Is Chiropractic Safe?

Is Chiropractic safe

If you’re dealing with back and neck pain, you may ask the question, “is chiropractic safe?” At Momentum Medical, we believe in providing our patients with the best information to make informed decisions about their health. In this blog, we’ll explore the safety of chiropractic treatment, why it’s a preferred option over surgery and the many issues it can help improve.

Understanding Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care involves diagnosing and treating mechanical issues within the musculoskeletal system, focusing on the spine. Chiropractors use manual spinal manipulation and other noninvasive techniques to ensure proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure, promoting natural healing without surgery or medication.

Is Chiropractic Safe Compared to Surgery?

Avoiding the Risks of Surgery

Surgery should be a last resort decision for treating back pain due to the inherent risks and potential complications. Surgical procedures come with the possibility of infection, blood clots, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Additionally, recovery from surgery can be prolonged and painful, often requiring a significant amount of time off work and daily activities.

Noninvasive and Drug-Free Treatment

Chiropractic care is a noninvasive, drug-free approach to treating back and neck pain. Spinal adjustments and other chiropractic techniques improve alignment, reduce pain, and enhance overall function without medication or invasive procedures. Chiropractic care is considered a safer alternative for many patients, especially for those who want to steer clear of the potential side effects and risks linked to surgical procedures and pharmaceutical treatments.

Evidence-Based Practice

Countless studies have highlighted the incredible benefits of chiropractic in treating a variety of conditions, particularly in relieving acute lower back pain. Spinal manipulation has been endorsed by the American College of Physicians as an effective treatment for low back pain. Let’s delve deeper into the evidence supporting chiropractic care:

Clinical Guidelines and Recommendations

The American College of Physicians (ACP) suggests spinal manipulation is one of the main non-drug treatments recommended for both short-term and long-term low back pain. This endorsement is based on a comprehensive review of clinical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic care in reducing pain and improving function.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Numerous comprehensive reviews and meta-analyses have examined the effectiveness of spinal manipulation for a wide range of conditions. For example, a Cochrane review concluded that spinal manipulation provides moderate relief for acute lower back pain and is a safe and viable option for patients. Recent research in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics shows that adjusting the spine can significantly reduce long-lasting lower back pain and improve overall function. According to a recent study analysis in the same journal, spinal adjustments effectively alleviate chronic lower back pain and enhance functional outcomes.

Comparative Effectiveness Studies

Studies comparing chiropractic care to other treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and standard medical care, have shown favorable results for chiropractic. According to The Spine Journal publication, patients who underwent chiropractic care for low back pain reported greater satisfaction and improved outcomes than those who received conventional medical treatment.

Patient-Centered Outcomes

Patient-centered outcomes, including pain reduction, improved mobility, and enhanced quality of life, are crucial indicators of the effectiveness of chiropractic care. Following chiropractic treatment, many patients have reported a considerable decrease in pain and an overall enhancement in their quality of life. This positive outcome has been consistently documented in numerous studies conducted on chiropractic care.

Safety Profile

Chiropractic treatments have an excellent safety profile and extremely low risk of serious complications, such as stroke or herniated discs, when performed by a licensed and experienced chiropractor. The most common side effects, such as temporary soreness or stiffness, are mild and self-limiting. Chiropractors conduct thorough evaluations to minimize risks and ensure appropriate treatment for each patient.

Important Statistics on Chiropractic Care Safety

Low Risk of Serious Complications

  • Stroke Risk: The risk of a stroke following chiropractic neck manipulation is extremely low, estimated at 1 in 5.85 million manipulations. The risk is similar to visiting a primary care physician for neck pain.
  • Severe Complications: Severe complications from chiropractic adjustments are rare. A study published in the journal Spine found the rate of serious adverse events to be less than 1 per 2 million cervical manipulations.

Common Side Effects

  • Mild and Temporary: The most common side effects of chiropractic care are mild and temporary, including soreness, stiffness, or slight discomfort following an adjustment. These symptoms usually resolve within 24 hours.
  • Patient Satisfaction: High levels of patient satisfaction indicate safety and effectiveness. Surveys show that more than 90% of chiropractic patients report improving their symptoms.

Effectiveness and Safety Endorsements

  • Clinical Guidelines: Organizations like the American College of Physicians recommend spinal manipulation as an effective and safe treatment for acute and chronic back pain, highlighting its safety profile.
  • Comparative Safety: Compared to other treatments for musculoskeletal pain, such as medications or surgery, chiropractic care presents fewer risks. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have a higher incidence of adverse effects, including gastrointestinal complications and increased risk of cardiovascular events.

Research and Reviews

  • Systematic Reviews: Many comprehensive reviews and meta-analyses have confirmed the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care. According to recent research published, spinal manipulation is a proven and safe approach for treating acute lower back pain.
  • Health Care Costs: Studies indicate that chiropractic care can reduce overall health care costs. Patients with chiropractic care as part of their treatment plan often have fewer hospital admissions, fewer surgeries, and reduced pharmaceutical costs.

Chiropractors Are Highly Trained Medical Professionals

Some people ask the question “Is chiropractic safe?” because they don’t realize how much experience is required to become a practicing chiropractor. Like other medical professions, chiropractors receive extensive training and must pass rigorous tests administered by the National Boards before becoming licensed. These requirements help ensure that chiropractors are knowledgeable, skilled, and prepared to deliver safe, quality care to their patients.

