Is it safe to go to a chiropractor weekly?

Spinal adjustment videos are a popular trend on social media platforms and have contributed to the rise in popularity of chiropractic adjustments. While the general public knows more about chiropractic intervention than ever before, there are still lingering questions about the health risks involved with spinal adjustments.

A chiropractic adjustment involves applying a controlled and sudden force onto a spinal joint and is performed by a trained specialist, also known as a chiropractor. The idea is to create motion in the joint to help maintain function. Joints are not supplied with blood, like the organs, so if you do not use your joints because of a medical condition or injury, their function will eventually deteriorate. With all of that being said, how often is too often to go to the chiropractor?

Unlike surgical intervention, chiropractic care is often considered a short-term fix. This is not to say that chiropractic care is not effective—a well founded body of research suggests it is—but chiropractic intervention is performed repeatedly, as to keep the joints in good health. Adjustments have shown to be immensely effective in some clients. According to a study published in Spine Journal in 2008, researchers assessed the chiropractic treatment experiences of 192 people with back-related pain or sciatica, a condition in which a pinched nerve in the lower spine causes leg pain. The treatment they received for pain was rated worthwhile by 87% of the participants. Similar findings were recorded in 2003 when a British Medical Journal evaluated the experiences of 183 clients with neck related pain. The data revealed that the treatment had positive results and was deemed more effective than treatment by a general practitioner. While there some skeptics, who question the validity of chiropractic adjustments, these studies seem to support the general scientific consensus: Chiropractic intervention is effective at alleviating symptoms for most people, with varying degrees of success.

However, that is not to say that chiropractic manipulations do not come with a certain degree of risk. Some physicians advice their patients to stay away from chiropractic procedures that involved neck manipulation, as the degree of risk is much more significant and could possibly lead to life-threatening complications such as a ruptured artery, which has the potential to cause a stroke. However, many chiropractors insist that while it is possible that chiropractic manipulation could have adverse effects, those instances are quite rare.

So, chiropractic treatment is relatively low risk and is safe to attend on a weekly basis?

Chiropractic care is often performed more frequently in the beginning on the treatment process, and then clients need to go less often. A 1992 study found that for a case of acute, uncomplicated spinal related pain, treatment was effective when clients were attending the chiropractor three times per week for the first four weeks, then one to three times a week for up to four to eight weeks. This type of philosophy is not uncommon with chiropractic circles, and continuous treatment, depending on the severity of the injury is often recommended.

In short, the answer to this question is yes. Chiropractic treatment is safe, with vary degrees of risk, depending on the type of adjustment being made. While some physicians question whether neck adjustments are worth the risk, the chances of anything negative happening are quite low. The frequency of the treatments depends on the type of treatment needed, but it is not uncommon for chiropractors to recommend that clients receive treatment multiple times per week, at least at first, before cutting back. Be sure to discuss any concerns or health issues with your chiropractor at the time of your first visit. It is important to note that despite the low risk nature of the adjustments, you should not see a chiropractor if you have or have had any of the following health conditions:

• Numbness, tingling or loss of strength in an arm or leg
• Cancer in your spine
• An increased risk of stroke

These conditions can complicate the procedure and make you higher risk for negative consequences.

Chiropractic treatment is used to keep your joints healthy, which leads to a better quality of life, especially as you age. While there are potential risks involved with chiropractic intervention, the data from various studies supports the conclusion that the benefits often outweigh the risks. If you are ready to enhance your health and get rid of your pain, give us a call at 205-637-1363.

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