A few months ago a pop magazine called "Self" ran an article on chiropractic treatment that was complete bogus. The article featured a woman who had suffered a stroke after a chiropractic treatment and blamed the treatment for the stroke. The article ran several pages and included fanatical quotes form anti-chiropractic medical doctors. It did not, however, contain a shred of relevant research. Nor did it address risks of alternatives to chiropractic care, such as medical care--which, believe it or not, is the number one cause of death in this country! If you don't believe it click here.
Stroke risk with chiropractic care has been brought up in the press several times in the past few years, and I want to set the record straight. A new study just came out in the world's premier orthopedic journal, Spine. The authors of the study followed over 19,000 patients through more than 50,000 chiropractic treatments. There was not a single serious adverse reaction to care (read the study here).
Another study conducted by a task force will be published in an upcoming edition of Spine. In it, authors report that while rarely an individual does experience a stroke after being treated by a chiropractor, these individuals likely would experience the stroke regardless of being treated. To illustrate this concept, consider a woman in the early stages of MS (multiple sclerosis) who is experiencing vision changes due to the disease. She may report to an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Later that month she may experience difficulties with coordination and be diagnosed with MS. Blaming chiropractic for stroke would be like blaming the ophthalmologist for MS.It is unfortunate that there are some old-school pillars of Western Medicine that are resistant and threatened by chiropractic. I recommend that you share your chiropractic success stories with your medical doctor as part of an educational effort! In an ideal world patients would see their chiropractor first for pain and muscle, joint, and nerve problems. See this article on a study involving an HMO that required patients to see their chiropractor first.