On 8 June 2012, the British Medical Journal http://www.bmj.com/comment has published a Head to Head debate: Should we abandon cervical spinal manipulation for mechanical neck pain? Those advocating this position were Benedict M Wand, Peter J Heine and Neil E O’Connell, and those arguing against are J David Cassidy, Gert Bronfort and Jan Hartvigsen.
The BCA was contacted by the Daily Mail on 7 June for a comment from the BCA and this was provided, emphasising that neck manipulation has been shown to be safe and effective and is the preferred treatment by thousands of people suffering from neck pain and headaches. Comparisons were made with other medical treatments and the use of drugs; the misuse of the term chiropractic for treatment carried out by non-chiropractors, and the training chiropractors have in spine care. The prospective study of cervical manipulation in 2007 in the UK has also been referenced, which found that in the study of 50,000 neck treatments, not one serious adverse event was reported.
The BCA has posted this notice on the public area of the website. If you need any clarification please call head office.
A debate has been published in the British Medical Journal (8 June 2012), questioning the safety of neck manipulation. Neck manipulation has been shown to be safe and effective and benefits thousands of people suffering from neck pain and headaches. In fact, the risk of a stroke after treatment is the same http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18204390 whether you see a GP and get a prescription or see a chiropractor and get your neck adjusted. Manipulation of the neck is at least as effective as other medical treatments and is safer than many of the drugs used to treat similar conditions. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17258728
The term chiropractic is often mis-used for treatment carried out by non-chiropractors. This leads to over- reporting of incidents blamed on chiropractors, including in the BMJ.
In one report of 24 cases attributed to chiropractors, not one was shown to be a chiropractor http://chiromt.com/content/14/1/16#B21.
Chiropractors are highly trained in spinal care. In one UK study undertaken in 2007, of 50,000 neck treatments reviewed, not one single adverse event was reported.
The cherry-picking of poor quality research needlessly raises alarm in patients and does little to help the people suffering from neck pain and headaches to choose the most appropriate treatment.
If you have any concerns about your treatment, please discuss this with your chiropractor.