CHIROPRACTIC Overview Information
Chiropractic is an alternative technique that mainly uses spinal manipulation to treat a wide range of medical conditions.
Chiropractic is used for painful conditions including tension headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, migraine, nerve pain, and whiplash. It is also used for high blood pressure, heart failure, scoliosis, colic, epilepsy, trouble sleeping (insomnia), bed-wetting, asthma, jet lag, ear infections, and many other conditions. Women see chiropractors for heavy menstrual periods and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Chiropractic originated in the US in 1895. It was developed by Daniel David Palmer. Since then, it has grown to be one of the most popular alternative medicines. In fact, many believe it is so popular that it should no longer be considered “alternative” medicine. In the US, chiropractors complete 4 academic years of professional training. Licensure of chiropractors is available in 46 states.
How does it work?
Chiropractors believe that disease is caused by pinched nerves (subluxations) in the spine. Manipulating or adjusting the spine is thought to remove the subluxations and allow the body to heal.
Possibly Effective for:
- Back pain. Chiropractic manipulation seems to significantly reduce low back pain. However, chiropractic care is not significantly more effective than conventional medical care for low back pain.
- Asthma. Some research shows that chiropractic manipulation alone doesn’t seem to help asthma symptoms. However, other research suggests that adding chiropractic spinal manipulation to standard care for children with asthma might help them feel better, even though lung function tests don’t show an improvement.
- Bed-wetting. Some research suggests that chiropractic manipulation might decrease bed-wetting. But this research was of poor quality, so some experts don’t trust its findings.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. Developing research suggests that chiropractic care does not significantly improve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Colic. There is some evidence that chiropractic spinal manipulation is more effective than giving a medication called dimethicone for reducing crying in infants with colic.
- Epilepsy. There are reports that some children with epilepsy have fewer seizures after chiropractic manipulation of the upper spine.
- Jet lag. There is some evidence that chiropractic care does not significantly reduce symptoms of jet lag during trans-Atlantic travel.
- Menstrual pain. Developing research suggests chiropractic spinal manipulation doesn’t significantly reduce menstrual pain.
- Migraine. Some early research suggests that chiropractic spinal manipulation therapy might provide short-term protection against developing migraine headaches. But the quality of this research has been criticized, so experts question its findings. The long-term effect of chiropractic on migraine headache really isn’t known.
- Neck pain. There is conflicting information about the effectiveness of chiropractic care for neck pain.
- Tension headache. There is some evidence that chiropractic spinal manipulation therapy might provide short-term protection against tension-type headaches. But some experts believe this study was poorly designed, so its results aren’t reliable. The long-term effect of chiropractic on tension headache really isn’t known.
- Heart failure.
- High blood pressure.
- Nerve pain.
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
- Other conditions.
CHIROPRACTIC Side Effects & Safety
Chiropractic procedures are safe for most people when done correctly. However, procedures on the neck can cause many side effects including headache, neck pain, and neck stiffness. Some side effects have been severe including bleeding around the spine and stroke; however, this appears to be very rare.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of chiropractic manipulation during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: Chiropractic procedures might be UNSAFE in children. Bleeding in the brain has been reported. There have also been reports of less severe side effects including headache and back pain.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with CHIROPRACTIC
Warfarin (Coumadin) thins the blood and can cause excessive bleeding. There is some concern that people taking warfarin might be more likely to experience bleeding around the spine after receiving chiropractic neck treatments. If you are taking warfarin, avoid getting chiropractic neck treatments.