We tend to a large number of patients in our Yakima office, and Michael J. Covington DC-PS has helped many people manage a range of health issues. In spite of this, one worry that seems to stop a lot of folks from pursuing treatment is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Luckily, according to three different studies (out of many on the topic), the answer to this concern is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"
The first article(1) was published in Spine and included 183 adults between the ages of 20 and 85. Each participant was suffering from some kind of back pain, and half of the people received real chiropractic adjustments whereas the other half received two sham chiropractic treatments. Data was collected after each real or fake adjustment to identify if any unpleasant side effects were caused by the real chiropractic adjustments.
The authors reported that no participants reported any serious unfavorable adverse reactions in any way after getting one or two sessions of chiropractic. Some people did state that they got a headache (just 9% of people) or muscle stiffness (about 1 out of 3) after treatment, but the effects were not serious.
A second article(2), also published in the influential journal, Spine, was conducted in an attempt to determine the safety of chiropractic care. The test group was much larger as it involved just under 20,000 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the neck, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all study participants.
Again, the investigators found no serious adverse side effects. The authors calculated the risk of total negative effects to be about 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. Plus, just as with the first study, some people did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (less than 2%) 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 different from the first two reports, as it concentrates on the safety of chiropractic care for children. In this article, the authors analyzed data reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic treatment sessions.
Out of 5,438 chiropractic appointments made for the young children, chiropractors answering the survey reported only three cases where there were adverse side effects. When parents were surveyed, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Additionally, 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 care has been found to be safe and effective for everyone. To learn what chiropractic can do for you, call our Yakima office and schedule an appointment today at (509) 895-7535.