You’re Not Going to Break My Neck Are You?
Post by Dr. Bret Wickstrom:
If you are what you eat, Chuck Norris is made of steel. This is essentially why if Chuck Norris was a chiropractor he is the only one who could “snap” your neck, which is ironic because the ridiculous movie magic that is the foundation for many peoples fear of chiropractic adjustments was common place for Chuck Norris movies. Sadly, the familiar neck breaking martial arts move is not only well known but also seems to have an impact on people’s health care choices.
First of all, the amount of power it takes to break someone’s neck is enormous.
Now I’m a big guy at 6’5” and currently about 255 lbs. but it would take EVERYTHING I had and more to do that kind of damage to my most petite adult female patient (~100 lbs). To better understand the force and most likely mechanism needed think about whiplash. The “easiest” way to break someone’s cervical spine with enough force to severe the spinal cord and kill them would require very quick neck flexion and then immediate extension with rotation. Think of a VERY bad whiplash from a car accident with no seatbelt and no head rest or airbag with which happened so fast that you had no time to brace yourself.
Weight for weight, bone is five times stronger than steel, but it is very light.
Now I may be a big boy but I would have to be one insanely overly strong, clumsy beast to break any patient’s neck. I literally probably couldn’t do it if I tried. I simply cannot produce the same amount of force as two 3000 lbs. vehicles traveling 70 mph. Not to mention that there are no adjustments that mimic this type of severe motion, so fracturing your spine unintentionally is out of the question. For more exhaustive information of the safety of chiropractic go here .