When you type in the word chiropractic, “Is chiropractic safe” is in the list of the top 5 questions asked about chiropractic. This is a common question and concern for people who have not experienced chiropractic care. The very nature of the sound of the “cracking” that happens during a manual adjustment and the slang term “crack my back” brings up some uncomfortable visceral reactions for some people.
In order to explain the safety of chiropractic, there are some important things to understand. First, it is important to understand what a chiropractor is and what a chiropractic adjustment entails.
What is a chiropractor, and what is an adjustment?
A chiropractor is a trained specialist who “uses their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve spinal motion and improve your body’s physical function” (2). Before an adjustment is delivered, a chiropractor will interview the patient, obtain a detailed health history, perform a chiropractic examination, perform diagnostic tests such as X-rays and will come to a working diagnosis. They will review their findings with their patient and discuss a recommended treatment plan. It is VERY important to go to a chiropractor who takes the time to complete these steps. You do not want to take risks by going to someone who skips these steps in order to save you a few bucks. Your spine is definitely one of the most important parts of your body. Most chiropractic malpractice lawsuits generally involve chiropractors who take shortcuts and do not perform necessary exams and diagnostic tests, resulting in missed issues, which can lead to injury if an adjustment is delivered.
Why drugs and surgery should be your LAST resort
Many people seek relief from their pain through drugs or surgery. Painkillers may offer temporary relief from their symptoms but do nothing to address the cause of the pain. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) are often thought of as being harmless because they do not require a prescription. However, they have been linked to several health conditions, such as stomach ulcers, liver and kidney damage, as well as heart problems. Opioids are highly addictive and cause thousands of deaths every year due to overdose. When medications fail to provide relief, some turn to surgery. However, spinal surgeries are very invasive and come the risk of infection, recovery time, as well as failure rates that may lead to more surgeries, each one with a higher failure rate.
Why Chiropractic care is an excellent and safe option to address your pain
Chiropractic care provides some of the safest drug-free, non-invasive treatment available for many neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Chiropractic care is considered statistically safer than even aspirin! Because of the high level of safety, chiropractors enjoy some of the lowest malpractice insurance rates in healthcare (3)! Torque Release Technique (TRT), which we use at Trinity Chiropractic is even safer than traditional manual chiropractic adjustments, as there is no twisting, popping or cracking involved with TRT adjustments.
“Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions. CAM patient surveys show that chiropractors are used more often than any other alternative provider group and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. There is steadily increasing patient use of chiropractic in the United States, which has tripled in the past two decades.” (4)
Meeker, Haldeman (2002), Annals of Internal Medicine
The most common negative side effect after a chiropractic adjustment is soreness. However, we see much less of this with Torque Release Technique (TRT) and utilizing the Integrator adjusting instrument as compared to manual adjusting.
Another study completed in 2018 and was published in JAMA Network open had 750 active duty military personnel who complained of back pain as participants (1). Half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive standard medical care including medications, selfcare and physical therapy. The other half of the participants were given up to 12 chiropractic treatments over a 6-week period. The study found that those that were assigned chiropractic care reported:
*less pain intensity
*experienced less disability and more improvement in function
*reported higher satisfaction with their treatment
*needed less pain medication
Out of the participants, no serious side effects were reported. Some experienced some mild soreness after the adjustment.
How is the TRT method different from manual adjusting?
Dr. Iszler is Advanced Proficiency Certified in the newest technique in chiropractic, Torque Release Technique (TRT). Using this gentle and specific neurologically based technique, he will adjust your spine and correct the misalignments without the uncomfortable twisting, popping and cracking that most people associate with chiropractic adjustments.
Torque Release Technique has been proven through research to be one of the most specific, scientific chiropractic techniques in the world (5). Dr. Jay Holder, M.D., D.C. Ph.D., created this technique during a research study at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He took what he determined to be the seven most effective techniques in chiropractic and used what he saw as the best part of each to develop this method. He was not satisfied with just that, so he invented an instrument to make the adjustments as precise as possible. The Integrator chiropractic adjusting instrument is the only FDA-approved chiropractic instrument for adjusting spinal misalignment (known as subluxations).
If you are suffering from neck pain, back pain, headaches, or any of a multitude of complaints, but are hesitant to go to a chiropractor because you are afraid of the twisting and popping involved, you will be pleasantly surprised with the relief available through our safe, gentle and specific adjusting technique.