In addition to being a safe form of treatment, spinal manipulation is incredibly effective, getting patients back on their feet faster than traditional medical care. A March 2004 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care is more effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in those patients who have been experiencing the symptoms for one year or less. In addition, a study published in the July 15, 2003, edition of the journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications.
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Chiropractic care is inaccurately believed to be more dangerous than standard medical care. Chiropractic care is less invasive than other medical interventions that increase risk for injury. Surgery and medical drug side effects are more dangerous than any of the non-invasive methods that chiropractors prescribe, like a neck manipulation or spinal adjustment. The American Chiropractic Association has compiled information about risk of death from spine surgery, neck surgery, and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin, all of which have a much higher risk of serious side effects and death.