I Want Chiropractic Care, But Don't Want My Neck Manipulated, Adjusted, or Cracked
If you come in to my clinic and do not want your neck adjusted - I WILL NOT ADJUST YOUR NECK! If you used to get your neck adjusted and decide you no longer want to, I will not adjust your neck. Beyond that, I will never trick you. It is a simple understanding between me and someone who does not want their neck "cracked", and I will not betray that trust.
What Does Science Say On The Safety Of Chiropractic Adjustments?
Like every treatment option from every different type of health practitioner there are risks and benefits of different treatments. Hollywood and the media have created fear around spinal manipulation of the neck. This does not match up with what science and research has yielded. Serious adverse events following manipulation is estimated to be 1 in 2 million manipulations, which is considered rare. Furthermore, research into stroke following adjustments has yielded correlation as opposed to causation. This correlation is similar (higher actually) for individuals who have had a stroke following a visit to their medical doctor. It is believed that individuals may have neck and head symptoms before the stroke and seek care from a chiropractor or medical doctor. Science has not stopped and there are more and more studies highlighting the rarity of serious adverse effects related to chiropractic care. Authors from a 2016 study stated:
"We found no evidence for a causal link between chiropractic care and CAD (cervical arterial dissection). This is a significant finding because belief in a causal link is not uncommon, and such a belief may have significant adverse effects such as numerous episodes of litigation."
I Have Neck Pain, What Should I Expect?
When you come in for your first visit of neck or head pain (or have a new complaint of neck or head pain), we will do an in depth examination that explores the possible causes of your pain. Included in this is a neurological exam and ruling out red flags that indicate medical management as preferable. If your pain and discomfort is linked to your nerves, muscles, and/or joints we will move forward with options for treatment.
Neck and head pain that is from a neuromusculoskeletal condition can benefit greatly from chiropractic care, medical acupuncture, and rehabilitation exercises. Chiropractic care can include spinal manipulation (or adjustments). While research is positive for safety, you may still not want to have your neck adjusted. It is also possible due to underlying conditions or other factors that we postpone the inclusion of spinal manipulation or forego it altogether.
I Want Chiropractic Care Without Neck Manipulation, What Are My Options?
What is really exciting is that there are other alternatives within chiropractic for treatment. Over the years, studies have been done that assess the effect of adjusting the upper back on neck pain. A recent study in 2019 found improvements in neck pain, disability, and mobility for individuals with cervical radiculopathy who received adjustments of their upper back. Another study looked at individuals with acute neck pain who experienced improvement in neck pain, disability, and mobility that persisted beyond the one-month follow up after receiving spinal manipulation of the upper back.
In addition to the positive effects on neck pain when adjusting the upper back, there are other chiropractic treatment options without neck manipulation. Mobilizations are similar to adjustments as they are used to restore joint mobility and decrease pain. They do not include the high speed thrust component that is integral to an adjustment. Soft tissue therapy of the muscles at and connected to the neck can impact pain and dysfunction.
Rehabilitation exercises and stretches are integral to pain and dysfunction stemming from muscles, joints, and nerves. Finally, medical acupuncture and electroacupuncture are great options for relieving pain.
Dr. Judith McCann at Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Sharon East Gwillimbury offers multiple avenues of chiropractic care for neck pain. If you don't want your neck manipulated, there is no pressure to do so and there are many other options to help relieve pain and improve mobility and dysfunction. In addition to neck pain, we treat headaches, migraines, low back pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, foot pain, and jaw dysfunction. Call us today to book your first appointment or use our online booking system.
Swait G, Finch R. What are the risks of manual treatment of the spine? A scoping review for clinicians. Chiropr Man Therap. 2017;25:37. doi: 10.1186/s12998-017-0168-5. eCollection 2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 29234493; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5719861.
Cassidy JD, Boyle E, Côté P, He Y, Hogg-Johnson S, Silver FL, Bondy SJ. Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Feb 15;33(4 Suppl):S176-83. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181644600. PubMed PMID: 18204390.
Church EW, Sieg EP, Zalatimo O, Hussain NS, Glantz M, Harbaugh RE. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation. Cureus. 2016 Feb 16;8(2):e498. doi: 10.7759/cureus.498. PubMed PMID: 27014532; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4794386.
Young IA, Pozzi F, Dunning J, Linkonis R, Michener LA. Immediate and Short-term Effects of Thoracic Spine Manipulation in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2019 May;49(5):299-309. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2019.8150. Epub 2019 Apr 25. PubMed PMID: 31021691.
Photo Of Woman In Forest by Jacob Morrison on Unsplash
Dr. Judith McCann has been living in York Region for over 15 years. After going to Queen's University in Kingston for Kinesiology, and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto to become a chiropractor, she decided to move back and open Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Newmarket. In February 2017, Haptic Health and Chiropractic moved 10 minutes up the road to Sharon in East Gwillimbury.