Chiropractic care proven safe

The most effective possible treatment likely to do the least amount of harm -- that's the common-sense philosophy that guides my advice.

But sadly, it's not all that common these days.

Mainstream docs routinely dismiss safe and effective nondrug treatments and push ineffective and potentially dangerous medications and surgeries instead. And if you've ever seen a doctor about pain -- especially back, neck and shoulder pain -- you might already know what I'm talking about.

Odds are he offered you a painkiller, despite studies that show they're often no more effective than a placebo and come with risks ranging from addiction right up to death.

But if you mention chiropractic care to that same doctor, he'll probably look at you as if you've just suggested witchcraft.

He'll claim it doesn't work... despite studies proving it does.

He'll tell you it's quackery... despite the fact that it's very real, highly effective and you can find millions of people who can tell you how much it's helped them.

And for good measure, he'll even throw in some fear-mongering and warn that a chiropractic treatment can cause a cervical artery dissection, which in turn can lead to a stroke.

What he won't tell you is that the risk is so remote that it's practically nonexistent, especially when you compare it to the mainstream treatment options he's pushing.

So allow me to make that comparison for you -- because I've seen the science, and it shows that the odds of suffering a stroke because of chiropractic care are slightly less than 1 in a million.

Yes, that's still a real risk.

But it's nothing compared to the risks of drugs and surgery, both of which can also lead to a stroke. If you take NSAID painkillers, for example, your stroke risk is actually 153 in a million.

Yes, that's 152 times higher than the risk of chiropractic.

Narcotic painkillers can also cause a stroke. The odds are a little lower than what you face with NSAIDs, but they're still 53 times higher than chiropractic care.

And if you opt fur surgery, the risk of a potentially deadly stroke shoots up to 500 in a million.

Amazingly, despite these numbers, the American Heart Association recently issued a scientific statement calling on chiropractors to warn patients of the stroke risk.

They didn't call on doctors who prescribe painkillers to mention the much higher stroke risk. And they didn't mention surgeons.

Just chiropractors.

This is fear-mongering and bullying, plain and simple.

And along with a lower risk of stroke, spinal manipulations won't lead to addiction (although they can feel pretty good), won't cause stomach bleeding, won't make you woozy and unsteady and they certainly don't lead to falls and fractures.

Drugs on the other hand can do all that -- and more.

And surgery for back pain comes with plenty of risks of its own, including infection. But the biggest problem is that it often fails, especially for back pain.

So ignore the protests, the bullying and the fear-mongering. If you're suffering from pain and your own doctor is pushing prescriptions and surgeries instead of solutions, don't be afraid to seek the help of an experienced chiropractor.