Complications of chiropractic treatment for back pain. Academic Article uri icon


  • Back pain often causes patients great despair, and they expect the primary care physician or orthopedic surgeon to provide a quick, simple solution. Rest and analgesia are the most commonly prescribed treatments, and muscle relaxants, heat, traction, and physiotherapy are also used. If these treatments do not help, the patient may search for relief through faith healing, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, or other nonconventional forms of treatment. Although chiropractic treatment is a popular alternative, its long-term effect is questionable and the medical literature contains numerous reports of patients whose condition worsened as a result of it. Physicians should be aware of the dangers of chiropractic treatment, particularly in patients with severe spondylitic changes, osteoporosis, fractures, tumors, ankylosing spondylitis, infections, or signs of nerve root pressure.

publication date

  • January 1, 1988