If you do a quick search on the internet for the term ‘chiropractor’ or ‘chiropractic adjustment’, a whole slew of search results may lead you to personal webpages denouncing the safety of chiropractic and how cervical spine adjustments lead to all sorts of horrible disfigurement and death.
If we look at the science and research studies behind chiropractic, we can see that is certainly not the case. A recent study decided to test the validity of this misconception, which ended up proving what we have known all along.
Published in the orthopedic journal Spine, and conducted by Thiel, Haymo W. DC, PhD; Bolton, Jennifer E. PhD; Docherty, Sharon PhD; Portlock, Jane C. PhD, the study’s objective was to estimate the risk of serious and relatively minor adverse events following chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine by a sample of U.K. chiropractors.
The study obtained data from 28,807 treatment consultations and 50,276 cervical spine manipulations. After a careful analysis of the data, the authors came to the conclusion that there were no reports of serious adverse events. According to the study, serious adverse events were defined as: hospital and/or severe onset/worsening of symptoms immediately after treatment and/or resulted in persistent or significant disability/incapacity, and minor adverse events reported by patients as a worsening of presenting symptoms or onset of new symptoms, were recorded immediately, and up to 7 days, after treatment.
Compare the results of this study to the track record of standard medical care: An article published in the September issue of the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that there are between 210,000 and 400,000 deaths per year associated with medical errors in hospitals. That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. A 2010 government analysis found that 134,000 Medicare beneficiaries were suffering adverse events every month, many of which were “clearly or likely preventable.”
This study is the first, large-scale prospective study designed to record serious and minor adverse events following chiropractic manipulation of the neck. The authors conclude that that serious complications following spinal manipulative therapy of the cervical spine, including neurologic deficit and stroke, are relatively uncommon. Rather, “relatively minor side effects of cervical spinal manipulation, such as neck pain, stiffness and soreness, headache, and tiredness are common in clinical practice.”
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If you would like to find out if treatments with an experienced chiropractor in Augusta GA may be beneficial for you, you can schedule a complimentary consultation at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic. Many of our patients have said they wish they had considered other alternatives sooner. Our complimentary consultations are an integral part of our patient experience here, and our goal is to make sure that you remain in control of your healthcare.
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.
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