Ian Coulter, Ph. D. is the author of an article in the September 1998 issue of the journal Integrative Medicine that examines the risks associated with chiropractic care. The article, entitled “Efficacy and Risks of Chiropractic Manipulation: What Does the Evidence Suggest?” points out some interesting facts:

  • Chiropractors perform more than 90% of spinal manipulations. (Manipulation is the generic, nonspecific medical term for Adjustment).
  • The risk of complication with cervical (neck) adjustments is 1 in 100 million adjustments.
  • The risk of complication with lumbar (low back) adjustments is 1 in 100 million adjustments.

The risk of complication in some common medical procedures and medications were not near as good:

  • The risk of complication with the use of NSAIDS (aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.) is 3.2 in 1000.
  • The risk of complication in cervical spine surgeries is 15.6 in 1000.

By way of commentary, there has been a lot of news about the dangers of chiropractic care over the past few months. This article clearly points out that most chiropractic procedures are significantly safer than many common medical procedures. For the best reflection of how safe chiropractic is, ask your chiropractor how much his/her malpractice insurance costs. Then ask your medical doctor the same question. The difference will surprise you.