We see a large number of patients in our Sunnyvale & San Francisco, CA office, and Dr. Jamie Stern has helped countless people manage a variety of health issues. However, one concern that seems to prevent many people from seeking care is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Luckily, according to three separate studies (out of many on the topic), the answer to this question is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"
The first study(1) was published in Spine and involved 183 women and men. Each individual reported suffering from some kind of back pain, and half of the people received real chiropractic adjustments while the remaining patients were given two sham chiropractic treatments. Information was gathered after each real or fake adjustment to identify if any unfavorable negative effects were caused by the real chiropractic adjustments.
The doctors found that no participants reported any significant adverse adverse reactions whatsoever after getting one or two sessions of chiropractic. Some people did state that they got a headache (9% of patients) or muscle stiffness (about 1 out of 3) post-treatment, but the results were not serious.
A second article(2), also released in the prestigious journal, Spine, was conducted in an effort to ascertain the safety of chiropractic. The study group was much larger -- 20,000 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all study participants.
Again, the investigators discovered no serious negative side effects. The experts computed the risk of total side effects to be about 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. And, just as with the first study, some volunteers did report non-serious, milder, unwanted 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 prompted the researchers to conclude that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."
The third research paper(3) is different from the first two pieces of research, as it concentrates on the safety of chiropractic care for children. In this case, researchers investigated data reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic adjustments.
Out of 5,438 chiropractic visits made for the young ones, chiropractors responding to the survey reported only three cases where there were adverse reactions. 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 studies like these, chiropractic care has been deemed safe and effective for everyone. To learn what chiropractic can do for you, call our Sunnyvale & San Francisco, CA office and make an appointment today at (415) 308-7636.