Phone: 712-732-3349 - Redenbaugh Chiropractic: 800 Oneida St, Suite B Storm Lake Iowa 50588

What is the risk of Chiropractic injury to neck, head and trunk in Medicare Part B Beneficiaries compared to medical visits?

What is the risk of chiropractic injury neck, head and trunk with a chiropractic office visit?

How safe is a visit to your medical doctor? How safe is a visit to your chiropractor?

Senior citizens may be considered particularly vulnerable to traumatic injury in general. But, what is their risk of injury when receiving manual care to their spinal joints? No studies have evaluated the safety of chiropractic adjusting procedures in an office visit in this population group until now. Four medical and chiropractic related authors recently published a study on this topic. They include: James M Whedon, DC, MS, Todd A Mackenzie, PhD, Reed B Phillips DC, PhD, Jon D Lurie, MD, MS.

Picture from Leonardo Da Vinci collection.
Picture from Leonardo Da Vinci collection.
Medicare beneficiaries from 2007 were evaluated in this statistical study. The chiropractic group statistics were measured using a statistical method called Cox proportional hazards model and logistical regression. These mathematical models allows for the comparison between the medical provider and the chiropractic provider even though they use different procedures. You should note that chiropractors are only reimbursed by Medicare for spinal manipulative therapy SMT, often called a chiropractic adjustment. The head, neck and trunk of the body were evaluated for spinal injuries and non-spinal injuries in the study. The spine is the primary area of care among senior citizens under chiropractic care. The study looked to the incidence of injury 7 days following the office visit. The cumulative probability of injury in the chiropractic cohort was 40 incidents per 100,000 people and in comparison 153 Medical visits incidents occurred per 100,000 people.

Chiropractic patients saw an increased risk if they suffered with the following conditions:

chronic coagulation defect
inflammatory spondylopathy
osteoporosis
aortic aneurysm and dissection
long-term use of anticoagulant therapy

These are all conditions chiropractors can and do screen patients for prior to care. If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions or are currently using any of these therapies be certain to inform your health care professional if they already do not know. Risk versus benefit must be measured with any procedure a patient elects to undergo. The surprising findings of this study demonstrate the risk of injury to the head, neck and trunk within 7 days of a chiropractic office visit to be 76% lower than a visit to the medical doctor. You can draw the conclusion from this study that chiropractic care is safe for senior citizens aged 66-99, especially when compared to a visit to the medical doctor. The study did show no effect among the depression rates of this age group receiving chiropractic care, a condition chiropractors do not typically treat. We look forward to more Medicare related research studies in the future and will keep you informed here at our blog.

References:
1. Risk of Traumatic Injury Associated with Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation in Medicare Part B Beneficiaries Aged 66-99 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25494315
2. Cox proportional hazards http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/painres/download/whatis/cox_model.pdf
3. Logistical Regression https://www.strath.ac.uk/aer/materials/5furtherquantitativeresearchdesignandanalysis/unit6/whatislogisticregression/

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Phone: 712-732-3349 - Redenbaugh Chiropractic: 800 Oneida St, Suite B Storm Lake Iowa 50588