Is Chiropractic Care Safe? Yes.
Opponents of chiropractic periodically trot out scares about how chiropractic care causes strokes. The actual risk is very small- various sources put it at between one in a million and one in fourteen million. For comparison, this is approximately the same risk of stroke you run getting your hair washed at a salon. Latest information about chiropractic safety can be found at www.chiropracticissafe.org , a site presented by the International Chiropractors Association. The studies are done by independent researchers.
A thorough review article was published in the medical journal International Journal of Clinical Practice on 9/1/2013 to address this controversy. Their conclusion: “There is lack of compelling evidence that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is causally associated with stroke. …There may be some links or association with SMT and vertebral artery dissection (VAD) in untrained practitioners, but this has not been established with chiropractors.”
The risk from not having chiropractic care is significant. The pain relievers taken to deal with chronic unresolved neck and back pain have serious effects on kidneys and liver. Structural problems not corrected lead to arthritis, disk degeneration, neurological problems- the list goes on. And if your condition deteriorates to the point where surgery is your only option, the risk increases greatly.
Finally, chiropractors are aware of the risks inherent in our care; no technique in health care which is effective is entirely without risk. So we constantly refine our skills and modify our techniques to make them even safer.