Every type of health care is associated with some risk of a potential problem. This includes Chiropractic health care. We want you to be informed about potential problems associated with Chiropractic health care before consenting to treatment. This is called informed consent. Chiropractic adjustments are the moving of bones with the doctor's hands or with the use of a machine. Usually those movements result in a "pop" or "click" sound and/or sensation in the area being adjusted. In this office we may use trained staff personnel to assist the doctor with portions of your consultation, examination, X-ray taking, traction, massage therapy, exercise instruction, or other services. Occasionally, when your doctor is unavailable, another doctor will adjust you on that day. STROKE: Stroke is the most serious potential problem associated with Chiropractic adjustments. Stroke means that a portion of the brain does not receive enough oxygen for the bloodstream. The result can be temporary or permanent dysfunction of the brain, or even death. Chiropractic adjustments have been associated with strokes that arise from the vertebral artery only. This is because the vertebral artery is actually found inside the neck vertebrae. The adjustment that is related to the vertebral artery stroke is called the "Extension-rotation thrust atlas adjustment". Fortunately, we do not perform this type of adjustment on patients. Other types of neck adjustment may also potentially be related to vertebral artery strokes, but no one is certain. The most recent studies (Journal of the CCA. Vol. 37. No. 2 June, 1993) estimate that the incident of this type of stroke is 1 per every 3, 000,000 upper neck adjustments. This means that an average Chiropractor would have to be in practice for hundreds of years before he or she would statistically be associated with a single patient stroke. SOFT TISSUE INJURY: Soft tissues primarily refer to muscles and ligaments. Muscles move bones and ligaments limit joint movement. Rarely a chiropractic adjustment, traction, massage therapy, and/ or therapeutic exercise may damage some muscle or ligament fibers. The result is a temporary increase in pain which may necessitate extra visits for resolution, but there are no long-term effects for the patient. These problems occur so rarely that there are no available statistics to quantify their probability. RIB FRACTURES: The ribs are found only in the thoracic spine or middle back. They extend from your back to your front chest area. Rarely does a chiropractic adjustment crack a rib bone, and this is referred to as a fracture. This occurs only in patients who have weakened bones from such things as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can be noted on your x-rays. We adjust all patients very carefully, and especially those who have osteoporosis on their x-rays. These problems occur so rarely that there are no available statistics to quantify their probability.