We see a large number of patients in our Anchorage office, and Dr. Matthisen has helped many people overcome a variety of health problems. However, a common worry that seems to prevent many folks from seeking care is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Fortunately, according to three different studies (out of countless on the topic), the answer to this question is a resounding: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"
The first research paper(1) was published in Spine and included 183 adults. Each participant reported suffering from some kind of back pain, and half of the people received actual chiropractic care visits whereas the other half were given two sham chiropractic adjustments. Information was obtained after each real or fake adjustment to see if any unpleasant reactions occurred as a result of the actual chiropractic adjustments.
Researchers found that no one reported any significant undesirable side effects at all after receiving one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some people did state that they had a headache (9% of patients) or muscle stiffness (37 percent) after treatment, but the results were not serious.
The next study(2), also released in the influential publication, Spine, was performed in an effort to determine the safety of chiropractic care. The study group was much larger as it involved just under 20,000 people. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all study participants.
Once again, the experts discovered no serious negative side effects. The experts calculated the risk of total adverse reactions to be approximately 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. Plus, just as with the previous study, some people did report non-serious, milder, side effects such as dizziness (16 out of every 1,000 treatment consultations and 15 out of every 1,000 treatment sessions) or a headache (4 out of every 100), and this caused the researchers to determine that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."
The third study(3) is unique from the previous two reports, as it focuses on the safety of chiropractic care for children. In this case, the researchers investigated results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic treatment sessions.
Out of 5,438 chiropractic visits made for the children, chiropractors responding to the survey reported only three cases where there were adverse side effects. When parents were questioned, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."
Based on these three studies (and many more!), chiropractic has been found to be safe and effective for everyone. To find out what chiropractic can do for you, call our Anchorage clinic and make an appointment today at (907) 349-4212.