Can a chiropractor exacerbate existing issues and create new problems through treatment?+

Chiropractors are practitioners of alternative medicine who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. They use manual adjustment techniques to relieve pain and improve the body’s physical function.

While chiropractors aim to help individuals achieve better health and alleviate pain, there have been concerns about whether their treatments can cause more problems in some cases. It’s important to understand that like any medical profession, chiropractic care has its own set of risks and potential complications.

Some of the additional problems that can arise from chiropractic treatment include worsened pain or discomfort, nerve damage, fractures, and even strokes. These adverse events are relatively rare, but they do happen. It is crucial for patients to communicate openly with their chiropractor, provide comprehensive medical histories, and disclose any pre-existing medical conditions to reduce the risk of complications.

It’s also important to note that chiropractic care can be beneficial for many individuals, providing relief from various musculoskeletal issues. It is essential to consult with a qualified chiropractor who has experience and a good reputation to minimize the likelihood of experiencing additional problems. By taking these precautions and maintaining open communication, individuals can benefit from the potential advantages of chiropractic treatment while minimizing the risk of complications.

Understanding Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractors believe that these disorders can cause a variety of health problems and that correcting the alignment of the spine can alleviate or even eliminate these issues.

Chiropractors use a hands-on approach to treat their patients, performing spinal adjustments to correct any misalignments. These adjustments are typically done by applying gentle and controlled force to specific joints or vertebrae. The goal is to improve the mobility of the joints, reduce pain, and promote overall health and wellness.

Chiropractic care can be beneficial for a wide range of conditions, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and even digestive disorders. Many people who have received chiropractic treatment report feeling better and experiencing a significant reduction in their symptoms.

While chiropractic care can be highly effective for many individuals, it is important to note that like any medical treatment, there are potential risks and side effects. In rare cases, chiropractic adjustments can cause more discomfort or exacerbate existing conditions. However, chiropractors are trained professionals who carefully evaluate each patient’s condition and use appropriate techniques to minimize the risk of complications.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care:

1. Pain Relief: Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate acute and chronic pain, particularly in the back, neck, and joints.

2. Improved Mobility: By restoring proper alignment and range of motion, chiropractic care can enhance mobility and flexibility.

3. Enhanced Quality of Life: Many people who receive chiropractic care report improved overall well-being, better sleep, and increased energy levels.

What to Expect During a Chiropractic Visit:

During your initial visit to a chiropractor, they will perform a thorough examination to assess your condition and develop an individualized treatment plan. This may involve taking medical history, conducting physical examinations, and ordering diagnostic tests if necessary.

Once the chiropractor has gathered all the necessary information, they will explain the diagnosis and treatment plan. The treatment may involve a series of adjustments, along with other modalities such as massage, stretching exercises, or nutritional advice.

A chiropractic visit usually lasts about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the condition. The number of treatment sessions required will vary depending on the individual and the severity of their condition.

Pros of Chiropractic Care Cons of Chiropractic Care
Non-invasive treatment approach Potential risks and side effects
Personalized care and individualized treatment plans Cost of treatment
May provide long-lasting pain relief Not always covered by insurance

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractors are healthcare professionals who use hands-on spinal manipulation and other treatments to alleviate pain and improve the functionality of the body.

Chiropractors believe that a properly aligned spine enables the body to heal itself without the need for medication or surgery. They use their hands or specialized tools to adjust the spine, aiming to reposition the vertebrae and restore normal function. Chiropractic care is often sought for various musculoskeletal issues, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and joint problems.

While chiropractic care can bring relief and promote overall well-being, it is essential to note that, in some cases, it may cause additional problems if not performed correctly. Manipulating the spine improperly or forcefully can potentially worsen existing conditions or lead to new ones. Improper adjustments can cause muscle strains, herniated discs, or nerve damage.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

When performed by a qualified and experienced chiropractor, chiropractic care can offer several benefits. Many patients report reduced pain, improved mobility, and increased energy levels after receiving chiropractic adjustments. Additionally, chiropractic care can help manage symptoms of certain conditions, such as sciatica or arthritis.

Chiropractic care can also complement other medical treatments and therapies, promoting overall health and wellness. Proper alignment of the spine can enhance the body’s ability to heal itself and perform optimally, which may lead to a better quality of life.

