Chiropractic Care and Warfarin

By: Alere Staff

"Adjustments" are a term frequently heard by those who participate in chiropractic care. Chiropractors believe that most diseases are caused by pinched nerves in the spine and that spinal manipulation, or “adjustment”, can remove the impingement. Once this is removed, the patient is ultimately restored to optimal health.1

There are several different types of manipulation techniques that are used during chiropractic therapy. They involve different areas of the body and varying pressure in the involved locations.

The chiropractor may also choose to include other therapeutic techniques such as cold/heat application, exercise/physical activity, dietary supplement or electrical stimulation (TENS) during the course of treatment.1

Chiropractic care originated in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer performed his first adjustments to relieve a man of deafness and another of heart trouble. In 1897, he founded the Palmer School and Cure in Iowa, in order to train others in the application of the chiropractic principle.2

Chiropractic Care and Warfarin

The chiropractic treatment process, when used appropriately, is usually well tolerated in the average person. For the patient on anticoagulants such as warfarin, there have been adverse events noted, specifically with warfarin patients who received cervical manipulation treatment.  According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, patients on warfarin should be cautious with the combination of chiropractor therapy and warfarin. Patients taking warfarin should not receive cervical spine manipulation, as there have been at least two reports of spinal epidural hematoma in patients who received this treatment.For those patients on anticoagulation therapy considering chiropractor treatment, it is best to discuss your plan with the health care provider who is monitoring your warfarin before you schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. Your health care provider should be able to advise you if adjustment is the correct course of treatment for you.


1. Natural Data Base Website:

2.  Palmer College of Chiropractic: