Studies Show Chiropractic is Safer than Pain Medication
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) believes that patients have the right to know about the health risks associated with any type of treatment, including chiropractic. But recent news reports on the risks of chiropractic cervical manipulation have alarmed patients about one of the safest and most effective treatments in health care. The public needs to be aware that the risks associated with chiropractic treatment are “infinitesimally low.”
According to a study by the Rand Corporation, a serious adverse reaction from cervical manipulation occurs less than once in 1 million treatments. The study also showed that on the rare occasion of an adverse reaction, it is often the result of the manipulation being performed by someone who is inadequately trained in spinal manipulation, rather than by a licensed doctor of chiropractic.
The number of serious complications from chiropractic treatment is extremely low when compared to the number of illnesses and deaths that will occur this year from the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. A study published in the April 15, 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that more than 2 million Americans become seriously ill every year from reactions to drugs that were correctly prescribed and taken; 106,000 Americans die annually from those side effects.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, complications from commonly used pain medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are responsible for 16,500 deaths each year. To put this in perspective, approximately 16,500 people died of AIDS in the United States in 1998, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition, a more recent study conducted by the Institute of Medicine revealed that nearly 100,000 people die each year from medical mistakes made by physicians, pharmacists and other medical professionals. Compared to drugs or surgery, chiropractic is very safe indeed.