The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Another study of the safety of chiropractic

    In this study, researchers from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth, UK followed the response by 19,722 patients after cervical (neck) manipulation.

    First, the details.

    • Data were obtained from 28,807 treatment consultations and 50,276 cervical spine manipulations.
    • Manipulation was defined as the application of a high-velocity/low-amplitude or mechanically assisted thrust to the cervical spine.
    • Serious adverse events included hospital referral and/or severe onset or worsening of symptoms immediately after treatment and/or resulted in persistent or significant disability or incapacity.
    • Minor adverse events included a worsening of presenting symptoms or onset of new symptoms recorded up to 7 days after treatment.

    And, the results.
    There were no reports of serious side effects, which statistically translated to the following estimated risk of a serious side effect.

    • 1 per 10,000 treatment consultations immediately after cervical spine manipulation
    • 2 per 10,000 treatment consultations up to 7 days after treatment
    • 6 per 100,000 cervical spine manipulations, total

    Minor side effects with a possible neurologic involvement were more common.

    • Immediately after treatment: fainting/dizziness/light-headedness in 16 per 1000 treatment consultations
    • Up to 7 days after treatment: headache in 4 per 100, numbness/tingling in upper limbs in 15 per 1000 and fainting/dizziness/light-headedness in 13 per 1000 treatment consultations

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Although minor side effects following cervical spine manipulation were relatively common, the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low.”

    OK, but I’m not clear on how one estimates a risk statistically, when none are reported.

    12/9/07 18:19 JR

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