The Negative Effects Of Cervical Spine Manipulation

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Over the last several years there have been challenges in the various state legislatures against the physical therapy profession via legislation promoted by chiropractors attempting to prohibit the PT scope of practice since its inception. Manipulation techniques are manual (hands on) skilled passive movement treatment techniques used by Physical Therapists, Physicians, Osteopaths and Chiropractors. Chiropractors argue that physical therapists are not trained to practice TJM; Chiropractors also claim that manipulation provided by PTs place the public at risk for serious injury. Cervical spine manipulation techniques pose a risk of adverse effects that range from mild soreness to severe neurovascular injury. Adverse reactions to cervical spine manipulation may include a temporary increase in neck pain, radiating arm pain, headache, dizziness, impaired vision, or ringing in the ears.25 Although minor temporary adverse reactions to cervical spine manipulation are fairly common, catastrophic complications from cervical manipulation are extremely rare.

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