Can Chiropractic adjustments cause fractures?

A physical therapist guiding a man through an exercise during a Full Body Chiropractic Adjustment

Correcting Common Errors: The Real Deal on Chiropractic Adjustments and Bone Breaks

Chiropractic adjustments, also known as spinal manipulations, have been used for many years in the management of musculoskeletal pain and joint dysfunction. Unfortunately many people still have misconceptions about chiropractic, partly because patients are concerned about the safety of spinal adjustments, and one of the concerns is the possibility of fractures of the spine.

Let’s investigate these issues further.

Cracking the Code on What Causes Fractures

Broken bones are known as fracture. There are several reasons for bone fracture such as because of any trauma or any other diseases or illness.

When someone falls, gets involved in a car accident, slips or get an injury while playing some sports, it causes a fracture (broken bone) in his body part because of injury.

Trauma is the cause of broken bones in many cases, whereas other times there are diseases that may result in broken bones too.

It depends from case to case, how much damage do bone get. There can be a fissure or small cracks into the bone when some light damage forces falls, whereas to some extent the bone can be broken exactly, resulting in different symptoms depending on damage.

Fractures can also happen due to simple overuse and repeated stress, known as a stress fracture, which is common in athletes and those whose livelihood involves submitting the same bones to repetitive stress – such as runners and dancers.

Patients with osteoporosis and other medical disorders such as osteogenesis imperfecta or bone cancer have a higher predisposition for fractures. Osteoporosis, a progressive bone disease characterised by low bone mass and deterioration of microstructure of bone tissue, is at a high risk of fractures, especially to the wrist, spine, and the hips.

As well as age, which is associated with higher incidences of falls, and slows bone density, other lifestyle factors – such as poor diet, smoking and alcoholism – can erode bones and hinder recovery, making older adults at an increased risk for fractures. Fractures can occur for any number of reasons, so being proactive and heading to a doctor at the first sign of a problem is one of the best ways to keep your bones in a healthy state.

Grasping the Concept of Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments (also known as manipulations) are precise manual or instrument-assisted manoeuvres that chiropractors employ to address spinal and other joint dysfunction, restore proper joint mobility and motion, and alleviate pain while supporting patient health. Their primary objective is making accurate diagnoses and applying the appropriate treatment to address their patients’ individual needs. To do so, they embark on years of technically skilled and thorough education.

Handling Worries

And because of the risk of fractures, perhaps patients have a legitimate reason to be suspicious of chiropractic adjustments. To make informed healthcare decisions, anyone who encounters such misinformation must distinguish between it and the facts, and do our best to avoid the pitfalls of ready credulity.

A chiropractor performing a spinal adjustment on a patient with sciatica

Fallacy: Fractures Caused by Chiropractic Adjustments

When people say that spinal manipulations are dangerous and make vertebrae fracture, that’s the least defensible – but also the most widely believed – misconception about chiropractic care. This is not to argue that no adverse events ever occur in chiropractic care. As with any medical therapy, everyone agrees that taking a chance is part of the deal. However, the evidence indicates that any risks of a performing a chiropractic adjustment resulting in a vertebral fracture are minimal. Fracture rates are predicted to be less than 1 in 10 million adjustments; the risk of a serious adverse event arising from chiropractic care is also extremely low.

Utilising Evidence-Based Methods

As an evidence-based practice, chiropractic uses a number of systems to guarantee that the treatments your doctor chooses for you are safe and effective. The first step in chiropractic care is to take a thorough clinical history, including your current health status and symptom picture, and note your past medical history. You can also gain more information regarding possible contraindications and adverse effects with this assessment.

Woman getting a Thompson technique massage from a physical therapist

Potential Dangers and Safety Measures

While complications caused by chiropractic adjustments are rare – fractures occur just once per 100,000-400,000 times the procedure is performed – certain patients might be at increased risk. Such factors include those with osteoporosis, a history of spinal injury or preexisting spinal disorders. To minimise the risk of harm, chiropractors carefully modify the practice and might use alternative treatment or forms of therapy.

Informing Patients and Encouraging Their Consent

Patient education is paramount to solving problems and improving confidence in chiropractic. Explaining the benefits and risks of care gives patients the information needed to make informed health decisions. With informed permission, patients must give their consent to have chiropractic adjustments after considering the nature of the adjustment and the risks thereof.

In summary

Specifically, there are no data to support the contention that an adjustment can cause a fracture, even in the hands of a faith healer masquerading as a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is safe and effective; it is performed by reputable doctors of chiropractic and, when it is, the level of care is optimal in both research and clinical settings. Furthermore, we follow guidelines that try to make care more effective and safer by using standards set by scientific research and identifying dangerous elements and by placing an emphasis on patient education and informed consent.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or bring up concerns. Bring your own unique concerns and objectives. Perhaps together you can construct a treatment plan that moves you toward your health and wellness goals. Chiropractors are dedicated to providing you with excellent care, because your health and safety is their number-one priority.

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