Choosing a Chiropractor

To ensure the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care, it is crucial to choose a qualified and licensed chiropractor. Consider factors such as their experience, reputation, and patient reviews before making a decision. It is also beneficial to consult with your primary healthcare provider to determine if chiropractic care is suitable for your specific condition.

Pros Cons
Non-invasive approach Possible adverse effects if performed improperly
Pain relief and improved functionality Not suitable for all conditions
Complementary to other treatments Requires multiple sessions for long-term benefits

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

A chiropractor can provide numerous benefits to patients seeking alternative forms of healthcare. Here are some key benefits:

  • Relief from Pain: Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate pain in the back, neck, joints, and other areas of the body. By properly aligning the spine, a chiropractor can help reduce inflammation and tension, providing relief from chronic pain.
  • Improved Mobility: Regular chiropractic care can enhance joint function and flexibility. This can lead to improved range of motion and increased mobility, allowing individuals to move more freely without discomfort.
  • Enhanced Posture: Poor posture is a common issue that can lead to various problems, such as neck and back pain. A chiropractor can provide adjustments to correct misalignments and promote better posture, helping individuals stand and sit more upright.
  • Boosted Immune System: Chiropractic care can have a positive impact on the immune system. By improving the communication between the nervous system and immune system, chiropractic adjustments can enhance the body’s ability to fight off illnesses and maintain overall health.
  • Stress Reduction: Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce stress levels by releasing tension in the body and promoting relaxation. This can have a positive effect on both mental and physical well-being.
  • Improved Sleep: Many individuals experience improved sleep quality after receiving chiropractic care. By addressing misalignments and relieving pain, a chiropractor can help individuals achieve a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.

In conclusion, chiropractic care offers a range of benefits that can contribute to overall well-being. From pain relief to improved immune function, a chiropractor can help individuals lead healthier, more comfortable lives.

Risks of Chiropractic Care

While chiropractic care can be beneficial for many individuals, there are potential risks associated with this treatment modality. It is important for patients to be aware of these risks before seeking chiropractic treatment.

Possible Problems

Chiropractors use manual manipulation techniques to adjust the spine and other parts of the body. While these adjustments are generally safe, they can sometimes cause additional problems.

  • Spinal Manipulation Risks: In some cases, spinal manipulation can cause more pain or discomfort, especially if the adjustment is done incorrectly. It may also exacerbate existing conditions and lead to new problems.
  • Stroke Risk: Although extremely rare, there have been reported cases of strokes occurring after chiropractic adjustments. The exact link between strokes and chiropractic treatment is still unclear, but it is believed to be a result of neck manipulations.
  • Nerve Damage: Incorrectly performed adjustments can put pressure on the nerves, leading to nerve damage. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including numbness, tingling, and weakness.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Chiropractic adjustments may cause strains or sprains to the soft tissues surrounding the treated area. This can result in pain and limited mobility.

It is important to note that these risks are relatively rare, and many people receive chiropractic care without any negative side effects. However, it is crucial for patients to communicate openly with their chiropractor and inform them of any pre-existing conditions or concerns to minimize the risk of complications.

Possible Side Effects of Chiropractic Treatment

While chiropractic treatment can be beneficial for many people, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects that can occur. Chiropractors are trained professionals who aim to alleviate pain and improve function, but like any medical treatment, there is always a potential for side effects.

One possible side effect of chiropractic treatment is that it can cause soreness or discomfort in the treated area. This is typically temporary and should resolve within a few days, but it is important to communicate any discomfort to your chiropractor so they can adjust the treatment if necessary.

In some cases, chiropractic adjustments can lead to more serious problems. While rare, these complications may include herniated discs, nerve compression, or increased pain. It is important to discuss any pre-existing conditions or concerns with your chiropractor before beginning treatment to ensure the safest possible outcome.

Another potential side effect of chiropractic treatment is headache or dizziness. These symptoms can occur as a result of the body adjusting to the treatment and should also resolve within a few days. However, if they persist or worsen over time, it is important to consult with your chiropractor.

It is worth noting that chiropractic treatment is generally considered safe for most people, and the likelihood of experiencing these side effects is low. However, it is important to choose a qualified and experienced chiropractor who follows best practices and communicates effectively with their patients.

