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Can You Be Injured by a Chiropractor?

Can You Be Injured by a Chiropractor

Chiropractic care is widely accepted as one of the safest types of treatments. This is, in part, due to the fact that it doesn’t involve surgery or medication. As a non-invasive, non-addictive therapy, it’s considered to be a safe alternative to many other forms of treatment. There has been, however, some concern regarding neck or spinal manipulation therapy from chiropractors.
In most cases, the only negative effects that patients tend to experience is mild discomfort which is usually short-term. It’s not uncommon for patients to feel discomfort or pain before feeling better following a spinal manipulation treatment.

Adverse Effects Following Chiropractic Care

In rare cases, patients have experienced adverse effects following chiropractic treatment. The worst cases being vertebral artery dissection and stroke but are exceedingly rare. Some studies have been conducted on the possible adverse effects of spinal manipulation, however, the correlation between the treatment and the injury has yet to be confirmed. In most cases, when a patient experienced an adverse effect, they had pre-existing conditions that were simply aggravated.
The American Chiropractic Association states “neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, recent evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously, or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon.”
Another study concluded:

  • There was “no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic care compared to primary care.”
  • The alleged correlation more likely had to do with patients seeking chiropractic treatment of already-existing VBA symptoms (headache and neck pain) before the stroke took place


Ref: Cassidy J D, Boyle E, Cote P et al. Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control and Case-Crossover Study. SPINE 2008; 33:S176-S183.

While the risks are very low and adverse effects tend to be minor, if any, chiropractors continue to develop new, safer methods to reduce risks. Many chiropractors have begun using gentler movements and adjustments that don’t challenge the neck arteries.

Need to Schedule Chiropractic Treatment in Wichita, KS?

If you’re looking for a chiropractor in the Wichita area, contact Stanley Chiropractic to schedule an exam.

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