Pape Chiropractic & Wellness Center, LLC

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Chiropractic Safety

Chiropractic Related Links

Chiropractic is Safe.
Records from insurance and court cases have consistently shown that chiropractic is the safest healthcare available to the public today. Although no healthcare procedures are 100% safe, chiropractic stands on its record of safety and effectiveness unmatched in healthcare. To learn more about the safety record of chiropractic please visit the website Chiropractic Is Safe at

The American Chiropractic Association

Safety of Chiropractic Adjustments
The most comprehensive review of “adverse events” (also referred to as “Iatrogenic Injury”) caused by modern medicine is the article Death by Medicine, written by Gary Null, Ph.D.; Carolyn Dean MD, ND; Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD.  

This fully referenced report reveals that:
2.2 million People experience in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs per year.
20 million unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed annually for viral infections
7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures are performed annually, and
8.9 million People are exposed to unnecessary hospitalization every year!

The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year!

That is a mind-boggling 2147 people killed daily!
That's 7 jumbo jet plane crashes, each and every day.
That's a 9-11 incident occurring every other day...FOREVER. God help us all.

Now, Lets Discuss the Safety of Cervical Adjusting
No one pays closer attention to injury statistics than Malpractice Insurance carriers. Scott Haldeman, MD, DC reviewed malpractice claims records for a 10-year period between 1988 and 1997. In reviewing the outcomes following the application of 134.5 million cervical manipulations (commonly referred to as the chiropractic adjustment), the records indicated that there were 23 reported cases of stroke or vertebral artery dissection (VAD).  Of this group, 10 of the patients had the complicating factors of high blood pressure, use of oral contraceptives, or a history of smoking, all of which are associated with vascular disease.  The actual incidence of stroke or VAD following cervical manipulation was found to be one per 5.85 million cervical adjustments. That means that the average chiropractor could work for 1430 years (or practice 48 full chiropractic careers!) before they might be involved with this type of litigation.

Another study published….
 The estimated risk of major impairment following cervical spine manipulation is 6.39 per 10 million manipulations.  Manipulative treatment for neck pain is much safer than the use of NSAIDs, which are the most commonly prescribed medications for neck pain. Research in the United Kingdom has shown NSAIDs will cause 12,000 emergency admissions and 2,500 deaths per year.  The annual cost of GI tract complications in the US is estimated at $3.9 billion, with at least 2,600 deaths and up to 20,000 hospitalizations per year.

Even more information on neck adjustments…
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension.
Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare – about 1 case in 5.85 million manipulations.3
To put this risk into perspective, if you drive more than a mile to get to your chiropractic appointment, you are at greater risk of serious injury from a car accident than from your chiropractic visit.
It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for neck and back pain—prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)—as these options may carry risks significantly greater than those of manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.4

Sources Cited


- Carey P. A report on the occurrence of cerebral vascular accidents in chiropractic practice. J Can Chiropract Assoc 1993;37:104-6.

-Coulter ID, Hurwitz EL, Adams AH, et al. The appropriateness of manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine. Santa Monica CA: Rand, 1996.

- Haldeman S, Kohlbeck FJ, McGregor. Stroke, cerebral artery dissection, and cervical spine manipulative therapy. J of Neurol 2002;249:1098-1104.

- Blower Al, Brooks A, Fenn CG et al. Emergency Admissions for Upper Gastrointestinal Disease and Their Relation to NSAIDs Use. Alimart. Pharmacology Ther, 1997, 11:283-91.

- Fries JF, Miller SR, Spitz PW, Williams CA, Hubert HB, Bloch DA. Toward an epidemiology of gastropathy associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. Gastroenterology. 1989;96:647-655


Pape Chiropractic & Wellness Center, LLC
Tel. 860-739-3600
Fax 860-739-3400
305 Flanders Road, Suite 6
East Lyme, CT 06333