To minimize the risk of side effects, it is essential to provide your chiropractor with complete and accurate information about your medical history and any existing conditions. This will allow them to tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs and ensure the best possible outcome.

Risk Factors for Experiencing Additional Problems

While chiropractic care can be beneficial for many individuals, it is important to note that certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of experiencing additional problems as a result of treatment. These risk factors include:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions: Individuals with certain pre-existing medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or herniated discs, may be more prone to experiencing additional problems with chiropractic adjustments.
  • Improper technique: If a chiropractor performs adjustments using incorrect or inappropriate techniques, it can lead to further injury or pain.
  • Underlying spinal abnormalities: Individuals with underlying spinal abnormalities, such as abnormal curvatures or spinal alignment issues, may be more susceptible to experiencing complications from chiropractic treatment.
  • Ignoring pain or discomfort: Patients who ignore pain or discomfort during treatment and fail to communicate their symptoms to their chiropractor may inadvertently exacerbate their condition.
  • Failure to disclose medical history: Failing to disclose an accurate and thorough medical history to a chiropractor can potentially increase the risk of experiencing additional problems during treatment.
  • Inexperienced or unqualified chiropractors: Seeking treatment from an inexperienced or unqualified chiropractor can increase the chances of experiencing complications or additional problems.

It is crucial for individuals considering chiropractic care to thoroughly assess their own risk factors and communicate openly with their chiropractor about any concerns or pre-existing conditions. This will help minimize the likelihood of experiencing additional problems and ensure a safe and effective treatment experience.

Controversies Surrounding Chiropractic Care

Can chiropractors cause additional problems?

Chiropractic care is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. While many people find relief and improvement in their overall well-being through chiropractic manipulations, there are controversies surrounding the practice.

One of the main concerns is the potential for chiropractors to cause additional problems for their patients. Some critics argue that the use of spinal manipulations can lead to serious injuries, including herniated discs, strokes, and nerve damage. However, it is essential to note that these risks are relatively rare and occur in a small percentage of cases.

Chiropractors undergo extensive training and education to become licensed professionals. They are trained to identify any potential risks or contraindications in their patients and adjust their techniques accordingly. While there is always a possibility of adverse effects, chiropractors are trained to prioritize patient safety and minimize the risk of complications.

However, like any medical profession, there can be instances where mistakes or negligence can occur. It is crucial for patients to thoroughly research and choose a reputable and qualified chiropractor who holds the necessary credentials and licenses. Patients should also communicate any concerns or pre-existing conditions they may have to their chiropractor to ensure the treatment plan is suitable for their specific needs.

Overall, while controversies exist surrounding chiropractic care, with proper research and communication, the benefits of chiropractic manipulations can outweigh the potential risks. It is vital for individuals to make informed decisions and consult with healthcare professionals to determine if chiropractic care is suitable for their condition.

Research on the Safety of Chiropractic Treatment

Concerns about whether chiropractic treatment can cause more problems have been addressed through extensive research and studies. Safety is a crucial aspect when considering any form of medical intervention, and chiropractic care is no exception. Fortunately, research on the safety of chiropractic treatment has provided valuable insights into its overall effectiveness and potential risks.

A significant amount of research has shown that chiropractic adjustments, when performed by a qualified and experienced chiropractor, are generally safe. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that the rate of adverse events, such as soreness or short-term discomfort, after chiropractic treatments was extremely low. The study concluded that chiropractic care is a safe treatment modality for a range of conditions.

Another study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics examined the safety of spinal manipulative therapy, the main treatment approach used by chiropractors. The study concluded that adverse events associated with spinal manipulative therapy are rare and usually mild, with the most common being temporary soreness or stiffness. The researchers emphasized the importance of seeking care from a qualified chiropractor to minimize the risk of adverse events.

While chiropractic treatment is generally safe, it is crucial for patients to communicate any preexisting conditions or concerns they may have with their chiropractor. This will allow the chiropractor to tailor the treatment approach accordingly and minimize the potential for any adverse effects.

In summary, research has consistently demonstrated that chiropractic treatment is a safe and effective option for addressing a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. By seeking care from a qualified chiropractor and maintaining open communication, patients can confidently undergo chiropractic treatment with minimal risk of additional problems.

