There are risks associated with every treatment you get. Your chiropractor will make sure they remove as many as possible to make sure your chiropractic treatment is safe. Some treatments people just assume are safe because they are easily accessible. Doroski Chiropractic Neurology in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area wants to give you some information on a commonly used treatment for back pain.
To properly assess the risks of chiropractic treatment, it must be compared against the risks of other treatments for similar conditions. For example, even the most conservative conventional treatment for neck and back pain— prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—may carry significantly greater risk than the drug-free chiropractic approach to these conditions.
The most common and most serious adverse effects associated with NSAIDs are gastrointestinal (GI) ulcers and bleeding. These conditions can often be very serious, and occasionally lead to fatal complications such as perforation of the gut or bleeding to death. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.
One retrospective study reported that nearly 80 percent of all ulcer-related deaths in the U.S. occurred in patients who were using an NSAID. At any given time, a patient on NSAID therapy has a 5- to 10-times greater risk than non-users of developing a gastric ulcer.
One large epidemiological study estimated that the death rate for NSAID-associated gastrointestinal problems was 0.04% per year among patients receiving NSAIDs specifically for osteoarthritis and related conditions. This figure extrapolates to 3,200 deaths in the U.S. per year.
A more recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine estimated that at least 103,000 patients are hospitalized per year in the United States for serious gastrointestinal complications due to NSAID use. At an estimated cost of $15,000 to $20,000 per hospitalization, the annual direct costs of such complications exceed $2 billion. This study estimated that 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur among patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis every year in the United States. This figure is similar to the annual number of deaths from AIDS and considerably greater than the number of deaths from asthma, cervical cancer or Hodgkin’s disease. If deaths from gastrointestinal toxic effects of NSAIDs were tabulated separately in the National Vital Statistics reports, these effects would constitute the 15th most common cause of death in the US.
Complications from NSAID use apparently do not result only from long-term use. One analysis found short-term NSAID use was actually associated with a higher risk of GI complications than chronic use. One double-blind trial found that 6 of 32 healthy volunteers (19 percent) developed a gastric ulcer that was visible on endoscopic examination after only 1 week’s treatment with naproxen (at a commonly prescribed dose of 500mg twice daily–the same dose received from 5 non-prescription Aleve per day).
Doroski Chiropractic Neurology
3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102
Woodbridge VA 22192
703 730 9588