Chiropractic treatment is designed to help with what the experts refer to as “neuromusculoskeletal” pain. This pain occurs when the spine ends up getting out of alignment, putting pressure on parts of the body where there shouldn’t be any. The best way to treat this pain is by getting an adjustment by a licensed professional chiropractor. However, there are some people out there who aren’t quite sure how chiropractic treatments work or are positive that they’ve read negative stories about other patients ending up hurt – or worse – after seeing a chiropractor. These stories don’t quite get to the real cause of the injury or death, which usually involves a pre-existing condition that’s exacerbated by the treatment.
Every Medical Procedure Can Have Side Effects
Although chiropractic manipulations end up with a bad reputation, every medical procedure can have side effects. Someone can go in for outpatient surgery on their ankle and end up with a blood clot. A person could have a reaction to a type of medication, even if they’ve taken it before. Unknown allergies can pop up. When a medical issue occurs in a standard clinical setting due to a simple procedure, it doesn’t seem to receive the same type of bad press as chiropractic care. People are quick to jump on chiropractors. This doesn’t mean that you can’t end up with an injury after seeing a chiropractor, but when you consider how many people see them every day and are fine afterward, the headlines don’t seem to match up.
The main procedure conducted by a chiropractor is called a cervical manipulation. This is an adjustment of the cervical vertebrae in the neck, and they are designed to help with headaches and neck pain. When this procedure is performed properly (read: gently) on a patient that doesn’t have a history of arterial issues, most of the time, everything is fine. However, when an arterial issue is present, the risk for a tear, also known as a dissection, goes up. Studies have found that the movements associated with having your hair washed in a salon or even turning your head while swimming carry the same risk as a cervical manipulation in people with a pre-existing condition. It’s much less scary than the media has it seem.
What Can You Do to Prevent Potential Issues?
If you’re still afraid of seeing a chiropractor (although you shouldn’t be) your best bet is to bring with you a list of your medical conditions. By going over everything – and that means every detail – beforehand, your chiropractor will be able to ascertain whether or not you should have a spinal or cervical adjustment or another type of manipulation and treatment. There are some conditions that leave you likely to have complications from these procedures, including connective tissue disorders and even a history of issues with your blood vessels. By going over all of this beforehand with your chiropractor, you’re more likely to end up with a positive outcome.
Seeing a Chiropractor for Pain
A chiropractor is someone who is able to help determine the cause of your pain and help relieve it. In a society where people turn to opioid pain medications and over the counter treatments, it’s best to have another option. If you’re a candidate for chiropractic treatment (as in, you’ve talked to a chiropractor and gone over your entire medical history), then you’d be surprised at just how effective these treatments are. There are some side effects (more on them shortly), but the most common ones disappear quickly – much like your pain levels.
The Actual Side Effects of Chiropractic Care
Since chiropractic care is very safe and the chances of having a severe side effect are small, it’s important to know and understand what the actual side effects of these treatments are. These include a small amount of pain and soreness, stiffness, and some minor aches. With that said, many people don’t have these side effects at all – they emerge from their chiropractor’s office feeling great. If you do have any of these minor side effects, keep in mind that they’ll fade away within 24 to 48 hours.
With that said, sharp pains, as well as neck or headache pain that appears very suddenly, is something that you need to be very wary of. These sharp pains may be a sign that you have an issue with your arteries. If you end up feeling them, seek emergency medical help. However, if you’re like most people, you’ll just have a little soreness afterward.