Chiropractic care is a popular form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. It is often used to treat back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other joint-related issues. While chiropractic care is beneficial for most people, there are some risks associated with it that should be considered before making an appointment. In this article, we will discuss the potential risks of going to a chiropractor.
Risk #1: Injury from Adjustments Performed by the Chiropractor
One of the most common risks patients will ask me about that are associated with chiropractic care is injury from adjustments. Chiropractors use their hands to manipulate the spine in order to realign it and reduce pain. While this can be beneficial for some people, it can also cause injury if done incorrectly or too aggressively with too much rotational force. It is important to discuss any concerns you have with your chiropractor before beginning treatment so that they can adjust their approach accordingly. A good chiropractor will usually have multiple different adjustment techniques, including instrument adjustments, which prevent the injuries from aggressive adjustment techniques from ever occurring.
Risk #2: Sometimes a Chiropractor can Worsen Your Symptoms
Another risk associated with chiropractic care is that it may worsen existing symptoms or cause new ones to develop. This is probably the most common negative result experienced in a chiropractic office. Certain underlying medical conditions such as disc herniations, osteoporosis and arthritis can be aggravated by manipulation of the spine. Always talk about any existing medical conditions with your chiropractor before beginning treatment so they can tailor their treatment specifically for your individual needs.
Risk #3: Damage to Nerves or Blood Vessels can Occur from Chiropractic Treatment
Another potential risk associated with chiropractic care is damage to nerves or blood vessels due to excessive force during adjustments. As mentioned before, the use of too much rotational force or too much pressure is applied during an adjustment, it can cause bruising, swelling, numbness, tingling, or even nerve damage in some cases. The most severe possible injuries involve patients with underlying vascular issues, which have led to those patients having strokes as a result of treatment that injured weakened vessels. Make sure your chiropractor knows If you experience dizziness when you turn your head in certain directions or have a history of fainting or passing out as this may be a sign of vascular conditions.
Risk #4: If Your Chiropractor does not Properly Sanitize you could get an Infection
Finally, there is a small risk of infection associated with chiropractic care due to contact with bodily fluids during adjustments and other treatments. To minimize this risk, it’s important for patients to make sure their chiropractor follows proper hygiene protocols during each appointment. You should be able to tell that each treatment table has been cleaned with a disinfectant before you get on the table. If you are unable to tell if the table has been cleaned ask the staff what their cleaning protocol is between patients. If they say they “only change the headrest paper” you need to find a new chiropractor!
The Conclusion About Risks in Going to the Chiropractor
Chiropractic care is a very safe and effective treatment for the great majority of people who suffer from symptoms including headaches, back pain and neck pain to name just a few. However, there are some risks associated with this type of treatment that should be considered before making an appointment. Some of these risks include injury from adjustments, worsening symptoms due to underlying medical conditions, damage to nerves or blood vessels due to excessive force during adjustments, and infection due to contact from dirty treatment areas. By understanding these potential risks and discussing any concerns you have with your chiropractor before you begin treatment at their office, you can help ensure you receive safe and effective treatment for your condition.