Cervical spine manipulation 'unnecessary and inadvisable', research suggests

8 June 2012

A call has been made to abandon the use of a common chiropractic procedure in order to treat neck pain.

The treatment, known as cervical spine manipulation, involves medical professionals applying thrusts to the neck area of the spine, but experts believe the procedure is "unnecessary and inadvisable".

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Neil O'Connell and his colleagues at the Centre for Research and Rehabilitation at Brunel University acknowledged that the technique carries the risk of causing damage to the major neck arteries.

Should such a problem arise, there is a low but worrying risk that a person will then suffer a stroke.

The study group therefore stated: "The potential for catastrophic events and the clear absence of unique benefit lead to the inevitable conclusion that manipulation of the cervical spine should be abandoned as part of conservative care for neck pain."

Earlier this week, Newcastle University researchers led a study which claimed that multiple CT scans in childhood can increase a person's chance of suffering from brain cancer or leukaemia.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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