Is Chiropractic Care Dangerous?

Is chiropractic care dangerous?

You may have heard that chiropractors can be dangerous. There are rumors that chiropractors aren’t real doctors and that the chiropractic treatments can kill you. How ridiculuous! Unfortunately some people still believe some of these myths. Let’s quickly dispel them right here.

Chiropractors aren’t real doctors: The degree that a chiropractor earns is a doctorate degree, so by definition all licensed chiropractors in the U.S. are doctors. This is similar to a medical doctor (M.D.), a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.), a dentist or doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.), or a doctor of veterinary medicine (D.V.M.).

Chiropractic care is dangerous: Compared to other treatment options for conditions treated in a chiropractic office like back pain or neck pain chiropractic care is one of the safest options out there. For these conditions chiropractic care is estimated to be 37,000 times less likely to cause an adverse event compared to using an NSAID like ibuprofen, advil, or Tylenol, and 55,500 times less likely to cause an adverse event compared to surgery on the lower back1,2.

Chiropractic treatments kill people: The theory that a chiropractor can kill someone with a routine adjustment is pretty far fetched. Some claim that chiropractic treatments cause strokes, which could lead to death. The fact is that there are arteries in the neck that are intertwined with the vertebrae that are being adjusted during a chiropractic treatment of the neck. However, the force used by a trained chiropractor is not great enough to tear these arteries and cause a stroke. It is proposed that the people who have reported having a stroke after a visit to their chiropractor were already in the process of having a stroke before they had a chiropractic adjustment3.

In summary, chiropractors are doctors who deliver one of the safest forms of natural healthcare in the world.


  1. Bjorkman, Current status of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use in the United States: risk factors and frequency of complications. (Am J Med 1999;107:3S-8S)

  2. Henriques , Olerud, Petrin-Mallmin , Ahl, Cauda equina syndrome as a post-operative complication in patients operated for lumbar disc herniation. (Spine 2001;26:293-97)

  3. Cassidy et al. Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care. Eur Spine J. Apr 2008; 17(Suppl 1): 176–183.


Dr. Kauffman is a licensed chiropractor in Loveland Ohio and serves patients in the greater Cincinnati area. To find out more about the go-to Loveland Chiropractor see

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    Dr. Kauffman is a licensed chiropractor in Loveland, OH. Patients travel from all over Cincinnati and the Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky regions to seek our uniquely effective care.