Is There Tissue Damage from Chiropractic?

Is There Tissue Damage from Chiropractic?

While many studies have shown chiropractic to be safe and effective many people harbour fear regarding chiropractic care. The most common side effect of chiropractic care is mild to moderate soreness that lasts for about a day after care.

With spinal manipulation (chiropractic adjustment) force is applied to the body to release joints that are restricted to motion or are out of alignment. Typically, these restricted joints are also painful when moved prior to treatment. It makes sense that some people may feel a little sore following treatment and then notice improvement as time goes on.

A question for some is whether there is tissue damage from spinal manipulation. A study, published in 2014, examined just this question. The study drew blood from study participants before spinal manipulation, immediately after and then again 2 hours later. The study set up a control group (no spinal manipulation), and neck manipulation group and a mid back manipulation group. The blood work assessed several markers for tissue damage. (here is where we geek out a little bit but you might find it interesting).

The markers (cell proteins) assessed were aldolase, creatine phosphokinase (CPK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), myoglobin and troponin-i. These are all markers for tissue and muscle damage. Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) was used to assess damage to nerve cells and C-reactive protein was used to broadly assess for increased inflammation. Generally speaking, researchers tested multiple markers to be thorough in their quest to find damaged tissue due to manipulation.

They found no significant increases in any of the makers assessed at any time point and no between group differences. Spinal manipulation did not cause any measurable tissue damage. While both are therapeutic, massage and exercise have been shown in previous studies to produce somewhat high levels of tissue damage markers in similar studies using pre- and post-treatment blood draws for assessment. A reasonable conclusion is that spinal manipulation in chiropractic is a very safe and a conservative form of health care.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to talk to your doctor at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic.



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