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Is chiropractic safe?


In healthcare, safety is a relative term, involving the offsetting of risk against benefit. Statistically, chiropractic is safer than surgery or taking drugs. There have been concerns about whether chiropractic adjustments can damage the vertebral arteries in the neck.

Three independent research trials suggest that chiropractic cannot damage health arteries, and that if you already have damage, your risk of progressing to a full stroke doesn’t change whether you consult a chiropractor or a medical doctor.

The overall risk of cervical artery stroke following chiropractic care is put at between 1:4 lakh and 1:5.8 lakh treatments.

Some concerns have also been raised about whether chiropractic can damage discs, or cause compression of the nerves of the lumbar spine region [cauda equina syndrome]. Estimates for these risks run at respectively 1:10 lakh patient visits or less, and 1:50+ lakh patient visits. Even though the risks are small, chiropractors take steps to reduce them.

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