Claims of Risk From Chiropractic Care For Neck Pain
Are Exaggerated, Say Experts At The Texas Back Institute (TBI)

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Plano, TX - May 10, 2000 -- Periodic claims posed in the public and professional media that Chiropractic treatment to the neck poses a high risk for stroke are unwarranted say the experts at the Texas Back Institute (TBI).

"The evidence just isn't there," says Ralph Rashbaum, M.D., spine surgeon and Medical Director of TBI. "The fact of the matter is that they can see anything that I, as an orthopedic surgeon, can see short of loss of function."

According to John Triano, Doctor of Chiropractic, PhD and Co-Director, Conservative Medicine at the Texas Back Institute, "Comparing the scientific evidence on illness or injury as a complication of treatments available in medicine, chiropractic manipulation of the spine is one of the most safe means available."

Studies show that about 40 percent of Americans will have neck pain limiting their activities some time in their lives. Fortunately, there are alternative treatments such as chiropractic care that offer relief and restoration of function without surgery. Doctors of Chiropractic use manipulations or adjustments, exercise, nutrition and patient education to prevent further episodes of pain. Studies show that appropriate use of chiropractic care can reduce the costs of spine care and shorten recovery time.

Chiropractic rehabilitation developed in the late 1800's with the focus on the body's ability to heal itself. The mainstay of chiropractic treatment is mechanical in nature. The doctor uses controlled forces to alter joint function and stress distribution. "These procedures simply must be used knowledgeably, skillfully and carefully by adequately trained doctors," says Triano. "In general, chiropractic treatment has little associated risk. Nearly all reactions to manipulation are mild and self-limiting, lasting less than 24 hours. The incidence of serious complication is less than 1 in 1,000,000." Treatment effectiveness and safety are the first objectives of chiropractic care.

In 1993, Texas Back Institute added Doctors of Chiropractic to its professional staff after careful review of the scientific evidence and visiting Chiropractic College campuses. Now, chiropractic is the first line of defense for a new patient at TBI. Doctors of Chiropractic assess and manage patients who suffer from "neuromuskuloskeletal" disorders most commonly resulting in back and leg pain, neck and arm pain or headaches. TBI assumes a patient will not need surgery until a comprehensive diagnosis proves differently. Working closely with other medical specialists in spine care, a multidisciplinary team of doctors affords all the spine patient's needs.

Neck injuries are particularly sensitive regardless of the treatment approach but manipulation of the neck is one of the safest treatment procedures in use. Serious complications resulting from chiropractic care of the neck are dramatically lower than those resulting from surgical intervention and even some medications.

Chiropractic is practiced actively in the United States and in more than 80 other countries. Many insurance companies are now covering chiropractic care and orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons are incorporating this discipline into their patient care.

The Texas Back Institute is the largest free-standing spine specialty clinic in the United States. This Plano-based institute, located on the campus of Presbyterian Hospital in Plano, was established 22 years ago to provide comprehensive medical care for individuals with back and neck pain. Texas Back Institute offers a team of trained medical professionals, conservative treatment protocols and rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Texas Back Institute's web site at or contact:

Wendy B. Kula

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