Chiropractic adjustments have been used for over one-hundred years to safely and effectively ease neck pain, back pain, and other spinal conditions. Despite the fact that countless medical studies have pointed to the safety of chiropractic adjustments, some researchers have expressed concern about the effect of the forces applied during cervical spinal manipulation, or neck adjustments. It has been argued that the internal carotid artery (ICA) within the neck may be damaged as a result of this force, however, there has been little to no research on the strains placed on the neck during cervical spinal manipulation.
One recent study set out to determine the mechanics of cervical spinal manipulation, or chiropractic neck adjustments. Researchers used six cadaver spines to measure the level of peak and average strain placed on the ICA during a neck adjustment performed by a chiropractor. These levels were then compared to the amount of strain elicited by normal, everyday movements.
The authors found no major differences between ICA strains elicited by chiropractic adjustments or everyday movements. In other words, neck adjustments performed by trained chiropractors were not found to place undue strain on the ICA.
These results add to earlier research illustrating the safety of chiropractic neck adjustments. In one extensive meta-analysis published in the journal Spine, the authors analyzed data from 28,807 chiropractic patients undergoing a total of 50,276 neck adjustments. Out of thousands of neck adjustments, no serious side effects were reported. The only side effects reported were mild in nature.
Dr. Anthony Rivano utilizes chiropractic adjustments in conjunction with exercise, massage, and other noninvasive techniques when treating patients with neck pain in Florham Park. He also uses instrument-assisted adjustment and low-force adjustments for patients with sensitive needs. Time and time again, we've seen how these treatments create lasting relief of neck pain for our patients in Florham Park, NJ.
Herzog W, Tang C, Leonard T. Internal Carotid Artery Strains During High-Speed, Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulations of the Neck. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2012; pii: S0161-4754(12)00156-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2012.09.005.