When people think of chiropractors, there is a general misconception that these practitioners make a living cracking bones, and nothing could be further from the truth. Chiropractic professionals are trained in spinal manipulation, and while the popping sounds can be misconstrued as bones cracking, it is actually the release of air pockets in the fluid surrounding the joints. However, because of the misperceptions surrounding chiropractic therapy, people assume that the process is dangerous and will lead to arthritis or other bone issues. For those willing to do the research, they will likely find that the procedures used are safe, but as with any health care treatment, there are some possible risks and side effects that any potential patient should be aware of.

Common Side Effects

While neck and spinal manipulations are performed routinely without significant risks or adverse reactions. Every patient is different and may not respond as favorably to treatment. For some individuals, a chiropractic adjustment can lead to any number of short-lived side effects.

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Pain and soreness

Rare Risks

When performed by a trained chiropractor, spinal manipulations and neck adjustments are safe. However, even the most reliable procedures have the potential for serious complications. While serious side effects are uncommon for chiropractic patients, there are a few issues patients may want to be aware of.

  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Vertebral artery dissection
  • Herniated disk or worsening disk herniation

Safe and Effective for Some

When it comes to neuromusculoskeletal treatment, chiropractic therapy is a proven and effective treatment, and under the care of a trained practitioner, it is a safe course of treatment. However, it should be noted that chiropractic treatment is not for everyone. Some people do not respond well to treatment, and like any other form of medicine and therapy, the procedure is highly dependent on the individual. Also, while some may not respond immediately, it is necessary to note that the average treatment plan from a chiropractor is at least 10 visits, meaning that a patient may not see the full benefits of treatment until after the last visit.

It is true that chiropractic therapy has certain risks associated with it. However, many of those side effects may be blown out of proportion by individuals who do not understand the treatment process. While side effects are possible and severe issues may occur, neither is likely. If you are interested in learning more about the chiropractic process, then contact a local chiropractor who may be better able to address your specific condition and concerns.


Source: Back Pain Doctor Baltimore, MD, Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab and Chiropractic