Is Chiropractic Safe?
Myth #5: Chiropractic care is unsafe.
Fact: Chiropractic care is widely accepted as a safe and low-risk natural procedure to achieve pain relief, improved mobility, and overall wellness.
While all medical interventions and procedures carry some risk, any risk associated with chiropractic care is extremely low, and the safety of chiropractic care trumps the safety of any other treatment for back pain—surgery, steroids, and pain medication included. Most often, the only side effect that comes with chiropractic adjustments is soreness.
Perhaps what speaks most in favor of chiropractic care—and dispels this chiropractic myth—is insurance premiums. In 2017, the National University of Health Sciences reported that chiropractors pay roughly $3,750 in annual malpractice insurance premiums. Contrast this with the nearly $18,000 paid by medical doctors. Chiropractors’ premiums are some of the lowest in the entire medical profession because of the historically low risk factor and high safety.
Are chiropractic treatments safe?
It is important to keep in mind that there is a difference between something being unsafe and having potential reactions. Any therapeutic treatment from medication to manual therapy comes with potential risk.
For example, there is a concept in the pharmaceutical industry known as a risk-benefit analysis which is used to assess how much benefit a medication has compared to the potential risk. The riskier the medication, the less likely it will become mainstream.2
Spinal manipulations should be recommended for patients when a similar risk-benefit assessment has been conducted. This assessment on the safety of chiropractic treatments is performed via the patient intake form and physical examination.