Safety of The Chiropractic Adjustment

by | Oct 30, 2019 | Chiropractic Care, Chiropractic Safety, Family Chiropractic Care

When properly utilized, a chiropractic adjustment (manipulation) is a very safe and effective tool to treat joint pain of the back, neck, hips and extremities. The chiropractic physician is schooled and trained for 3 years to be certified to provide safe care to the public. During this time, they are trained on how to properly examine, diagnose and then use this treatment on conditions that come into their offices. The exam is the biggest factor that determines whether a patient should receive an adjustment. There are certain risk factors or red flags a chiropractor will look for during out exam that would determine if an adjustment is
right for you. You can rest assured that a lot of skilled thought goes into deciding if a patient should or should not be adjusted.

What’s the cracking noise?

The cracking or popping noise doesn’t always happen with an adjustment! But if it does, never fear, it is a totally normal sound to hear. No, the adjustment doesn’t break, crack or damage your bones and it actually increased space around your bones. All that the pop is, is a bit of nitrogen gas escaping from the joint as it is being moved around! Remember, the adjustment is a measured thrust that is targeted at specific joints to allow them to move freely with less pain. The “pop” is just a noisy little bonus!

Let’s talk depth

An adjustment can look scarier than it actually is; a person “falling” on your side or their hands around your neck. We get it! It’s most likely intimidating to watch that and wonder how that can’t hurt someone. But remember, it’s a very small amount of thrust force” that is actually going into the body. It’s only a couple millimeters of depth when a chiropractor adjusts into a joint of the body. Along with the depth of trust being so small, an adjustment is more about speed than power! The faster the adjustment is performed, with the proper tension, in the right direction, the better the adjustment can feel to the patient.

Let’s talk stroke

Every chiropractor has heard it, whether jokingly or serious, “Don’t stroke me out!” or “If you get your neck cracked you could have a stroke!”. Here is a myth that should be addressed. A properly delivered chiropractic adjustment does not cause a person to experience a stoke. When appropriately performed and when all red flags or risk factors have been ruled out it is a very safe treatment option. Yes, there are risk factors that predispose an individual to the possibility of having a stroke. This is exactly why it is important that the medical provider you see does a thorough exam to rule out any red flags. Did you know that
previous studies have looked at this issue and concluded that you statistically are more likely to die from a complication related to taking an aspirin than you are from a stroke complication related to an adjustment? Another study looked at if a person was more likely to experience a stroke if they were to see a chiropractor or a medical doctor. The study found the chance of having a stroke in either situation, chiropractor or medical doctor, is very rare and you are equally likely to experience a stroke regardless of what type of provider you see, because the risk factor red flags were already there. The big point is this: Having a stroke related to an adjustment is very, very rare! (Like 1 in 8 million). But it happens. And it happens because of pre-existing risk factors and health issues, which can be identified and avoided with a good review of your health history and a thorough examination before any adjustment or manipulation is performed, especially of the neck.

Chiropractor’s only crack your back right?

Wrong and wrong!  Even though the spinal adjustment is a powerful treatment and they are the best in the world at it, your chiropractor can do much more than adjust spines. They are masters at adjusting other joints as well, like feet, shoulders, ribs and even jaws! As previously mentioned, chiropractors are trained as physicians to perform exams, order tests, read images and diagnose patients. Chiropractic doctors also learn many treatment options outside of manipulation, such as soft tissue treatments, mobilizations, and passive modalities. Some of the soft tissue techniques that can be offered by Pro Chiropractic include Graston Technique (instrument assisted soft tissue therapy), Therapeutic Dry Needling, Fascial Manipulation, FAKTR, Cupping and ART. Other passive modalities such as Pulse Wave Therapy, PEMF, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, and ydromassage are great treatments on their own or in combination with a spinal adjustment!

In Summary

Chiropractic adjustments are safe when performed by someone trained and licensed to deliver chiropractic care. Serious complications associated with chiropractic adjustment are overall rare and this treatment is as safe or safer than most spinal pain treatments. Still uncomfortable with the safety of adjustments after reading about it? No problem, the chiropractors at Pro Chiropractic have many alternative options for treatment that you may benefit from.

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