What Are the Benefits and Risks of Chiropractic?

In the United States, over one million chiropractic adjustments are performed every day. This statistic is not surprising with the proven benefits of chiropractic care for people of all ages. Like any type of care, there are also potential risks that should be considered before starting any treatment. It’s always important to discuss with your primary doctor to determine the best type of care for your health needs, whether that is chiropractic or something else. Continue reading to discover the top benefits and potential risks of chiropractic.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Reduce Pain

A common cause of pain is a misaligned spine, which can lead to symptoms of pain, discomfort, and stress. By receiving a chiropractic adjustment from a licensed chiropractor, you will likely enjoy having less or no pain in your back, neck, shoulders, or other areas of the body. A 2018 study with 750 respondents with back pain found that half of the sample that received 12 chiropractic treatments reported less pain, better care, and less need for pain-relief compared to the other half that received traditional care. If you suffer from any type of pain and would like to receive natural care that doesn’t involve medications or invasive surgeries, consider chiropractic.

Lower High Blood Pressure

Did you know that chiropractors can help lower high blood pressure? Studies have discovered that realigning the Atlas vertebra (the bone at the top of the spine) helped reduce blood pressure levels without any medications. In one chiropractic study, Doctor George Bakris found that this treatment was as effective as a patient taking two blood pressure medications, but without any side effects for the patient. 

Reduce Inflammation

By realigning the vertebrae within the spine, chiropractors can help reduce the pressure placed on the nerves. In turn, this helps the nervous system to work properly. When the nervous system is working well, the body’s biomechanics can then work as they were intended and halt the production of neuropeptides. Neuropeptides are responsible for causing inflammation in the body, which causes pain, achiness, and stiffness. Indeed, less inflammation means patients can enjoy life with less pain.

Reduce Headaches 

In addition to treating more common issues like pain, chiropractic adjustments can help treat headaches and migraines. In fact, this is a common reason why patients visit their local chiropractor. Since headaches can be extremely painful and distracting, it makes sense why this is a popular reason to receive this type of care. 

Promote Weight Loss

You may be surprised to find out that chiropractic also can help promote weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. After you receive an adjustment, your body is able to move more freely without the interference from pain or discomfort. In turn, this makes it easier to move and exercise on a regular basis. If you are looking to maintain your weight, this care can help with that as well.

Improve Sleep

You may be surprised to find out that chiropractic care can help you get better sleep. This is something everyone can appreciate. When you receive a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor can help identify and treat any spine misalignments in your body. As a result of this adjustment, your spine will be properly restored. With a properly aligned spine, this can help balance out the levels of dopamine and serotonin within the brain. These are two feel-good chemicals that help with sleep issues like insomnia.

Encourages Relaxation 

When you receive a chiropractic adjustment, this helps relax your muscles. For those living with anxiety, this can lower stress and tension levels in the body. Studies have shown that after patients received an adjustment, there was a 25 percent reduction in overall muscle activity. It may not seem like the most relaxing activity, but chiropractic can help your body feel more relaxed.

Potential Risks of Chiropractic Care

Temporary Discomfort 

Depending on the patient, some people can experience temporary discomfort in the treated area. This can include muscle stiffness and tenderness. These side effects are typically mild and should go away after a day or two post-treatment. Patients may experience this discomfort after their first adjustment.

Lower Back Injury

In a very small number of cases, chiropractic care has caused lower back injuries. This is usually found in patients that have pre-existing issues, such as a herniated disc or prolapse. Indeed, it’s hard to determine if the chiropractic adjustment caused the injury or if it was caused by doing something as simple as bending over or sneezing. Over a 80 year period, studies have shown that only 8 cases related to chiropractic complications have been reported.


While this is rare, there is a potential risk for having a stroke when receiving chiropractic care. This could be due to a high-velocity neck adjustment that may damage a neck artery and thus cause a stroke. The likelihood of this happening from a neck adjustment is 1 out of 5.85 million cervical (neck region) adjustments. To put this in perspective, you are more likely to become a star (1 in 1.5 million) or be killed by a shark attack (1 in 3.75 million). 

It’s important to note that the American Chiropractic Association states that chiropractic has a strong record of being a safe treatment. Just like traditional care, there are potential risks. However, with traditional care, doctors are likely to recommend using harsh drugs with unpleasant and potentially fatal side effects or receiving invasive surgeries that come with numerous health complications. When performed by a licensed chiropractor, the chiropractic treatments are safe, gentle, and effective. Contact Brand Chiro in Wilmington, NC today to learn more about chiropractic and find out how we can help you with all your digital chiropractic needs from chiropractic web design to marketing for chiropractors.