Posted by: Wagner IT | July 6, 2010

Why Doctors Hate Chiropractors *Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted the first half of this article and the  response was great. This is a ‘hot button’ issue for doctors and our patients across the board. Clearly, the more we know and understand about the benefits of chiropractic care and it’s role in the medical community, the closer we will come to gaining wide-spread support from the insurance industry as well. Chiropractic treatments help save health care dollars by reducing, and in some cases eliminating, other, more expensive treatment options.

When health care providers work together to explore options for our patients, the system truly works, and people get better faster. Sometimes, insurance coverage, or the lack of it, prevents  or delays treatment when out-of-pocket expenses become as great an obsticle in the  healing process as the condition itself. Clinical evidence shows that chiropractic care, including modalities and innovations like Spinal Decompression are effective and safe. Yet, misconceptions run rampant. I hope that articles like this one will help change the way people who suffer from pain,  insurance carriers, and health care providers alike view the integral and integrated role of chiropractic in our modern society.

Thanks again to Lisa C. for sending this my way. Enjoy Part 2, originally from the online site .

J. Adam Wagner, DC

What Will It Take?

Key to the growing acceptance of chiropractic care is evidence-based research demonstrating that it is safe, clinically effective and cost-efficient. In the latest such effort, funded by Mercer Health and Benefits in San Francisco, Dr. Niteesh Choudry and colleagues reviewed existing literature on the efficacy of chiropractic. Their conclusion is that it works as well as or better than conventional modalities, including exercise programs, drug regimens and surgical intervention, for treating many forms of low back and neck pain, two of the most common medical complaints. Numerous other studies also support the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for spine and neck issues in particular. For instance, a 2002 study of patients with nonspecific neck pain found that pain was reduced and function improved for 68.3% after seven weeks of chiropractic care, while the success rate for those in the care of general practitioners was only 36%. The patients of chiropractors missed work less frequently and needed less pain medication.

Can It Cause Stroke?

One very specific concern voiced by many medical doctors is that chiropractic neck manipulation has the potential to cause stroke, or — if done improperly — even death. The basis for this is a fairly rare and often undiagnosed condition in which the vertebral arteries in the neck are weakened, possibly by high levels of homocysteine. The fear is that in a vulnerable patient, twisting or stretching those arteries during a chiropractic manipulation could cause them to rupture.

To investigate whether this is a real danger, researchers at the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) studied vertebral arteries from several recently deceased people and found that it would take nine times the force of a typical chiropractic adjustment to damage these arteries and mobilize plaque. In fact, according to Dr. Hayden, normal head and neck movement present a greater risk than chiropractic manipulation for the kind of weak arteries that are of concern. By that measure, it’s risky to have your hair washed in one of those beauty parlor sinks where you have to lean way back (there’s even a name for this one, “the beauty parlor stroke”), play sports or even to turn your head to complete a turn while driving.

The condition that puts people at risk for this problem is very rare, Dr. Hayden said, noting that the statistics don’t support the level of concern being expressed. He pointed out that chiropractic is so low-risk that practitioners’ malpractice insurance costs only about one-tenth what an MD has to pay — around $1,300, on average, compared with $10,000 to $20,000 for general physicians.

The Trend Is Good…

Meanwhile though, patients are voting with their feet — so maybe doctors should try to learn more about chiropractic care rather than stand in the way of progress. The number of chiropractic patients in this country doubled in the two decades from 1982 to 2002, and an estimated 10% of Americans have seen a chiropractor in the past year.

As for me, well, when my neck hurts, I visit my chiropractor… and I feel better.

To learn more about Dr. Hayden’s article, visit .

Source(s): Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, founder and director of Iris City Chiropractic Center, PC, Griffin, Georgia, and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association.


  1. Something is not right in this country to put the practitioners who get the most pain relief without utilizing toxic chemicals (drugs) or costly surgeries at the bottom of the insurance barrel.

    We need to make a shift in health care towards preventative medicine. This starts with chiropractic care, exercise, supplementation, nutrition. Think about how much lower the cost of insurance would be if no one had to use it much. Other countries do concentrate on preventative medicine and chiropractors are very highly sought after. Therefore, we are light years behind these countries with our strictly allopathic model of health care.

  2. As long as rumors about the safety of chiropractic exist, we must work to educate the general public. The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is doing a great job with campaigns by Jerry Rice and others. Every doctor DC needs to post articles proving efficacy of chiropractic and the fallacy of the stroke connection onto their website and work to educate the public, one patient at a time. In time, the public will come to know that chiropractic is the safest and most effective health care system available.

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