Choosing the Right Chiropractor

When it comes to finding the right chiropractor for your needs, it’s essential to do your research and consider a few key factors. While chiropractic care can be beneficial for a variety of problems, choosing the wrong chiropractor could potentially cause more harm than good.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to find a chiropractor who is qualified and licensed. Make sure to check their credentials and verify that they are in good standing with the relevant licensing board. This will ensure that you’re receiving care from a professional who is well-trained and experienced.

Another important factor to consider is the chiropractor’s approach and treatment style. Each chiropractor may have a slightly different approach, so it’s important to find one whose methods align with your preferences and goals. Some chiropractors may focus more on manual adjustments, while others may incorporate other complementary therapies.

It’s also worth considering the chiropractor’s reputation and reviews from patients. Look for testimonials or reviews online to get an idea of other people’s experiences with a particular chiropractor. This can give you insight into the quality of care you can expect and help you make an informed decision.

Additionally, consider the location and convenience of the chiropractor’s office. Regular chiropractic treatments often require multiple visits, so finding a chiropractor who is conveniently located can make the process much more manageable. Consider factors such as parking, proximity to public transportation, and office hours when making your decision.

Lastly, trust your instincts when choosing a chiropractor. If something feels off or if you’re not comfortable with a particular chiropractor, it’s best to keep looking. Your health and well-being are too important to settle for a chiropractor who isn’t the right fit for you.

By taking the time to choose the right chiropractor, you can help ensure that you receive the best possible care for your problems. Remember that chiropractic care can provide many benefits when done correctly, and finding the right chiropractor is an important part of that process.

Qualifications and Credentials to Look for

When seeking chiropractic care, it is essential to ensure that the chiropractor you choose has the necessary qualifications and credentials. This will help minimize the risk of potential problems and ensure you receive proper care.

First and foremost, verify that the chiropractor is licensed. A valid license demonstrates that the chiropractor has met the necessary educational requirements, passed the required exams, and complies with the laws and regulations governing chiropractic practice.

In addition to a license, consider the chiropractor’s education. Look for someone who has graduated from an accredited chiropractic college or university. This ensures that the chiropractor has received a proper education and training in the field.

It is also beneficial to consider any specialized certifications or additional training the chiropractor has completed. Some chiropractors pursue further education in specific areas such as sports chiropractic, pediatric chiropractic, or specialized techniques like the Webster Technique for pregnant women. These additional certifications can indicate a higher level of expertise and knowledge in those specific areas.

Take the time to research the chiropractor’s professional background and affiliations as well. Look for memberships in professional organizations such as the American Chiropractic Association or state chiropractic associations. These memberships can indicate a commitment to ongoing education and staying updated with the latest industry advancements.

Lastly, consider the chiropractor’s experience. While every chiropractor has to start somewhere, it can provide peace of mind to work with someone who has been practicing for several years and has treated a variety of conditions. Experience can also help identify a chiropractor with a successful track record.

  • Ensure the chiropractor is licensed.
  • Verify their education from an accredited institution.
  • Look for any specialized certifications or training.
  • Research their professional background and affiliations.
  • Consider their years of experience.

By following these guidelines and conducting thorough research, you can increase the likelihood of finding a qualified and reputable chiropractor who can provide you with safe and effective care, decreasing the chances of any additional problems.

Reviews and Recommendations

When considering whether chiropractors can cause additional problems, it is important to look at reviews and recommendations from individuals who have had firsthand experience with chiropractic care.

Many individuals have reported positive outcomes and improvements in their overall well-being after receiving chiropractic treatments. These individuals often praise the chiropractor for their professionalism, expertise, and ability to alleviate pain and discomfort.

However, it is also crucial to acknowledge that there are some instances where individuals have experienced negative effects from chiropractic adjustments. These individuals can be a valuable source of information in understanding the potential risks and complications that can arise.

Positive Reviews

Positive reviews often highlight the positive impact that chiropractic care has had on individuals’ health. Many individuals report a reduction in pain, improved mobility, and an overall increased sense of well-being.

  • One reviewer commented that they had been struggling with chronic back pain for years until they sought chiropractic treatment. They mentioned that after a few sessions, their pain significantly decreased and they were able to resume their daily activities without discomfort.
  • Another individual praised their chiropractor for their thorough examination and personalized treatment plan. They mentioned that the chiropractor took the time to listen to their concerns and provided targeted adjustments that resulted in improved posture and reduced pain.

