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Every type of health care is associated with some risk of a potiential problem. This includes chiropractic health care. We want you to be informed about potential problems associated with chiropractic health care before consenting to treatment, this is called informed consent.
Chiropractic adjustments are the moving of bones with the doctor's hands or with the use of a machine. Usually those movements result in a "pop" or "click" sound and/or sensation in the area being adjusted.
In this office we may use trained staff personnel to assist the doctor with portions of your consultation, examiniation, x-ray taking, traction, manual therapy, exercise instructions, or other services. Occasionally, when your doctor is unavailable, another doctor will adjust you on that day.
STROKE: Stroke is the most serious problem associated with chiropractic adjustments. Stroke means that a portion of the brain does not receive enough oxygen for the bloodstream. The result can be temporary or permanent dysfunction of the brain, or even death. Chiropractic adjustments have been associated with strokes that arise from the vertebral artery only. This is because the vertebral artery is actually found inside the neck vertebrae. The adjustment that is related to the vertebral artery stroke is called the "extension-rotation thrust atlas adjustment". We do perform this type of adjustment on patients, Other types of neck adjustment may also potentially be related to vertebral artery strokes, but no one is certain. The most recent studies (Journal of CCA. Vol. 37. No.2 June, 1993) estimated that the incident of this type of stroke is 1 per every 3,000,000 upper neck adjustments. This means that an average chiropractor would have to be in practice for hundreds of years before he or she would statiscally be associated with a single patient stroke.
SOFT TISSUE INJURY: Soft tissue primarily refer to muscles and ligaments. Muscles move bones and ligaments limit joint movement. Rarely a chiropractic adjustments, traction, massage therapy, and/or therapeutic exercise may damage some muscle or ligament fibers. The result is a temporary increase in pain, which may necessitate extra visits for resolution, but there are no long-term effects for the patient. These problems occur so rarely that there are no available statistics to quantify their probability.
RIB FRACTURES: The ribs are found only in the thoracic spine or middle back. They extend from your back to your front chest area. Rarely a chiropractic adjustment will crack a rib bone, and this is referred to as a fracture. This occurs only on patients who have weakened bones from such things as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can be noted on your x-rays occasionally. We adjust all patients very carefully and especially those who have osteoporosis on their x-rays. These problems occur so rarely that there are no available statistics to quantify their probability.
SORENESS: It is common for chiropractic adjustments, traction, massage therapy, and/or therapeutic exercise to result in an increase in soreness in the region being treated. This is nearly always a temporary symptom that occurs while your body is undergoing therapeutic change. It is not dangerous and may vary according to your general health.
NEUROMUSCULAR REEDUCATION: Bruising, tenderness and discoloration may occur in some cases. Post treatment stiffness is almost always present and can be relieved by exercises that can be given. Emotional reactions will sometimes occur. These are sometimes associated with remembering past feelings and/or memories from traumatic events. These emotional reactions may happen with any treatment.
OTHER PROBLEMS: There may be other problems or complications that can arise from chiropractic case other than those noted above. These other problems or complications occur so rarely that it is not possible to anticipate and/or explain them all in advance of treatment.
Chiropractic is a systems of healthcare delivery and therefore, as with any health care delivery systems, we cannot promise a cure for any symptom, disease, or condition as a result of treatment in this office. We will always give you our best care, and if results are not acceptable we will refer you to another provider who may be better able to fulfill your needs.
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