We tend to a large number of patients in our Anchorage, AK office, and Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray has helped many people eliminate a variety of health challenges. In spite of this, one issue that seems to prevent many people from seeking care is whether or not chiropractic is safe. Luckily, according to three different studies (out of quite a few on the issue), the answer to this concern is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"
Australian Study: Chiropractic is Safe
The first research paper(1) was published in Spine and included 183 men and women between the ages of 20 and 85. Each individual was suffering from some kind of back pain, and half of the people received real chiropractic adjustments while the other half received two fake chiropractic treatment sessions. Data was collected after each real or fake adjustment to identify if any unpleasant reactions were caused by the actual chiropractic treatments.
The authors reported that nobody documented any significant undesirable side effects whatsoever after getting one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some people did state that they got a headache (9 percent) or muscle stiffness (about 1 out of 3) post-treatment, but the results were not serious.
Nationwide Survey Reports that Chiropractic Care is Safe
The second article(2), also published in the distinguished journal, Spine, was done in an attempt to ascertain the safety of chiropractic. The study group was much larger as it involved just under 20,000 people. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the neck, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all patients.
Once again, the experts discovered no serious adverse side effects. The authors determined the risk of total adverse reactions to be about 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. And, just as with the previous study, some individuals did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (less than 2%) or a headache (4%), and this prompted the researchers to determine that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."
Chiropractic Adjustments are Safe for Children
This third research paper(3) is different from the previous two reports, as it concentrates on the safety of chiropractic care for kids. In this article, the researchers analyzed data reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic adjustments.
Out of 5,438 chiropractic visits made for the young ones, chiropractors answering the survey documented only three cases where there were negative side effects. When parents were questioned, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."
Based on studies like these, chiropractic care has been deemed safe and effective for everyone. To learn what chiropractic care can do for you, call our Anchorage, AK office and make an appointment today at (907) 563-7700.
- Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
- Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
- Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.
We see quite a few people with back pain in our Anchorage, AK office, and Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray has helped many of them get relief through various chiropractic techniques. At the same time, recovering from back problems doesn't necessarily mean having to make a choice between chiropractic care and medical care, as many people utilize both types of care with great outcomes.
Study Confirms Chiropractic and Medical Care Work Well with Each Other
In a study published by the academic journal Spine researchers1 looked at a group of active-duty military personnel between the ages of 18 and 35 who were suffering from both acute soreness and restricted function due to back pain. Some of the study participants engaged in treatment via standard medical therapy, while the remainder were given chiropractic adjustments along with regular medical care, as the authors wanted to determine which group fared better.
The authors found that the patients who got standard medical care combined with chiropractic scored "significantly better" than the group that got medical care alone; 73% reported positive benefits compared to just 17% of the medical care only group who indicated the same amount of improvement. This was true regarding both pain and level of function at two and four weeks.
Accordingly, incorporating these two forms of care can greatly benefit you--the patient--offering advantages when compared to medical care alone. However, while chiropractic and medical approaches can work together, chiropractic offers some distinct advantages over medical therapy.
Where Chiropractic Wins
Although it might seem as if each approach plays a 50-50 role, there is one significant benefit that chiropractic care has over medical treatment and that is in patient satisfaction. In fact, a study done at UCLA2 that was printed in the American Journal of Public Health reports that, on average, chiropractic patients are generally more satisfied with their recovery than patients undergoing medical care.
According to the experts, the main aspects that patients liked over medical care were "self-care advice and explanation of treatment." This isn't surprising, as chiropractors commonly spend much more time consulting with their patients as to how they can improve their health on their own, as well as discussing more carefully what to expect from chiropractic care.
Chiropractic Care Is a Natural Approach to Wellness
Certainly, the strategies associated with chiropractic are quite different than those available with medical therapy, but a great deal of the difference is the fact that chiropractic is a natural approach to health and wellness. In contrast to focusing on just relieving the symptoms, chiropractic care means tracking down the primary cause of your pain, which often results in greater improvement as you are tackling the problem at its source.
Additionally, while medication is sometimes helpful for managing certain conditions, many health issues respond well to natural forms of treatment like chiropractic care. This means fewer negative side effects from medications and longer-lasting results.
