Chiropractic is a natural form of health care. And because it's non-invasive and doesn't involve the use of drugs or surgery it's generally regarded as extremely safe. A chiropractor will do a very careful case history and examination and choose the proper techniques and protocols that are right for your health history, for your body type, and for your condition. Chiropractors will perform an examination and several specific tests to minimize any risk of adjustment. There are specific techniques that can be used when these tests are positive, and chiropractors are very careful to refer patients out if they feel that they need medical care or they need to be co-managed by another health care practitioner.
There have been some reports that chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine might be associated with damage to the vertebral artery causing a rare kind of stroke. In fact, an important study was just published in 2008 in "Spine" magazine that showed that there actually was no increased risk of having this kind of stroke associated with a chiropractic adjustment any more than it would be associated with having a visit to your regular medical doctor. Chiropractors do very careful exams and adjusting techniques to minimize this kind of risk.
A lot of patients express concern that chiropractic adjustments might be painful. But I'm here to tell you that in most cases they're absolutely not painful at all. Patients report feeling an enormous sense of release and decreased pain immediately after the adjustment.
Another concern people have is are there any side effects from adjustments. Sometimes people may have a little soreness particularly after the very first adjustment, but that's not common. It can happen, and it doesn't last very long - usually a day or two. I recommend that people drink plenty of water. Take warm showers. You can ask your chiropractor for specific recommendations. Sometimes using Arnica, if it's indicated, can be very helpful at just reducing any soreness. The soreness doesn't happen every time you get adjusted. Usually it's the first time or when you've been in a lot of pain and had a serious issue.
For the most part people feel really good after an adjustment. They feel a reduction of pain and just a profound sense of well-being.