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By: Dr. Donna A. Pontoriero, Chiropractor

When discussing the risks of any health care procedure, it is important to look at the risk in comparison to other treatments available for the same condition. In this Regard, the risks of serious complications from spinal manipulation for conditions, such as neck pain and headaches, compare very favorably with even the most conservative care options. For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain-- over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and prescription painkillers-- are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation.

According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, people taking NSAIDs are three times more likely than those who do not to develop serious adverse gastrointestinal problems, such as hemorrhage (bleeding) and perforation. That risk rises to more than five times among people age 60 and older.

Moreover, the number of prescriptions for powerful drugs, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, have tripled in the past 12 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that abuse of these commonly prescribed painkillers are among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Overdoses of opiod painkillers are responsible for some 15,000 deaths per year; that's more than the number of deaths from cocaine and heroin combined.

Doctors of chiropractic are well-trained professionals who provide patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, even if it requires referral to a medical specialist.

Please contact our office if you would like further evaluation on your condition.

Dr. Donna Pontoriero can be reached at 299 Franklin Ave, Nutley NJ 07110, 973-235-9393.