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spinal column of neck and back

The Benefits and Risks of Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic is a medical profession, and practitioners of chiropractic treatments are known as Doctors of Chiropractic (DC), chiropractic physicians, or just Chiropractors. These are professionals who are well-trained to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders.

Chiropractic treatments involve a non-invasive approach where there is no surgical procedure involved in the care and treatment process. Instead, the process involves spinal manipulation through physical exercises and therapy. Treatment generally involves the application of moderate pressure by chiropractors on certain spinal regions and deep tissue massage.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care
Millions of Americans visit chiropractors every year seeking relief from back pain from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Manipulation is used to restore mobility to joints restricted by tissue injury caused by a traumatic event, such as falling, or repetitive stress, such as sitting without proper back support. Both Spinal manipulation and other chiropractic care are broadly perceived as a secure and efficacious methodology of treatment for a number of different body disorders. Chiropractic care has proven effective in lessening the pain and alleviating the symptoms emerging from a number of conditions, some of which are noted below:

  • Migraines
  • Neck-related headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Spine injuries
  • Joint-pain, problems with movement of arms, legs, and shoulders
  • Whiplash
  • Acute low back pain
  • Sudden injury arising from tackling heavyweight
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

The efficacy of chiropractic treatments in the above disorders is backed by research. It should still be noted that there are instances where patients should be cautious, just as with any medical treatment.

Risks of Chiropractic Care
If the individual performing chiropractic adjustment or spinal manipulation is well-trained and a licensed professional, then chiropractic care is generally safe. However, there are sometimes risks due to spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustment. This includes:

  • Herniated disk, or deterioration of an existing disk herniation
  • Pressing and resulting compaction of nerves in the lower spinal column
  • A specific type of stroke that can occur after neck manipulation, known as vertebral artery dissection.

It is noteworthy that all of the above risks are highly rare and usually are either the result of chiropractic care performed by untrained, unlicensed chiropractors or because the treatment was taken by patients for whom it was not safe to undergo chiropractic treatment.

When to Not Seek Chiropractic Care
One must not undergo chiropractic care if they are suffering from any one of the following conditions:

  • Spinal cancer
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Numbness, tingling or loss of strength in arm or leg
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • A pre-existing bone abnormality in the upper neck

Apart from these conditions, people who are at a higher risk of stroke and/or are on blood-thinning medications should not undergo spinal manipulation. Individuals who have had cancer in the past should also consult a medical professional and acquire permission before seeking any chiropractic care.

Key Message
If the above-mentioned precautions are taken into account, chiropractic care can provide many benefits in a safe and secure manner. Chiropractic care is entirely dependent upon the precise and correct assessment of your pain, therefore, it is important that a chiropractor should be well-informed of the medical history of the patient. Pre-existing conditions, ongoing medications, past traumatic injuries, surgical history, and other such lifestyle-related factors are extremely important components in determining effective treatment and care. The goal is always to improve symptoms, relieve pain, and improve a patient’s physical functioning. Chiropractic medicine is generally considered safe, effective, and may help a patient make great strides towards improving his or her quality of life.