Of course, you do need to choose an experienced, licensed, highly trained chiropractor—and you should also check reviews to make sure the one you choose is good with patients. However, once you do your due diligence to ensure your chiropractor is licensed to practice and experienced, you can have high confidence that your chiropractic treatment will be safe.

Training and Licensure

  • Extensive Education: Chiropractors undergo extensive education and training, including a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience.
  • Rigorous Exams: To practice, they must also complete demanding national and state board examinations to acquire a license.
  • Continuing Education: Licensed chiropractors are also required to complete continuing education courses regularly to keep up with the latest research, techniques, and safety protocols, ensuring high standards of patient care.

Comprehensive Chiropractic Treatment Plans

Depending on the nature of your issue, your chiropractic treatment plan may include:

  • Spinal manipulation/chiropractic adjustment
  • Massage therapy
  • Muscle and fascial activation techniques
  • Stretching and exercise, including yoga and Pilates
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Posture and ergonomic training to correct biomechanical issues
  • Diet and exercise regimens

The good news for those considering chiropractic treatment for pain, injury, or chronic musculoskeletal alignment issues is that chiropractic care is safe overall, presenting minimal risks and considerable patient benefits. Chiropractic has also been very effective at treating musculoskeletal problems, such as significantly lower back pain.

Conditions Improved with Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic care helps with a variety of issues and injuries, including but not limited to:

Back Pain

Mid back pain and lower back pain are the most common reasons people seek chiropractic care, whether acute or chronic. Spinal adjustments can alleviate nerve pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility.

Neck Pain

Neck pain from injury, poor posture, or tension from stress can be effectively treated with chiropractic adjustments. These adjustments are designed to gently manipulate the cervical vertebrae to restore proper alignment and function. This can help alleviate pain and discomfort while promoting better overall spinal health.

Headaches and Migraines

Many headaches originate from tension and misalignment in the neck and upper back. Some severe headaches, called “cervicogenic headaches,” can be excruciating and activate migraine headaches. Chiropractors can help relieve the severity and frequency of migraines or headaches by addressing the underlying issues causing them.

Sciatica

Chiropractic adjustments can help with sciatica, relieving pain along the sciatic nerve from the lower back down the legs. These adjustments alleviate nerve compression and enhance the spine’s overall health.

Sports Injuries

Athletes often rely on chiropractic care to recover from sports injuries and enhance their performance. Chiropractic adjustments and complementary therapies effectively alleviate pain, improve flexibility, and expedite healing.

Whiplash

Whiplash, commonly resulting from car accidents, can cause neck pain and stiffness. Chiropractic care focuses on restoring normal movement to the neck and reducing pain and inflammation.

Scoliosis

Although chiropractic care cannot cure scoliosis, it can help manage the symptoms and enhance the patient’s quality of life. Adjustments and specific exercises can reduce pain and improve spinal alignment.

Chronic Pain Management

Chiropractic care can also provide significant relief for those suffering from chronic pain conditions. Chiropractic adjustments effectively tackle the root causes of pain and significantly enhance spinal function, leading to long-term pain reduction and a marked improvement in overall quality of life.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Approach

At Momentum Medical, we believe in a holistic approach to health and wellness. Chiropractic care is just one of the many components in our comprehensive treatment plans, which may also include physical therapy and lifestyle recommendations. We aim to tackle the underlying reasons for pain and dysfunction, offering lasting relief and enhancing your overall quality of life.

Momentum Medical’s Trusted Chiropractic Care

We hope this article has helped you understand the safety of Chiropractic care for various musculoskeletal issues. Our team is available to answer any questions regarding your pain relief options. We offer a noninvasive, drug-free alternative to surgery and medication, making us an appealing choice for many patients. If you’re struggling with back or neck pain, headaches, or other related conditions, consider visiting Momentum Medical to explore how we can help you improve your daily life.

References

These references and statistics highlight the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care, ensuring you can make an informed decision about your treatment options. By prioritizing safety and effectiveness, chiropractic care at Momentum Medical can help you achieve a pain-free life and get back to doing what you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey to better health.

  1. Church, E. W., Sieg, E. P., Zalatimo, O., Hussain, N. S., Glantz, M., & Ho, A. L. (2016). Cervical artery dissections and association with cervical manipulative therapy: A statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke, 47(10), 2447-2453. Link
  2. Haldeman, S., Kohlbeck, F. J., & McGregor, M. (2002). Stroke, cerebral artery dissection, and cervical spine manipulation therapy. Journal of Neurology, 249(8), 1096-1104. Link
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  4. Qaseem, A., Wilt, T. J., McLean, R. M., & Forciea, M. A. (2017). Noninvasive treatments for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 166(7), 514-530. Link
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  7. Liliedahl, R. L., Finch, M. D., Axene, D. V., & Goertz, C. M. (2010). Cost of care for common back pain conditions initiated with chiropractic doctor vs. medical doctor/doctor of osteopathy as first physician: experience of one Tennessee-based general health insurer. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 33(9), 640-643. Link
  8. American Chiropractic Association. (n.d.). Chiropractic Education and Training. Retrieved from ACA website
  9. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. (n.d.). Continuing Education Requirements. Retrieved from NBCE website
  10. American Chiropractic Association. (n.d.). Chiropractic: What Chiropractors Do. Retrieved from ACA website

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