National Chiropractic Health Month

Putting Neck Pain Treatment Risks into Perspective

Putting Neck Pain Treatment Risks into Perspective

Risk of death from spine surgery: 1,800 per 1 million1

Risk of serious side effects/death from cervical spine (neck) surgery: 500 in 1 million2

Risk of death from combined use of NSAIDS/aspirin: 153 per 1 million3

Risk of death from aspirin: 25 per 1 million4

Association between neck manipulation and stroke: about 1 in 5.85 million adjustments (or <1 in 1 million)


Likelihood of Surgery for Workers with Back Injuries



Conservative Care = Cost Effective






  1. Smith, JS et al. Rates and causes of mortality associated with spine surgery based on 108,419 procedures: a review of the Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality Database. Spine 2012, Nov 1;37(23):1975-82.
  2. Marquez-Lara A, Nandyala SV, Hassanzadeh H, Noureldin M, Sankaranarayanan S, Singh K: Sentinel Events in Cervical Spine Surgery. Spine 2014 Jan 29 [Epub ahead of print],
  3. Lanas A et al. A nationwide study of mortality associated with hospital admission due to severe gastrointestinal events and those associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. Am J Gastroenterology 2005, Aug;100(8):1685-93.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Haldeman S, Carey P, Townsend M, Papadopoulos C: Arterial dissections following cervical manipulation: the chiropractic experience. CMAJ 2001;165:905.