Chiropractic Manipulation Shown to Cause Herniated Discs
By Dean Moyer
Author of Rebuild Your Back
While more research needs to be done into the negative aspects of chiropractic manipulation, there is now sufficient evidence to prove what many of us have suspected all along.
Not only does HVLA (High velocity, low amplitude) manipulation contribute to degenerative disc disease, but also recent studies have shown conclusively that it causes herniated discs and even nerve damage.
Here are some of the studies your chiropractor doesn't want you to know about:
This report describes four patients with cervical myelopathy and/or radiculopathy caused or aggravated by spinal manipulation. In one patient, magnetic resonance scans before and after chiropractic treatment strongly suggests that the disc prolapse syndrome experienced by the patient was provoked by the spinal manipulation. 
Complications caused by manipulation therapy… resulted in marked worsening of the patient's condition. The mechanism of disc damage has been determined intraoperatively. The authors conclude that manual therapy… is highly hazardous. 
Five cases of acute rupture of lumbar intervertebral disc caused by violent manipulation are reported… The operations found that the annulus fibrosus had ruptured and the nerve root or cauda equina was constricted by the nucleus pulposus which had entered into the spinal canal. 
Lumbar spine manipulation had caused disc herniation in six patients, of whom three had severe persistent problems. Of the 14 patients who had undergone manipulation of the sacroiliac joint, six had disc herniation which was operated with varying outcome. 
And this information is not just coming from conventional research scientists, here is what some former chiropractors are saying:
Because of the incidence of disk tears post manipulation I'm inclined to think that HVLA thrusts are too forceful and not safe for stretching intervertebral disks. 
… spinal manipulation is very risky. It can cause irreversible neurological damage... 
The common practice of chiropractors targeting and manipulating degenerating lumbar disks predisposes them to disk herniation. 
We will never know how many herniated discs were the result of chiropractic manipulation. There is no way to determine how many people went to a chiropractor for a simple back sprain and ended up with ruptured discs and/or nerve damage because they were treated with this foolish and totally unnecessary procedure.
However, as bad as herniated discs can be, that is nothing when compared to the real risk factor of trusting your health to a chiropractor...
Table of Contents:
- Intro: How Chiropractic Damages Your Spine
- How Chiropractic Damages Your Ligaments
- Chiropractic Manipulation Shown To Cause Herniated Discs
- Cervical Manipulation Can Cause Neurological Damage and Stroke
About the Author
Rebuild Your Back
Rebuild Your Neck
The Pain Relief Manual
- Botnick A. Manipulation and Hypermobility, Chirotalk May 14, 2004 (Link no longer available.)
- Padua L, Padua R, LoMonaco M, Tonali PA. Radiculomedullary complications of cervical spinal manipulation. Spinal Cord. 1996 Aug;34(8):488-92.
PubMed: Disc Prolapse Caused by Manipulation
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PubMed: Manipulation Causes Ruptured Discs
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Last updated: Sept 15, 2006