic is Safe
A second study(2), also published in the influential 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 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the neck, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all patients.
Again, the investigators found no serious adverse side effects. The authors calculated the risk of total negative effects to be approximately six out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. And, just as with the previous study, some participants did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (16 out of every 1,000 treatment consultations and 15 out of every 1,000 treatment sessions) or a headache (4%), and this caused the authors to conclude that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."
Chiropractic Adjustments are Safe for Your Children
This third research paper(3) is unique from the first two pieces of research, as it focuses on the safety of chiropractic care for children. In this article, the researchers analyzed 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 reported only three cases where there were negative side effects. When parents were questioned, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Additionally, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."
Based on studies like these, chiropractic care has been judged safe and effective for everyone. To learn what chiropractic care can do for you, call our North St. Louis, MO office and schedule an appointment today at (314) 588-9100.
- 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.