Chiropractic Safety

A study published in the scientific medical journal Spine notes the safety of chiropractic.  The article published in the October 2007 issue of the journal was titled “Safety of Chiropractic Manipulation of the Cervical Spine: A Prospective National Survey.”  The study was a prospective national survey designed to “estimate the risk of serious and relatively minor adverse events following chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine by a sample of U.K. chiropractors.”

The authors admitted that the risk of any serious side effects from chiropractic care was relatively unknown to them and the medical community.  The chiropractic profession has long noted that the malpractice rates for the chiropractic profession at large, a possible indicator for injury from care, were considerably lower than any other medical health care provider.

This study looked at the outcomes from 19,722 chiropractic patients who had received some form or another of neck adjustments that they referred to as “chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine.” The researchers reviewed a total of 50,276 neck adjustments and looked to see if there were any serious side effects from the chiropractic care.  They defined serious effects to be those that resulted in the need to be referred to a hospital, or that caused a worsening of symptoms immediately after treatment, and/or resulted in persistent or significant disability or incapacity.

The results, according to the study, were that “There were no reports of serious adverse events.” Researchers did not find any serious adverse effects in any of the subjects they studied.  They also noted that this is the first medical study of its kind by stating, “Safety of treatment interventions is best established with prospective surveys, and this study is unique in that it is the only prospective survey on such a large scale specifically estimating serious adverse events following cervical spine manipulation.”   Researchers noted the safety advantage of chiropractic care by saying, “The risk rates described in this study compare favorable to those linked to drugs routinely prescribed for musculoskeletal conditions in general practice.”  They summed up their findings when they stated, “On this basis, this survey provides evidence that cervical spine manipulation is a relatively safe procedure when administered by registered U.K. chiropractors.”

“Safety of Chiropractic Manipulation of the Cervical Spine”: