Is Chiropractic Care Safe?

 In Blog

Chiropractic care has been a subject of debate and scrutiny in recent years, with questions raised about its safety and efficacy. As with any medical treatment, it’s crucial to understand the risks and benefits involved. In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve deep into the safety of chiropractic care, examining the evidence, addressing common concerns, and providing insights into its overall safety profile.

So is Chiropractic Care Safe?

Understanding Chiropractic Care

Before delving into its safety, let’s first understand what chiropractic care entails. Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline focused on diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders, with a primary emphasis on manual manipulation or adjustment of the spine. Chiropractors believe that proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure can enable the body to heal itself without surgery or medication.


The Safety Concerns

Despite its widespread popularity and positive testimonials from many patients, chiropractic care has faced criticism and skepticism, primarily regarding its safety. Critics argue that spinal manipulation, the cornerstone of chiropractic treatment, could lead to adverse events such as strokes, nerve damage, or worsening of existing conditions. Additionally, there are concerns about the lack of standardized training and regulation within the chiropractic profession.


Examining the Evidence

A  large-scale study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 2007 found that the risk of serious complications from chiropractic manipulation of the spine is extremely low, comparable to the risk associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) commonly used for pain management.


Addressing Specific Concerns

Stroke Risk: One of the most cited concerns regarding chiropractic care is the potential risk of stroke associated with cervical spine manipulation. While some studies have suggested a possible association between cervical manipulation and stroke, the overall evidence remains inconclusive. A systematic review published in the Journal of Neurology in 2015 found that the risk of stroke following cervical manipulation is extremely low, estimated to be around one in 5.85 million sessions.

  • Nerve Damage

Critics of chiropractic care also raise concerns about the risk of nerve damage resulting from spinal manipulation. While there have been rare cases of adverse events reported, such as cauda equina syndrome or spinal cord injury, these instances are exceptionally rare and often associated with pre-existing conditions or improper technique.

  • Pregnancy

Another area of concern is the safety of chiropractic care during pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, chiropractic adjustments performed by trained professionals are generally considered safe for pregnant women and can provide relief from pregnancy-related discomforts such as back pain and sciatica. However, it’s crucial for pregnant women to seek care from chiropractors with specialized training in prenatal chiropractic care.

  • Pediatric Care

There is ongoing debate about the safety of chiropractic care for children and infants. While some studies have suggested that chiropractic adjustments can be beneficial for pediatric conditions such as colic or ear infections, critics argue that the developing spine of children may be more susceptible to injury. However, when performed by experienced and qualified practitioners, chiropractic adjustments for children are generally considered safe.


Regulation and Training

One of the key factors influencing the safety of chiropractic care is the level of training and regulation within the profession. In the United States, chiropractors undergo extensive education and training, including a minimum of four years of undergraduate study followed by four years of doctoral-level education at an accredited chiropractic college. Additionally, chiropractors must pass national board examinations and obtain state licensure to practice.

Furthermore, reputable chiropractors adhere to evidence-based guidelines and protocols to ensure the safety and efficacy of their treatments. They also collaborate with other healthcare professionals when necessary, such as referring patients for medical evaluation or imaging studies.



Chiropractic care is generally considered safe when performed by qualified and experienced practitioners. While concerns about adverse events exist, the overall risk associated with chiropractic treatments is minimal, especially when compared to other commonly used interventions such as medication or surgery. As with any healthcare decision, it’s essential to weigh the risks and benefits and consult with a trusted healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate course of action.

By staying informed and seeking care from reputable chiropractors, patients can safely access the potential benefits of chiropractic treatment and take proactive steps towards improving their musculoskeletal health and overall well-being.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search

chiropractic treatment gardendale alChiropractic Care in Scoliosis Management