Chiropractic Care Is Safe… Here’s Why!
According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA), chiropractic is a health profession that’s:
“…concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system as well as the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health.”
In other words, a chiropractor is a trained healthcare specialist of the spine, muscle and nervous system who diagnoses underlying causes of symptoms (usually related to your musculoskeletal system) and then recommends a choice of treatment options. As alternative healthcare providers, they also help to restore function in your body and prevent the re-occurrence of symptoms without surgery or pharmaceuticals.
A common treatment used by chiros is manual adjustments. This procedure (typically performed with either the hands or a small ‘adjuster’ instrument) improves spinal motion and overall physical function by correcting subluxations and activating the nervous system.
Most individuals will seek out chiropractic care for low back pain, neck pain and headaches, although chiropractors are known to treat a wide range of extremity joint injuries often acquired at work or playing sports.
That said, for those who have never tried this type of alternative medicine, the question remains, “are chiropractic treatments safe?” After all, everything you know of the treatment may be from a TV show or movie and may still have some questions on if chiropractic care is in fact safe – or not.
What does safe chiropractic care look like?
The benefits of chiropractic care are extensive. The treatments typically consists of manual therapy through joint manipulation, mobilizations and soft tissue therapy, although some chiros will have other methods they use for certain types of health conditions.
- Manipulations are the adjustments that you’re familiar with from TV shows or movies. It is a small, quick thrust to the spine or other parts of the body. You may hear a pop or crack, and it’s intended to provide immediate pain relief and mobility.
- Mobilizations are slower and more passive movements. They will feel more like stretches that help relieve stiff joints.
- Soft tissue therapy refers to different techniques such as active release therapy (ART) that your chiropractor will use to provide relief without movement.
In addition to these in-office treatments, your chiropractor may recommend applying other methods as well. These may include physio exercises, cold laser therapy, rehabilitation, injury prevention strategies and more, all of which can help you relieve pain and restore function to the following areas of your body:
- Head, Neck & Shoulders
- Upper, Mid and Lower Back
- Pelvis, Hips & Knees
- Elbows, Wrists & Hands
- Ankles & Feet
Are there risks of chiropractic adjustments?
A growing body of randomized controlled trials provides evidence of the effectiveness and safety of manual therapies. The 2012 study acknowledged that any side effects from chiropractic care tend to be benign, minor, and self-limiting with short duration. For example, you may have mild soreness after an adjustment.
Serious risks of chiropractic adjustment are extremely rare if they’re being performed by someone trained and licensed to perform adjustments – i.e., your chiropractor! The CCA highlights that if adverse reactions do occur, they usually last for less than 24-hours after treatment.
If you’re concerned, be sure to discuss prior to treatment with your practitioner and any other trusted medical professionals who are part of your treatment team. They can help provide you with additional information about what to expect.
Questions? Ask your chiropractor!
Chiropractic treatment is an alternative to surgery or pharmaceuticals, which is highly appealing to those who haven’t been able to find relief any other way and value drug-free, holistic healthcare.
Canadian chiropractors have over 4,200 hours of core competency training in the musculoskeletal system in order to be licensed. Chiropractic treatments are safe and the practitioners are highly trained, but it is ultimately up to you to decide if a chiro is right for you.
Don’t hesitate to do additional research and ask your chiropractor questions. They can help you understand how your treatment will work and what you can expect before, during and after your appointment. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have if you’re in the Calgary area!
Learn more about chiro care today: