A question I hear quite often from new patients before they receive their first adjustment is whether or not chiropractic care is safe. Research has proven that chiropractic is one of the safest therapies for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints (issues that deal with muscles, nerves and bones). That being said, no therapy is completely risk-free, so in this blog we will discuss the risks of chiropractic care and compare them to the risks of some of the most commonly prescribed treatments from medical doctors.
The risks associated with chiropractic care are very small. The most common side effect following adjustments is muscle soreness. This is comparable to going to the gym for the first time in a few years. Since we are starting to move joints that are not used to being moved, you may get sore. Soreness following adjustments typically lessens after 24 hours, and usually only occurs following the first few adjustments. Other side effects are extremely rare and can be explained in detail by your chiropractor.
While the most common form of treatment used by chiropractors to treat neck pain and back pain is the adjustment, medical doctors tend to prescribe medication to help relieve their patient’s pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prescription pain killers carry a significantly greater risk than chiropractic manipulation. A recent study showed that people who take NSAIDs are significantly more likely to experience severe gastrointestinal problems, such as bleeding. This risk was five times greater in patients over the age of 60.
Oxycodone and hydrocodone are two of the most commonly prescribed pain killers, and the number of prescriptions for these two drugs has tripled in the last 12 years. Unlike NSAIDs, which help relieve pain by decreasing inflammation, pain killers simply mask pain. They are also highly addictive and are among the leading causes of accidental death in US, leading to more overdoses per year than cocaine and heroine combined.
Not only is chiropractic care highly effective in treating neck and back pain, it has been proven to be extremely safe as well, especially when compared to traditional medical options. If you have any questions regarding chiropractic and medical risks feel free to leave them below and we will be sure to answer them.