The Dangers of Chiropractic Manipulations

According to the American Chiropractic Association, about 30 million Americans visit a chiropractor every year. Most of the people who visit a chiropractor believe chiropractic manipulations to be completely safe.  Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Risk of Stroke

One of the most extreme dangers associated with chiropractic manipulations is the risk of having a stroke caused by vertebral artery dissection. A vertebral artery dissection is the tearing of an artery that can occur as a result of a neck manipulation. Due to the high speed and thrust of a neck manipulation, the artery can be injured and a blood clot can block the blood flow to the brain.

Potential to Worsen Conditions

Many of the patients that seek chiropractic care do so to treat conditions that are causing pain in the neck or back. In some cases, however, chiropractic care can actually worsen conditions like herniated disks. It’s important to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional when conditions are present, rather than relying on a chiropractor for treatment.

Compression of Nerves

Spinal manipulation has the potential to cause compression in the nerves of the spine. Since these nerves control all of the different areas of the body, this can cause of range of symptoms, including:

  • Pain ranging from mild to extreme
  • Numbness in different body areas
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Difficulty walking
  • Weakness, particularly in the leg muscles
  • Absence of certain reflexes

Failure to Treat Issues

Even if no dramatic conditions or injuries occur as a result of chiropractic manipulation, the practice may not treat the issues that the patient sought care for. This means that the patient will continue to suffer from symptoms and will potentially see their condition worsen as they work to figure out another treatment. Since chiropractic care is unpredictable, the risks may not be worth the possible benefits.

A Need for Informed Consent

Since many patients that have been injured as a result of chiropractic manipulations have reported that they were not aware of risks, there is a need for consistent informed consent.

By detailing the potential risks of receiving spinal and neck manipulations, chiropractors give patients the ability to make a more informed decision about whether to receive care or not. This could help to prevent some patients from becoming injured.

Before receiving care at a chiropractic office, make sure you understand the risks. If you have received a chiropractic manipulation and feel that you may have injuries because of it, contact an experienced malpractice lawyer in your area.

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