You don't have to suffer from back pain or other health issues. Give our Anchorage, AK office a call today at (907) 563-7700. We'll work to help you get and remain free from back pain.
- Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine 2013;38(8):627-634.
- Hertzman-Miller RP1, Morgenstern H, Hurwitz EL, Yu F, Adams AH, Harber P, Kominski GF. Comparing the satisfaction of low back pain patients randomized to receive medical or chiropractic care: results from the UCLA low-back pain study. American Journal of Public Health 2002;92(10):1628-1633.
When performing sports that demand a lot of lower body motion, like football, soccer, and basketball, it's not at all uncommon to sustain some type of injury to your lower extremities. Between pulled hamstrings, sprained ankles, knee injuries, and more, many players have found themselves out of commission. Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray has seen all of these problems in our Anchorage, AK patients. Fortunately, chiropractic can help prevent some of these injuries from developing and research proves it.
Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray keeps current with all of the recent scientific research, and in a report published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, researchers from Macquarie University in Australia studied 59 semi-elite Australian Rules football players. Roughly half were placed in a control group and the others were put in a therapy group that received sports chiropractic care at regular intervals. During the first six weeks, this meant receiving care once every week. The following three months consisted of an adjustment every two weeks before decreasing those to one visit monthly for the final three months of the study.
Researchers noted that there was a "significant" difference in the number of leg strains the players received in the treatment group when compared to the control. In addition, they noticed that the subjects who received chiropractic also had fewer weeks of missed practice and games as a result of non-contact knee injuries. This led them to conclude that sports chiropractic treatment should be added to "the current best practice management."
Every major sports organization in the US and the US Olympic Team has chiropractors on staff for their athletes, because they know that chiropractic really works. If you live near our practice in Anchorage, AK and would like to see if Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray can help you boost your performance or reduce sports injuries, give our office a call today at (907) 563-7700 for an appointment.
Hoskins W, Pollard H. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010;11(64).
While many women automatically assume that carrying a child and severe pain in the lower back go hand in hand, they are often surprised when they learn that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, chiropractic adjustments can often help reduce back pain for pregnant women by as much as 85%.
We've worked with many pregnant women suffering from back pain in our Anchorage, AK office.
One piece of research published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies involved 115 women who were pregnant (most of which were in their third trimester) and reported pain in their lower back region, pelvic area, or both. Data was gathered prior to the study, as well as one week, one month, three months, and one year after treatment commenced. At each follow-up, the participants were asked to rate their level of pain based on a 7-point scale to determine whether it was better, worse, or stayed the same. The results?
More than half reported that their pain was better after one week of chiropractic treatment. After one month, that amount jumped up to 70 percent, climbing even more to 85 percent showing improvement at the three month mark. Positive effects were still reported at six months post-treatment, which was generally after delivery, and continued to the final data collection one year after treatment commenced.
There are also many additional advantages of chiropractic care during pregnancy. Not only does it effectively ease back pain, but it does it in a completely natural and non-invasive way. This means that you don't have to worry about taking any drugs or undergoing any type of treatment that could potentially harm your unborn child.
Additionally, it makes your time spent carrying your child more pleasant. When you're not distracted with aches and pains, you can enjoy the experience even more as you prepare your home and your life for all of the fun and exciting changes that lie ahead.
We're here in Anchorage, AK to help you have a healthy, pain-free pregnancy. Give us a call today at (907) 563-7700 to make an appointment.
Peterson CK, Muhlemann D, & Humphreys BK. Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term and 1 year follow-up. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2014;22(15):doi:10.1186/2045-709X-22-15.
Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray works with many sciatica patients here in our Anchorage, AK office, and quite a few of these men and women were concerned that they might need surgery to eliminate their pain. The latest research shows that a large number of people don't require surgery for this widespread problem, and that chiropractic is more successful at solving sciatic nerve pain.
A typical surgery for sciatica is microdiscectomy, and in a 2010 study, researchers looked at 80 women and men with sciatica who were referred for this operation.
Forty patients were then randomly sorted into one of two groups. The first group was to receive surgical microdiscectomy and the second group received chiropractic care.
Both groups improved; however, no obvious difference in outcome was recorded one year post-treatment between either group. Furthermore, roughly 60 percent of the participating subjects who could not find assistance from any other treatment method "benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention."
