When deciding whether or not to use chiropractic treatment, the questions “Is chiropractic safe?” or “Is chiropractic harmful?” can make its way into the conversation. There was a time when there was concern if manipulation of the neck caused stroke. Most of this concern was generated by those who had a bias towards chiropractic rather than by observation. In response a landmark study was done to evaluate this concern.
In 2008, an article published by Cassidy et al in the journal SPINE detailed the largest, most inclusive and in-depth study on the occurrence of vertebral artery dissection (type of stroke speculated to occur as a result of neck manipulation) in history. The study included a review of nearly 110 million person-years for the occurrence of vertebral artery dissection in the province of Ontario, Canada. The researchers, using comprehensive provincial health records data, found no greater likelihood of a patient experiencing a vertebral artery dissection after seeing a chiropractor than after seeing their primary care physician.
The rationale for this was this type of patient’s earliest symptoms is neck pain which prompted the patient to seek care. The outcome was the same whether they sought chiropractic care or medical care. Treatment did not cause the condition.
If you want further confirmation of this, look up the average cost of malpractice for a chiropractor verse a medical doctor. Insurance companies base their premiums on the amount of risk the clinician’s treatment will lead to harm. You will be greatly surprised to see how much lower chiropractors pay. Feel free to ask questions when you are in the office. We are always ready and willing to help.