Is Chiropractic Care Safe?

Yes, chiropractic is safe. In fact, in a study comparing a course of chiropractic care with a course of anti-inflammatory drugs, chiropractic was shown to be 250 times safer (1). As with any form of health care, there are some risks. Some people may feel slight soreness following their first few adjustments as the body begins to realign. This is usually very mild, and lasts only a short time. Then there are the very rare risks of infrequent strain/injury to a ligament or disc in the neck (less than 1 in 139,000) or the low back (1 in 62,000). There is also an extremely rare risk of stroke associated with adjustments of the neck. All studies published found the risk to be very low (3,4,5), with the most recent research published in 2001 putting such an event at one in 5.85 million adjustments (6). Despite the many benefits of medical care, there are some risks associated. Specifically, neck surgery has a three to four % rate of complications which in turn leads to 4,000 to 10,000 deaths per million cases (7).