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When to Avoid Chiropractic Care

Woman with painHave you wondered whether or not you should try chiropractic but are worried about it because you have a pre-existing medical condition? While chiropractic is perfectly safe for most people, it is not for everyone.

A thorough evaluation and diagnosis by a credentialed spinal care doctor is the best way to find out whether or not chiropractic is a possibility for you. Depending upon your specific condition, certain chiropractic techniques may be okay.

Proper evaluation and diagnosis of the primary problem is imperative. Treating symptoms only will not take care of the problem. Failure to find and correct the problem will only lead to more spinal issues, and pain.

Only a thorough orthopedic, neurological and biomechanical spine exam can help the doctor differentiate the cause of your pain.

Proper imaging may also reveal the most appropriate course of action. Before you move forward with any treatment plan, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis to see what exactly is causing your back pain.

After an initial evaluation, if it is determined that chiropractic is not a good option for treating your pain, we will explain your condition to you and refer you to the specialist who is most appropriate for you. At Precision Spinal Care, our goal is to get you the help you need.

If you have any other health related conditions, it is of the utmost importance that you share that information with any healthcare provider. Remember, a successful relationship with your healthcare provider is dependent upon the communication between you and your doctor. Make sure you are clear about what medications you are taking and for what conditions.

Chiropractic Care Is Not Recommended If You Have Any of the Following Conditions:

If the source of your condition is anatomical, such as a tumor, fracture or herniated disc, chiropractic care is not medically recommended. Be sure to alert your doctor if you have any of these conditions:

  • At increased risk for stroke
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Broken/dislocated bones (fracture or dislocation in spine)
  • Bone tumors
  • Infection in the spine
  • Severe arthritis
  • Severely herniated disc or sequestered disc fragment
  • Signs severe nerve compression or myelopathy (compression of spinal cord)
  • Experiencing loss of bowel and bladder control (cauda equina syndrome)
  • Aneurysm
  • Cancer in the spine
  • Other anatomical/pathological severe spine conditions
  • Neurological deficits such as motor weakness, abnormal reflexes or sensory nerve deprivation
  • Pathological reflexes (may indicate an upper or lower motor neuron lesion)
  • A known bone abnormality in the upper neck (for example a Chiari Malformation)
  • MRI with visible spinal cord or central canal compression
  • Surgical hardware in your spine (no adjustments in fused areas with hardware)
  • No clear diagnosis of mechanical spine problem

The above list is not exhaustive. There could be other conditions or medications that need to be addressed before considering chiropractic care.

There have been reports of a very rare kind of stroke or arterial dissection with high-velocity upper neck manipulation. However, these patients had pre-existing conditions of arterial disease prior to the adjustment and were prone to spontaneous arterial injury.

Such injuries could happen with many activities of daily living, such as swimming, tennis, or turning the head while driving. Evidence suggests incidents of arterial injury from chiropractic manipulation are extremely rare.

You Are a Partner in Your Health Care

As with any other relationship you have with a medical provider, it is of the utmost importance that you communicate with your spinal care provider a complete list of medications (prescription and over-the-counter medications) before treatment. You should also make your spinal care specialist aware of any and all physical conditions, medical history, and injuries.

If you do visit a chiropractor with neck or back pain, be extremely specific in describing your symptoms. At Precision Spinal Care, Dr. Packer not only does a full evaluation of you before prescribing treatment. He also does a very thorough pre-screening for stroke pathology.

When visiting any chiropractor, make sure you describe all of your symptoms so your chiropractor can pre-screen you for underlying issues.

Before You Start Any Form of Treatment for Neck or Back Pain…

Make sure you have a thorough evaluation and consultation with a credentialed spinal care specialist.

  • Be sure you have a thorough neurological, orthopaedic and biomechanical examination.
  • Tell the chiropractor about all of your medical conditions, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), and dietary supplements.
  • If you do have a pre-existing medical condition or take certain medications, ask your spinal care specialist if there is a chiropractic technique that may be safe for you.

Take charge of your health—talk with your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Together, you can make well-informed decisions.

At Precision Spinal Care, we will perform a thorough examination of you before any treatment is performed or prescribed. If it is determined that your pain is anatomical, we’ll explain your condition and recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you look for expert chiropractic care. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment through our webpage.

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