Negative Reviews

While negative reviews should not be taken as a definitive indication that chiropractors can cause additional problems, they do shed light on potential risks and complications that can arise in some cases.

  1. One reviewer highlighted an experience where they felt their chiropractor applied too much force during an adjustment, resulting in increased pain and discomfort.
  2. Another individual mentioned that they experienced muscle soreness and stiffness after a chiropractic session, which lasted for several days.

It is important to note that everyone’s experience with chiropractic care can vary, and what may work for one person may not work for another. Consulting with a qualified chiropractor and discussing any concerns or risks before beginning treatment can help mitigate potential problems.

Communication and Trust

When it comes to seeking chiropractic care, communication and trust play a crucial role in ensuring that the treatment will not cause more problems. It is essential for patients to have open and honest communication with their chiropractor to establish trust.

A chiropractor should take the time to listen to a patient’s concerns and medical history. This enables the chiropractor to have a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s condition and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Clear Explanation

A vital aspect of communication is the chiropractor’s ability to explain the treatment process in a clear and understandable manner. Patients should be informed about the potential risks and benefits associated with chiropractic adjustments. This helps the patient make an informed decision about their care.

In addition to explaining the treatment process, chiropractors should communicate any potential side effects or temporary discomfort that patients may experience during or after the treatment. Proper communication empowers patients to make educated decisions throughout their chiropractic journey.

Trust and Collaboration

Trust is built when patients feel confident that their chiropractor is genuinely concerned about their well-being. When patients trust their chiropractor, they are more likely to openly communicate their symptoms, concerns, and preferences.

A chiropractor who fosters a collaborative relationship with the patient is more likely to achieve successful outcomes. This collaboration involves shared decision-making, where both the patient and the chiropractor contribute to finding the best treatment approach.

By establishing effective communication and trust, patients can feel confident in their chiropractor’s ability to address their health concerns without causing additional problems. This collaboration sets the stage for a positive chiropractic experience and may contribute to better overall patient outcomes.


Chiropractors can cause more problems if they perform manipulations incorrectly or without proper training. It is important for patients to research and choose a qualified chiropractor to minimize the risk of complications.


Are chiropractors qualified to treat medical conditions? Can they cause additional problems?

Chiropractors are trained professionals who can treat certain musculoskeletal conditions. However, if they perform improper techniques or fail to properly assess a patient’s condition, they can potentially cause additional problems.

What are some of the potential risks of receiving chiropractic adjustments?

Some potential risks of chiropractic adjustments include worsening of existing conditions, nerve damage, and stroke. It is important to consult with a qualified chiropractor and discuss the potential risks before receiving any treatment.

Are there any specific conditions that can be exacerbated by chiropractic treatment?

Yes, certain conditions such as herniated discs, spinal cord compression, and osteoporosis can be exacerbated by chiropractic treatment if not performed properly. It is crucial to undergo a thorough evaluation before undergoing any chiropractic adjustments.

How can I determine if a chiropractor is qualified and experienced?

When choosing a chiropractor, it is important to do thorough research. Look for certifications, qualifications, and read reviews from previous patients. It is also recommended to schedule a consultation to discuss the chiropractor’s experience and treatment approach.

What should I do if I experience additional pain or complications after a chiropractic treatment?

If you experience additional pain or complications after a chiropractic treatment, it is important to seek medical attention and consult with a healthcare professional. They can help assess the situation and provide appropriate treatment or referral if necessary.

Can chiropractic adjustments lead to more pain?

Yes, it is possible for chiropractic adjustments to cause more pain in some cases. While many people find relief from pain after chiropractic treatment, there are also instances where the adjustment can exacerbate existing pain or cause new discomfort. It is important for chiropractors to carefully assess a patient’s condition and adjust their treatment accordingly to minimize any potential risks.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with chiropractic treatments?

Like any medical treatment, chiropractic adjustments come with a certain degree of risk. The most common side effects include temporary soreness, stiffness, and minor swelling in the treated area. In rare cases, more serious complications such as herniated discs, nerve compression, or strokes have been reported. However, the overall risk of experiencing these complications is extremely low. It is essential to choose a qualified and experienced chiropractor to minimize any potential risks.