When is a chiropractic neck adjustment dangerous?

When you step into the office of a licensed chiropractor, you will be cared for by a spinal manipulation expert. No matter how many studies are completed into the safety of chiropractic care, there seems to remain the shadow of doubt regarding its safety. There are several reasons why people have maintained their fear of adjustments of the neck.

The most common reason why you may be afraid of a neck adjustment from your chiropractor is the negative approach taken to the profession by the media. There have been reports of stroke among patients of chiropractors, but the reported cases are low when compared to other medical treatments and conditions.

The common reasons for stroke in patients in medical environments include:

  • Spinal surgery for pain relief
  • Narcotic medications
  • NSAIDs

A closer look at the results of several studies shows the use of NSAIDs has led to 153 stroke deaths per one million people. Narcotic medications resulted in 53 stroke deaths per one million patients, and spinal surgery for pain relief causes 500 stroke deaths per one million patients. In contrast, the use of spinal neck manipulations by a licensed chiropractor has been shown to result in one stroke death per one million uses of the procedure.

The low rate of stroke death and serious injury from a neck adjustment is shown in the cost of malpractice insurance. The average malpractice insurance premiums paid by an anesthesiologist can reach as high as $10,000. In contrast, the average chiropractic malpractice insurance premiums are as low as $1,500 per year. The safety and effectiveness of chiropractic neck manipulations are not in doubt for insurance companies.

Following the continued debate about chiropractic care and the risk of stroke, several studies have been completed. The dangers of neck adjustments are shown as minimal in every study completed, with one study estimating the risk at one in five million adjustments.

The Risks of Neck Adjustments

When you seek the help of a chiropractor to assist with a neck adjustment, you are working with a licensed practitioner. A chiropractor is not a medical doctor, but they are licensed by your state to work after multiple years of academic achievement. Not only does a chiropractor complete a four-year undergraduate degree, but they also have to complete a three to four-year chiropractic degree and an internship. The amount of education and training a chiropractor undergoes to become qualified is far greater than others in the medical sector.

The high level of training means chiropractic care is among the safest on the market. Upon your first visit to a chiropractor’s office, you will provide a full medical history to ensure the safety of any procedures you undergo. Your chiropractor will assess your medical history before undertaking any treatments or adjustments to keep you safe at all times. If you have one of several medical conditions, your chiropractor will not attempt to complete an adjustment.

These conditions include:

  • Severe osteoporosis
  • A numb feeling in the arms and legs
  • Spinal cancer
  • Bone abnormalities in the upper neck

Neck manipulation is often seen as one of the scariest moments for a patient because of the way these actions are shown online and on TV. A large amount of high-velocity force is used to complete a spinal manipulation, with the use of this force used after four years of chiropractic training.

Depending on your state, your chiropractor will need to complete continuing education hours to maintain their license to practice. The continued learning throughout the career of your chiropractor means they are constantly aware of the latest techniques and theories within their chosen field of study.

Neck and spinal adjustments are beneficial in the treatment of several forms of lower back and neck pain. The issue of neck pain is often linked to headaches felt by a patient when they decide to seek the assistance of a chiropractor. The research regarding chiropractic care shows there are very few long-term side effects when obtaining a neck manipulation. The majority of side effects last overnight after a manipulation treatment and offer no long-term problems for the patient. When you are ready to complete a neck adjustment, call our office at 205-637-1363.

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