How Safe Is Chiropractic?

This article was updated May 2024.

A common question people considering chiropractic treatment have is whether chiropractic is safe, and whether it would be a safe treatment for them.

If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before or if your experience with chiropractic care is limited, you may be nervous or unsure about what to expect.

Chiropractors Are Highly Trained Medical Professionals

Some people question whether chiropractic is safe because they don’t realize how much experience is required to become a practicing chiropractor.

Just like other medical professions, chiropractors receive extensive training and must pass rigorous tests administered by the National Boards before becoming licensed.

These requirements help ensure that chiropractors are knowledgeable, skilled, and prepared to deliver safe, quality care to their patients.

Of course, you do need to make sure to choose an experienced, licensed, highly trained chiropractor—and you should also check reviews to make sure the one you choose is good with patients.

But once you do your due diligence to ensure your chiropractor is licensed to practice and experienced, you can have a high level of confidence that your chiropractic treatment will be safe.

Is Chiropractic Adjustment Safe?

Is Chiropractic Adjustment Safe?

Even if you’ve never been to a chiropractor, you may have heard people talk about chiropractic adjustments or heard something about their use.

Chiropractic adjustment, or spinal manipulation, is when a chiropractor applies a controlled, sudden force to individual spinal joints to improve mobility and alleviate discomfort.

To the uninitiated, this manual adjustment process may sound a bit scary, but “chiropractic adjustment is safe when it’s performed by someone trained and licensed to deliver chiropractic care,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

If you still have concerns, talk to your chiropractor about what spinal adjustment involves and whether it’s a good treatment for you.

Chiropractic Is a Safe and Effective Treatment for a Variety of Musculoskeletal Issues

Chiropractic medicine has been around for a long time, and its positive effects—and potential risks—have been monitored and studied for decades.

It’s important to note that chiropractic practice is not just spinal manipulation—it’s a holistic approach that can include a variety of different treatments.

Effective Treatment for Musculoskeletal Issues

Depending on the nature of your issue, your chiropractic treatment plan may include:

  • Spinal manipulation/chiropractic adjustment
  • Massage therapy
  • Muscle and fascial activation techniques
  • Stretching and exercise, including yoga and Pilates
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Posture and ergonomic training to correct biomechanical issues
  • Diet and exercise regimens

The good news for those considering chiropractic treatment for pain, injury or chronic musculoskeletal alignment issues is that chiropractic care has been shown to be very safe overall, presenting minimal risks and considerable benefits for patients.

Chiropractic has also been shown to be very effective at treating a variety of musculoskeletal issues—especially lower back pain.

One review of studies even found that it may be “as effective as other recommended therapies for the management of non-specific and chronic primary spine pain, including standard medical care or physical therapy.”

Chiropractic as a Safe Alternative to Opioids or Surgery

Chiropractic as a Safe Alternative to Opioids or Surgery

Not only is chiropractic care a safe and effective treatment for many different conditions – research suggests that in many cases, it may be a safer choice than other treatment options.

This is because treatment from a chiropractor can serve as an alternative to prescription pain medications and help people avoid surgery—both of which come with their own serious risks.

The Perils of Opioids

Many doctors prescribe opioid pain medications right off the bat for those with acute back or neck pain conditions, including minor injuries.

The rationale is that if it’s only for a short period of time during healing, most people won’t have to worry about getting addicted or suffer the nasty side effects of opioids.

Of course, we now know that even short-term opioid use can pose real dangers and risks.

Opioid use of any kind brings with it serious addiction risks and a raft of unpleasant side effects, including constipation, dizziness, sedation, nausea, decreased pain relief, and more.

Long-term opioid use for pain can be even worse, bringing both the usual side effects and addiction risks as well as things like hormonal deficiencies, bowel dysfunction, lower bone density/osteoporosis, heightened infection risk, cardiovascular complications, sleep apnea, and the risk of overdose.

In short, avoiding opioids whenever possible is usually a good idea.

Chiropractic has proven its success as an alternative to opioid pain medication for both acute and chronic pain, with positive results being increasingly well-documented.

Visiting a chiropractor significantly decreases your likelihood of needing to take opioids for musculoskeletal pains and injuries, helping patients avoid adverse drug effects and the perils of addiction.

Furthermore, chiropractors understand that pain medication only masks pain symptoms, instead of solving the root problem and working to prevent future injury.

Solving those underlying problems can go a long way toward preventing future risks—both from repeated injury and due to side effects from drugs and medical treatments.

Avoiding Surgery Through Chiropractic Care

Avoiding Surgery Through Chiropractic Care

The desire to avoid or delay surgery is a big reason many seek out chiropractic care.

Sometimes surgery is necessary for musculoskeletal problems or injuries, and it can be highly effective at treating certain issues.

But often, it is not necessary, and sometimes it doesn’t actually help.

Increasingly, patients are seeking alternatives to surgery – and many doctors are actually recommending they try chiropractic first.

Chiropractic Treatment is Recommended by Physicians for Back Pain and Injury

Chiropractic is increasingly being recommended by doctors over surgery and medication for a variety of back, neck and joint pain issues.

Due to the risks of surgery and the proven effectiveness of non-invasive chiropractic treatments, these more conservative treatment modalities are increasingly recommended as first-line treatments for back pain and injuries by groups like the American College of Physicians.

Given the low risk and the high potential for success, choosing chiropractic treatment over surgery or pain medication is a no-brainer for many suffering from pain or injury.

Dr Rush is an experienced chiropractor

Call an Experienced Pembroke Pines Chiropractor You Can Trust

Dr. Brian Rush, DC is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.

Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000, where he graduated with the honors rank magna cum laude.

He specializes in a variety of chiropractic and rehabilitation therapies, including traditional chiropractic treatment, spinal decompression, massage therapy and physical therapy.

Call 954-432-5006 today to schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Rush and find out how effective chiropractic care can help you feel better and live a healthier, more active life.

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