Chiropractic Adjustments are Safe
The argument about safety concerns is an example of “junk science” and a perennial favorite by those who have an interest in discouraging people from seeking chiropractic care.
Because of the popularity of this tactic, year after year chiropractic and especially neck adjustments, have been the subject of countless research projects. The result of these studies show that complications from neck adjustments, the supposedly “riskiest” chiropractic procedure, are exceedingly rare:
1972 – One death in several tens of million adjustments.1
1978 – One in 10,000,000 neck adjustments.2
1981 – One in a 1,000,000 neck adjustments.3
1983 – Two to three per 1,000,000 adjustments.4
1985 – One in 400,000 neck adjustments.5
1993 – One in 3,846,153 neck adjustments.6
1995 – One in 2,000,000 neck adjustments.7
1996 – One in 900,000 neck adjustments.8
In other words, cases of serious injury are practically nonexistent. By comparison, it makes the deaths caused by over-the-counter-pain-relievers (more than 1,500 each year) to be considerably more troubling!
Even risk-adverse insurance companies recognize the safety of today’s chiropractic care. The premiums for malpractice insurance paid by chiropractors are a mere fraction of what medical practitioners must pay. Chiropractic care is safe.
1 Maigne R. Orthopedic Medicine: A New Approach to Vertebral Manipulations. Springfield, Illinois, Charles C. Thomas. 1972; 155, 169.
2 Cyriax J. Textbook of Orthopaedic Medicine. Vol 1. Diagnosis of soft tissue lesions (7th edition). London, Bailliere Tindall. 1978; 165.
3 Hosek RS, Schram SB, Silverman H, Meyers JB. Cervical Manipulation. J Amer Med Assoc. 1981; 245:922.
4 Gutmann G. Verletzungen der arteria vertebrailis durch manuelle therapie. Manuelle Medizin 1983; 21:2-14.
5 Dvorak J, Orelli F. How dangerous is manipulation of the cervical spine? Manuel Med 1985; 2:1-4.
6 Carey PF. A report on the occurrence of cerebrovasular accidents in chiropractic practice. J Canada Chiropractic Association 1993 (June);37 (2): 104-6.
7 Dabbs V Lauretti WJ. A risk assessment of cervical manipulation vs NSAIDS for the treatment of neck pain. J Manip Physio Ther 1995 (Oct); 18 (8): 530-6.
8 Klougart N, Leboeuf-Yde C, Rasmussen LR. Safety in Chiropractic Practice. J Manip Physiol Ther 1996 (Jul-Aug); 19 (6): 371-7.