There’s been much said in the press and on billboards about the relationship between stroke and chiropractic care lately. These claims are not true, and are an anti-chiropractic group’s effort to damage our reputation. In all of my years of practice, I’ve never personally witnessed or had a colleague experience a chiropractic adjustment causing a stroke. Not to say that the risk of stroke isn’t a real phenomena in society, but the risk associated with a chiropractic adjustment has been mis-stated. You can’t believe everything you see on TV or read on a billboard… get the facts. Check out the video below. I’ve also included the latest researched journal article (from Spine, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world) discrediting the chiropractic and stroke connection.
“Chiropractors Don’t Raise Stroke Risk, Study Says.”
Opponents of Chiropractic have attempted a smear campaign over the last several years by suggesting that chiropractic adjustments to the neck increased the risk of a certain type of stroke. This campaign was never based upon any scientific evidence, but rather on biased opinions. A new study to be published in the medical scientific journal “Spine” on February 15, 2008 puts those false accusations to rest and clearly shows that chiropractic does not increase the risks of these types of problems.
The story only received limited press coverage including a story in the January 19, 2008 issue of the Globe and Mail out of Canada. The scientific journal “Spine” is an international journal and recognized as one of the most prestigious publications on spinal health matters. In this study, published on February 15, 2008, researchers conducted one of the largest studies of this kind. They looked at 818 patients with a specific kind of stroke that some suggested might be the result of neck manipulations. The difference in this study was that the researchers checked the prevalence of visits to chiropractors and to medical doctors related to this problem.
Dr. Frank Silver, one of the researchers and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and director of the University Health Network stroke program, noted that there was no incidence of increased stroke for a visit to the chiropractor than for a visit to the medical doctor. He explained the results, “We didn’t see any increased association between chiropractic care and usual family physician care, and the stroke.”
This scientific study shows that past assumptions attempting to relate chiropractic care with certain types of strokes were not due to the care, but rather to the fact that the people who went to chiropractors and medical doctors with certain types of problems were slightly more likely to suffer this type of problem anyway. Dr. Silver explained, “The association occurs because patients tend to seek care when they’re having neck pain or headache, and sometimes they go to a chiropractor, sometimes they go to a physician. But we didn’t see an increased likelihood of them having this type of stroke after seeing a chiropractor.”
Study Co-author Dr. David Cassidy, who is also a senior scientist at the University Health Network and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, added his comments to the article by stating, “If someone says ‘Has it ever happened that a chiropractor has caused a stroke?’ I can’t say it’s never happened. But if it’s happening, it’s not happening at a greater risk than when it is in a GP (General Practitioner, MD) office.”