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J R Soc Med. 2007 October; 100(10): 444.
PMCID: PMC1997255

Adverse effects of spinal manipulation

As a UK-wide statutory regulator, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) has a duty to act in the public interest. The GCC sets standards of chiropractic education, training, conduct and practice. The GCC also has a duty to promote chiropractic so that its contribution to the health of the nation is understood and recognized. Two points

  • The GCC requires all chiropractors to explain to patients the risks and benefits of the chiropractic management of their condition to enable appropriate consent to be obtained;
  • While acknowledging that every human activity carries some risk, the GCC's core message to the public is that ‘chiropractic management of musculoskeletal disorders is safe, evidence-based and effective in terms of outcomes and cost’. Having carefully considered Professor Ernst's study, the GCC has seen nothing that changes this.1

The GCC is deeply concerned that a study whose conclusions cannot be justified by the research papers reviewed, has been presented as ‘scientific rigour’ (JRSM 2007;100:330-338). This is liable to lead to yet more public confusion when confronted with yet another research scare story. This does not serve the interests of the public or those of researchers who are dedicated to improving the public's health.


Competing interests PD is the Chairman of the GCC.


1. Ernst E. Adverse effects of spinal manipulation: a systematic review. JR Soc Med 2007;100: 330-8 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press