Put another way, chiropractic offered the same positive benefits as surgery without needing to go through the greater levels of surgery-based pain or suffer through extended recovery times often affiliated with that particular treatment choice. Additionally, you also don't run the risks linked to surgical microdiscectomy, including nerve root damage, bowel or bladder incontinence, bleeding, or infection.
Surgery should be the last option for sciatica pain. If you live in Anchorage, AK and you're being affected by back pain or sciatica, give Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray a call today at (907) 563-7700. We'll help determine the source of your pain and work hard to get you relief.
- McMorland, G et al. Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2010;33(8):576-584.
- Solberg TK, Nygaard OP, Sjaavik K, Hofoss D, Ingebrigtsen T. The risk of "getting worse" after lumbar microdiscectomy. European Spine Journal 2005;14(1):49-54.
Chiropractic is centered on the principle of aiding your body to heal naturally through spinal adjustments and lifestyle changes that promote overall health. For Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray, this involves working to restore your body's natural functioning to prevent the need for medications or surgery. We find that many of our Anchorage, AK patients are pleased to find a natural solution for their health issues.
One benefit of chiropractic is that it helps people minimize or even eliminate the use of narcotics. Medications are commonly supplied to patients who have back pain. This is such a significant problem that the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) issued a press release stating that opioid (painkiller) dangers outweigh the advantages when administered for back pain.
Some of the most well-known narcotics, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), morphine, and codeine. Numbers offered by the AAN mention the fact that about half of the people taking these types of substances for a period of three months are still on them five years down the road. This can further complicate the problem of back pain and recovery, particularly if an narcotic dependency arises.
Compare that to chiropractic which engages natural healing and the benefits are crystal clear. While a drug might be helpful at temporarily reducing the discomfort of a health condition, it's not a long-term solution to the problem. A drug won't fix your injured spine; it will only mask the pain.
Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray will first examine you to get to the root of your back problems and then work with you to eliminate the spinal interference -- without any risky drugs.
If you're ready for relief, naturally, give our Anchorage, AK office a call at (907) 563-7700 to make an appointment with Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray.
- Risk of opioids outweigh benefits for headache, low back pain, other conditions. American Academy of Neurology;September 29, 2014.
- What are opioids? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/opioids/what-are-opioids
We see a good deal of sports injuries in our Anchorage, AK clinic, and Dr. Jen Gray & Dr. Charlie Gray is usually able to help these athletes. Stanford Children’s Hospital reports that over 3.5 million children of the ages 14 and below are injured each year while playing sports. Add that to the almost 2 million adults injured every year while taking part in sports-related activities, as reported by statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and you can start to see the necessity of preventing these types of common injuries. One approach to potentially achieve that goal, according to a study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, is to receive routine chiropractic care.
In Australian Rules football, hamstring and other leg injuries are commonplace, often sidelining the players and impacting their team's likelihood of securing a win. One particular study was administered using 59 semi-elite Australian Rules footballers to see if chiropractic could diminish these injuries and help keep them in the game.
For this study specifically, all of the players received medical treatment. Additionally, half of them also were given chiropractic sessions at the rate of 1 session per week for the first 6 weeks, biweekly sessions for the following three months, and one treatment each month for the remaining 3 months of the study. The remaining half had no chiropractic intervention whatsoever and were used as the control group to assess the benefits of chiropractic adjustments.
Following 24 matches, specialists noticed a reduced amount of lower limb muscle strains in the group that had been given chiropractic care. Moreover, that very group also missed fewer matches related to non-contact knee injuries. This lead the researchers to come to the conclusion that chiropractic ought to be made an addition to sports training programs to effectively reduce the quantity of leg injuries.
If you or your child plays sports and you would like to make sure more time is dedicated on the field versus on the sidelines, call our Anchorage, AK office at (907) 563-7700 and schedule an appointment today. We will do our best to keep you in the game!
- Hoskins, W, & Pollard, H. (2010, April 8). The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11(64), doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-64
- Misra, A. (2014, March 17). Common sports injuries: Incidence and average charges. Department of Health & Human Services.
- Stanford Children’s Hospital. (n.d.). Sports injury statistics.