Is chiropractic safe?

Posted in Chiropractic Conditions on May 5, 2021

No-one ever asked me is chiropractic safe.

I understand the assumed conflict of interest. But my answer may surprise you.

We understand that now, more than ever, many people have concerns about staying safer.

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And when it comes to chiropractic, most people don’t want anyone twisting their neck until their spine cracks.

Me Either!!!

So after graduating chiropractic school with even more health science hours of education than most medical doctors…

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I invested several years in postgraduate certification courses learning how to adjust the spine without twisting or cracking. it.

If you knew that there is an option for all the relief without twisting and cracking your neck or back, would you feel more comfortable about going to a chiropractor?

Yes, occasionally someone with undetected artery damage (stroke in progress) goes to a chiropractor.

Because sometimes, stroke in progress can feel like something someone would go to a chiropractor for, neck pain and /or headache.

And if that chiropractor twists their neck and aggravates the stroke in progress, the outcome can be very sad.

And while that risk is actually much less than taking aspirin, it is eliminated by never twisting the patient’s neck.

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While Upper Cervical (Top Neck) chiropractors may treat other areas of the body,

they take great care in treating the neck.

Differing from typical chiropractors in many ways but mainly in attention to the unique-delicate anatomy of the neck and the minimal force used in treating it.

So upper cervical adjustments performed by certified upper cervical chiropractors, who

never twist or crack the neck, 

eliminate the risks associated with twisting and cracking the neck.

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“Never let the truth get in the way of a good story” Mark Twain

But sensational media stories perpetuate the dangers of chiropractic without ever comparing risks of any other kind of doctor.

And a brief review of annual malpractice insurance premiums shows a professional analysis of risk:

OB/Gyn                             $46,000

Surgeon                            $34,000

Pain Management          $15,000

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Internal Medicine            $14,00

Chiropractic                     $2,000

So general manipulation (twisting and cracking) does carry some risk.

But that’s not the only reason we don’t’ do it.

While the risk of general manipulation is minimal, we do not subscribe to a one size fits all approach of twisting and cracking every person, every time, for every condition and believing that can be right for everything.

Especially when you consider how the perfectly matched spinal joints relate to each other…

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How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Is Safe

Unlike the viral videos of attractive young women getting violently manipulated with “turn up the sound” pop ups…. Please.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic adjustments may seem totally underwhelming.  Or at least not that dramatic.

So even with a sprained, inflamed joint and a strained spasming muscle,

Upper cervical adjustments rarely if ever cause any pain.

Because without twisting, sprained joints don’t inflame even more and guarding muscles don’t get wrenched into spasm.

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But when the tweaked joint gets delicately nudged back into a gliding relationship, pain and spasm often reduce immediately.

Even if the patient barely feels the adjustment.

And the best part is that the upper cervical adjustment doesn’t take an hour or even a minute to perform.

So after the initial analysis, (about half an hour), determining where and how to nudge the joint back into motion…

Check ups need only last a few minutes but often provide more relief than an hour long massage

and in some cases, more relief than months of pain management or even multiple surgeries.

But if all upper cervical adjustments did was reduce the amount of over-the-counter medications needed…

That still makes it one of the safest healthcare options with compounded safety benefits.

Is Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Safe For Children?

Often, we see newborns, on the way home from the hospital, because believe it or not birth is stressful.

With all that twisting and pulling… Even with Cesarean (C-section) birth can cause strains and sprains not easily detected.

And only with the additional post graduate training mentioned earlier can chiropractors find issues that don’t catch the attention of the obstetrics delivery team. They have their hands full!

But our ability as upper cervical chiropractors to find and reduce these micro-sprain/strain spinal injuries, with less pressure than most massages make it very safe for children.

And children tend to respond to chiropractic care faster than adults because they usually have less compounded stresses than adults.

While back pain is rare in children, common symptoms that respond favorably to upper cervical care for children include:

Allergies and asthma

Frequent ear infections


Trouble sleeping or eating

Bed wetting

Because by relieving the stress on a joint, usually in the upper cervical area (neck), every system can work more efficiently.

Upper cervical chiropractic tends to be gentler than general chiropractic, making it a safe option for patients of any age.

But My Doctor Told Me I Should Never Go To A Chiropractor

There are few absolute contraindications (reasons not to treat) with Upper Cervical Chiropractic.

active spinal infection

active spinal cancer

acute spinal dislocation

acute spinal fracture

severe ligament instability

And with all due respect, most medical doctors don’t know the difference between general chiropractic and upper cervical chiropractic.

Even I would never refer any of my patients for general manipulation

which is what most people, even doctors, think of when they hear the word chiropractic.

But because we can so effectively reduce stress, without creating any new problems we often see amazing results for:



High blood pressure

Post-Concussion / Mild Traumatic Brain Injury



Face Pain

Jaw pain

Whiplash injury

Neck pain

Shoulder pain

Low back pain


Herniated disc

Hip, knee, ankle, and foot pain

Balance and Safety

Sometimes, even small injuries that happened years in the past can cause a micro-sprain/strain spinal injury that has few if any obvious symptoms, at the point of injury.

But because of the spinal joints’ powerful influence on balance, we use advanced balance tests to help pinpoint the problem.

And even the slightest micro-sprain of the upper cervical spine can throw most people dangerously off balance.

Most importantly, correcting your body’s imbalance may reduce the risk of falling as we get older.

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