Is Blair chiropractic technique dangerous for my health?

Posted in Chiropractic on Apr 26, 2021

No, In fact, the Blair chiropractic technique may very well be the exact thing that you need so that your health can improve!

It’s a tired play that opponents of chiropractic have been making for over a century now: “Don’t ever let a chiropractor touch your neck. They’ll make you a cripple,” or some trite like that,

Indeed, the cervical spine demands attention and respect. It is NOT something you want any old person cracking or cranking on willy-nilly because there’s a lot of important stuff there.

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But this is why Blair chiropractic exists. It is not just something you can learn online or with a weekend course. It is something that a chiropractic doctor first goes to university to study, and then does post-doctorate study even after that to learn.

Safety and precision are paramount!

Yes, any procedure - even benign things like over-the-counter medication that we take for granted - have a certain amount of risk associated with them (that’s why you read the label for side effects). Even a procedure done properly has a certain degree of risk associated with it. 

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However, when the odds of serious injury are estimated as less than 1 per 5,000,000 it is not appropriate to label something like that as risky or dangerous.

That is fear-mongering at its worst.


So what are some statistics on Blair upper cervical and chiropractic care?

Researchers in the USA conducted a safety and satisfaction survey among upper cervical chiropractors (including Blair technique practitioners) where they found an excellent satisfaction rating (90%+) and not one documented case of serious injury.

In the study, symptomatic reactions occurred in 31% of people with only 5% being severe. The most common reactions were tiredness, radiating pain, neck pain, dizziness, and headache. In the same breath, many of these reactions were actually expected and may represent a normal part of the healing process.

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For example, if patients have had issues with their head or neck for 20 years, it should only be reasonable that the change in their body could produce sore muscles (pain) or change blood flow in the brain (dizziness or headaches).

So it is also important to put any symptomatic reaction in its proper context.

Of course, the stuff that scares people the most is the idea that twisting or cracking the neck can cause a blood vessel in the brain to burst, causing a stroke. Or that crunching the neck will cause it to break. 

Well, let’s consider the facts about this. 

First, what the best science shows is that neck rotation is NOT a risk factor for causing a stroke, and when it has occurred following a standard cervical manipulation, the patient actually had significant underlying issues in advance.

Some of the biggest risk factors for stroke are certain types of medication (e.g., blood thinners), hormone therapies including birth control, and smoking. So it may be that for these certain populations that cervical manipulation is not a good idea.

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Irrespective, this is NOT how the Blair chiropractic technique works anyway. The Blair technique is performed light and gentle and does not crack or manipulate the neck. 

Let me repeat: no twisting, popping, or cracking. 

By using a precise series of diagnostic tests including 3D imaging, a Blair chiropractic doctor first measures the exact location, direction, and degree of any misalignment in your neck. With that insight, you do not need to “crack” your neck back into position, but you can use a very light impulse to make the correction instead with the head in a neutral position.

Oh, and the total amount of force is similar to what you would use to click a pen. That’s it!

So in terms of the nature of the treatment, a Blair upper cervical correction is remarkably different in all the ways even from the types of procedures that enemies of chiropractic claim cause damage. And of course, the idea of breaking the neck in this position is highly unlikely if the Blair chiropractor is performing the procedure correctly.

The reality is that they would have to do something INCREDIBLY WRONG to cause that … so wrong that I can’t even fathom how it would be possible.

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What about x-rays? Are they dangerous?

It’s a matter of risk vs reward.

Many people who seek the help of an upper cervical chiropractor have already tried all of the common therapies but with limited success.

Many of them have also had lots of x-rays, CTs, and MRIs but that shows that everything looks “normal” when they know darn well that something is not right.

The key is often the angle and the way the images are taken. So in Blair work, we do not like to play guessing games with anyone’s help. And the reality is that if the problem was obvious, surely someone else would have been able to figure it out.

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This is the reason why proper images are so important: “When we see, we know. When we don’t see, we guess.” And if safety is the concern with giving an adjustment to the neck, I want to be as safe as possible and know what I’m working with.

So when we take or refer for images, what we want is the least amount of x-ray exposure to give us the best possible information. Contemporary research has revealed that the real ionising tradition source is a standard CT scan: dozens of times more radiation than a standard x-ray series. 

Furthermore, researchers around the world have also recognised in recent years that the effects of ionising radiation are not always accumulative, but that the body actually heals from previous exposures without always increases the risk of developing other medical issues.

That all said, we emphasise as few images as possible for the right information that enables the Blair chiropractic doctor to be able to make a positive difference.

Fortunately, images usually only need to be taken once in order to determine WHAT needs to be adjusted. A Blair chiropractic doctor uses other routine tests including infrared scanning and muscle tone tests to determine WHEN you may need an adjustment so that re-exposure to x-ray is NOT necessary.


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Can the Blair technique help me?

We take matters of health and safety seriously.

It is also important that we logically weigh up the risks associated with care against the risks without it, So when blanket statements are put forth like “chiropractic is dangerous,” I cringe because the author of such drivel is using emotion (fear) to dominate what should otherwise be a civil, scientific and logical discussion ultimately so that you - the individual - can make an informed choice on how YOU want to manage your own health.

I’ve said for many years that it is important that we never allow our governments or insurance providers to make our health decisions for us.

The reality is that we should also not let our own doctors - chiropractic or medical - makes those decisions for us either. We look to these experts for their expertise and opinion ultimately so that we can choose what is right for us.

It is for this reason that we believe that facts are important.

We certainly appreciate how there are few things in life as precious as your health, which is why we at Atlas Health Australia aim to take a balanced approach.

Our practice is the premier Blair chiropractic clinic in Australia, located in North Lakes (Brisbane). It is our mission to help people with challenging health issues, who have often been “everywhere else” find long-term solutions so that they can get back to enjoying the life that they want more than anything else.

As much as we love to help people, we also know that we don’t have the “magic pill” that fixes everything for everyone. Again, this is why we take the balanced approach to help the people we believe we can and work with other healthcare and medical providers if we believe they are better suited for the task at hand.

As we finish this article, we’d therefore like to extend an offer to have a phone chat with our resident Blair chiropractic doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, so that you can ask any additional questions you may have so that you can decide if care may be right for you.

You can click the Contact Us link at the top of this page, or give us a ring at 07 3188 9329.

We look forward to hearing from you, and it is our pleasure to assist.

Atlas Health Australia - “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above—down, inside-out,”



Cassidy JD, Boyle E, Côté P, et al/ Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2017 Apr;26(4):842-850. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2016.10.031. Epub 2016 Nov 21.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation of children under 10. Accessed 2 Nov 2019. .

Eriksen K. Satisfaction Associated with Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Prospective, Multicenter, Cohort Study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:219 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-219.

Eriksen K. Upper Cervical Subluxation Complex: a review of the chiropractic and medical literature. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins. Baltimore (MD). 2004.


Leboeuf-Yde C, Pedersen EN, Bryner P et al. Self-reported nonmusculoskeletal responses to chiropractic intervention: a multination survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005 Jun;28(5):294-302; discussion 365-6.

Swait G, Finch R. What are the risks of manual treatment of the spine? A scoping review for clinicians. Chiropr Man Therap. 2017 Dec 7;25:37. doi: 10.1186/s12998-017-0168-5. eCollection 2017.

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