New Study Shows Chiropractic Adjustments in Calgary Are Not A Cause of Disc Herniation

New Study Shows Chiropractic Adjustments in Calgary AB Are Not A Cause of Disc Herniation

New Study Shows Chiropractic Adjustments in Calgary Are Not A Cause of Disc Herniation

Great Day Practice Members!

I wanted to make a quick announcement to start...

I am proud to announce the return of Dr. Kelly Murphy to the Full Potential team.

For those of you who have been under her wonderful care in the past, she will be returning starting next week providing Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

Dr. Kelly is extraordinary at what she does and we are very fortunate to have back!!

Please feel free to call and book or go online and book an appointment with her.

I often hear many interesting comments about chiropractic care in Calgary AB...

For some reason, there is this wildly accepted disregard for what the science actually shows about chiropractic care and an extremely accepted doctrine of unfounded opinions.

I get even more aggravated when other medical professions, in which the general public, holds the opinions of extremely highly, make claims that are completely unsubstantiated by the data.

Sadly, Chiropractic battles with gross bias in the scientific community, where they tend to downplay what the science shows and overstate basically any medical therapy.

Chiropractic Adjustments in Calgary AB

I have read many of studies where they will compare 1 or 2 adjustments to 6 weeks of usual medical/physiotherapy treatments and when they show the same results, they will state chiropractic doesn't work.

I even hear things like chiropractic adjustments cause disc herniations or strokes, when the data completely refutes the notion of either.

Take a look at this study...

Hincapie, C. A., Tomlinson, G.A., Cote, P., Rampersaud, Y.R., Cassidy, J.D. (2018) Chiropractic Care and Risk for Acute Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Population-based Self-controlled Case Series Study Eur Spine J Jul;27(7):1562-1537


  • "195 cases of acute LDH [lumbar disc herniation] with early surgery (within 8 weeks) were identified in a population of more than 100 million person-years."
  • "The risk of acute LDH with early surgery associated with chiropractic visits was no higher than the riskassociated with PCP [primary care medical physician] visits."
  • "We found no evidence of excess risk for acute LDH with early surgery associated with chiropractic compared with primary medical care."


  • "Our population-based self-controlled case series study found positive associations between acute LDH requiring ED visit and early surgical intervention, and health care visits to both chiropractors and PCPs.

This suggests that patients with prodromal back pain related to a developing disc herniation seek healthcare from both chiropractors and PCPs before full clinical expression of acute LDH that is subsequently managed with early surgery."

Key Concepts:

Despite misinformation to the contrary, there is no evidence that chiropractic adjustment/manipulation poses any risk with respect to causing disc herniation.

In fact, valid scientific evidence shows that chiropractic poses no greater risk of disc herniation than visiting a medical doctor who does not even touch the spine, no different then the studies that show chiropractic care poses no greater risk of disc stroke than visiting a medical doctor. Yet, I consistently hear people stating chiropractic causes strokes! It's a timing issue not a causal issue.

Key Take Home Points:

The fact that some disc herniations have been reported after chiropractic care is due to the fact that patients whose discs are already injured and about to herniate have symptoms which cause them to seek chiropractic care.

Disc herniations cause patients to seek chiropractic care, chiropractic care does not cause disc herniations.

Not only is chiropractic safer than medical care, it is also much more effective.

Chiropractic care at Full Potential Chiropractic in Calgary is also safer, less expensive, and more effective than surgery. Once again, research proves that there simply is no more evidence-based, more effective, or safer care option than chiropractic.

The problem I see in Canada, is that chiropractic care is basically out of pocket and surgery is "free."

So, it can be a challenge to get people to stick with the care they need but take a look at what this study says.

Large Study Shows Back Surgery Ineffective and Harmful

Nguyen, et al. (2011). Long-term Outcomes of Lumbar Fusion Among Workers' Compensation Subjects: A Historical Cohort Study. Spine 36(4): 320-331


  • Only 26% of those who had surgery returned to work within 2 years. A full 67% of those who did not have surgery [for the same diagnosis] did return to work within 2 years.
  • 36% of surgeries resulted in significant complications and 27% of those who had surgery had to have at least one further surgery due to severe symptoms/complications.
  • The chances of permanent disability was 500% greater in those that had surgery compared to those who did not have surgery for the same diagnosis.
  • Daily opioid use increased 41% after surgery and 76% of surgical patients continued opioid use after surgical recovery.


"Conclusion. This lumbar fusion for the diagnosis of disc degeneration, disc herniation, and/or radiculopathy in a Workers' Compensation setting is associated with significant increase in disability, opiate use, prolonged work loss, and poor return to work status."

Key Concepts:

Surgery has far less evidence than chiropractic care, is far less clinically effective than chiropractic care, is exponentially more expensive than chiropractic care, and is exponentially more harmful than chiropractic care.

Key Take Home Points:

Surgery cannot restore proper segmental motion to the spine. In fact, most back surgeries attempt to permanently fuse segments of the spine in order to permanently eliminate segmental motion.

There has never been a shred of evidence that segmental motion was the cause of spinal pain or dysfunction nor a shred of evidence that fusing the spine is effective.

Yet, every year more spinal fusions are performed in patients who have never even had a trial of safe, effective, inexpensive chiropractic care.

Think of the human and economic costs of back surgeries and how much of this suffering and expense could have so easily been prevented with chiropractic care.

Our mission is to prevent as much suffering and expense as we can.

We need your help. Please help us at Full Potential Chiropractic in Calgary help others by sharing this information.

Thank you.

Dr. DJ LeDrew D.C.

P.S. Remember to check your extended health benefits from your company. Often times there is money left and it goes away at the end of the year. Be sure to use up what you have left.

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Full Potential Chiropractic

40 Christie Park View SW #3165
Calgary, AB T3H 6E7

(403) 204-0084
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