04 Aug 2006 07:04 pm

Physical Therapist Warns Against Spinal Manipulation

The following are just a few excerpts I pulled from an article written by physical therapist, Paul Lee about the dangers of spinal manipulation particularly in relation to the cervical spine:

“Cervical manipulation, especially with rotation (the most commonly used method by chiropractors), should be considered a contraindicated technique.”

In light of the number of injuries (and deaths due to stroke) following chiropractic neck adjustments, medical professionals like Lee are urging their colleagues to pay closer attention to the patient’s recent treatment history when they present neck related symptoms. He further advises:

“All healthcare professions, including Emergency Room staff, must be alert to the possibility of injuries caused by spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). The patient’s medical history should include questions about possible spinal manipulation within the last 30 days, at the very least.”

He goes on to write:

“Physical Therapists should encourage patients with such injuries to report them to their own doctors. (I can’t be the only PT who has encountered patients with fractured spines, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, paralysis, stable fractures made unstable, severe sprains and strains, torn muscles, and unremitting headaches for years, all as a direct result of a specific chiropractic adjustment…”

There is a growing body of evidence that spinal manipulation can cause injury and even death especially when applied to the cervical spine. The medical profession is just beginning to understand and compile evidence about this very serious health risk to patients.

I strongly urge all medical professionals, chiropractors and anyone considering chiropractic treatment to carefully investigate all the facts surrounding this issue. A good place to start would be to read Paul Lee’s entire article, Risks Related to Manipulation of the Cervical Spine.

(Update added 10/11/2006)

Also, be sure to check out this latest article on the subject: How Chiropractic Damages Your Spine.

— Dean

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