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There are risks with everything we do in life.  Health care has many known side effects.  The list of side effects with medications and surgery can be overwhelming, but we seem to accept these risks more and more.  Chiropractic care has been shown to be a very safe and natural approach to health care.  The most common side effect with chiropractic care is mild soreness after a treatment.  A survey of 19,722 chiropractic patients was performed in 2007.  These 19,722 patients were adjusted for a total of 50,276 times.  There were no reports of serious or adverse side effects.  They estimated that there is likely to be one serious side effect per several million adjustments.  The most serious reported side effect of chiropractic adjusting is a vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke after a neck adjustment.  A recent study showed that you are just as likely to have a VBA stroke after seeing your medical doctor (who is not adjusting your neck) as you are seeing your chiropractor.  The study concluded the following:  “VBA stroke is a very rare event in the population. The increased risks of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic and primary care physician visits is likely due to patients with headache and neck pain from VBA dissection seeking care before their stroke. We found no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated chiropractic care compared to primary care.”

1. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national surver.  Spine 2007 Oct. 1:32(21):2375-8    Thiel HW et al.


2, J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009 Feb;32(2 Suppl):S201-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.11.020. Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study.Cassidy JD, Boyle E, Côté P, He Y, Hogg-Johnson S, Silver FL, Bondy SJ.