Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects.
The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension.
Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, there is not yet a clear understanding of the connection. The occurrence appears to be very rare—1 in 5.85 million manipulations— based on the clinical reports and scientific studies to date. If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.
It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain — prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) — as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.
Resource: American Chiropractic Association
What does the “DC” after your name mean?
The title “DC” stands for “Doctor of Chiropractic”. “Doctor” literally means “teacher”. Therefore, in keeping true to our title, we educate our patients about their condition, how to improve their health and how to stay as healthy as possible. Similarly, your MD [Medical Doctor] should do the same. Doctors of osteopathy are DO’s and Podiatrists are given the letters DPM which stands for Doctors of Podiatric Medicine.
How long does it take to receive a treatment?
Most treatment sessions require between 15-30 minutes; depending upon the depth and scope of care necessary. The initial examination typically lasts 45-60 minutes, depending on the complexity of a patient’s condition, and whether a treatment is received immediately after the initial evaluation. Do be aware that if the patient receives a massage before the adjustment that day there will be 45 minutes allotted for that visit.
I hear that chiropractors “crack” your back. Is this common?
Chiropractic adjustments most commonly elicit an audible “pop” or “crack” sound. Chiropractors refer to this as an “audible release” or “cavitation sound”. Treatment success is not contingent upon this noise. Research has proved that small pockets of air or bubbles are found in the tissue fluid surrounding a joint capsule. When the joint tissues are stretched during a chiropractic adjustment, the pockets of air ‘pop’ creating a cracking sound.