Many people who search for medical care to relieve their back or neck pain have many options for treatment. These options include both chiropractic care or surgery, but many pain sufferers do not realize the various benefits and risks that derive from these decisions. While many ask advice from friends, family, or coworkers, patients often fail to seek out the clinical facts. Read on for the risks associated with both a failed back surgery and spinal manipulation.

Before considering surgery, those who suffer from neck pain should recognize the risks involved and discuss their best option with their trusted healthcare provider.

Surgery has the potential to produce serious complications from the anesthesia, excessive bleeding, blood clots that can result in pulmonary embolism or infection. The risks are also greater when it comes to surgery of the spine. Just a few other risks involved include a dural tear, spinal cord injury, or persistent pain from a failed back surgery.

Spinal manipulation also has risks for complication but are extremely rare. These include disc herniation, vertebrobasilar accident, or cauda equina syndrome.

Since both surgery and spinal manipulation come with risks for problems, how should a patient decide on the correct course of treatment?

One should not simply understand the potential for problems, but instead understand how likely they are to occur.

According to an April 2010 article in the journal Spine, the rates of complication from spinal surgery ranged from 5% to 19%. In 2002, the American Journal of Medicine published a study that looked at the adverse effects from spinal manipulation. Researches reported that the rates of complication ranged from one person out of every 400,000 manipulations, to one out of two million manipulations.

As these studies show, the risks from a failed back surgery are much higher than spinal manipulation, where the chance of serious adverse effects are low. Therefore, spinal manipulation through properly administered chiropractic adjustments should be considered the safest form of care as long as it’s performed by a trained and licensed chiropractor.

Almost everything we do can lead to risks, so when it comes to spinal manipulation, it is best to simply understand the risks and keep them in perspective. A chiropractor can help you do this by instructing you on the potential benefits and problems associated with spinal manipulation. Consider a chiropractor to help your neck and back pain, and lower your chances of experiencing serious complications.