Mild adverse events common with chiropractic care

September 20, 2013
Mild adverse events common with chiropractic care

(HealthDay)—Adverse events are common after chiropractic care, but seem to be due to non-specific effects and are mostly benign, according to a study published in the Sept. 15 issue of Spine.

Bruce F. Walker, D.C., Dr.P.H., from Murdoch University in Australia, and colleagues examined the occurrence of adverse events resulting from chiropractic treatment. Ninety-two participants were randomized to receive individualized care consistent with the chiropractors' usual treatment approach and 91 participants received a sham intervention. All participants received two treatments.

The researchers found that 33 percent of the sham group and 42 percent of the usual care group reported at least one adverse event. Common reported adverse events included increased pain (sham 29 percent versus usual care 36 percent), (sham 29 percent versus usual care 37 percent), and (sham 17 percent versus usual care 9 percent). There were no reported and there was not significant relative risk (RR) for adverse event occurrence (RR, 1.24; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.85 to 1.81), occurrence of severe adverse events (RR, 1.9; 95 percent CI, 0.98 to 3.99), adverse event onset (RR, 0.16; 95 percent CI, 0.02 to 1.34), or adverse event duration (RR, 1.13; 95 percent CI, 0.59 to 2.18).

"A substantial proportion of adverse events after chiropractic treatment may result from variation and non-specific effects," the authors write.

Funds from the Chiropractors Registration Board of Victoria were used to support this study.

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