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 scientific evidence but rather on ‘biased’ opinions.
A study was published in the medical scientific journal Spine on February 15, 2008 that puts those false accusations to rest and clearly shows that chiropractic does NOT increase the risks of these types of problems.
Spine is an international journal and recognized as one of the most prestigious publications on spinal health matters. In this study, researchers looked at 818 patients (the largest study of it’s kind, to date) 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 noted that there was NO incidence of increased stroke for a visit to the chiropractor than for a visit to the medical doctor. He stated “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.”
Dr. David Cassidy, a senior scientist at the University Health Network and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, added these comments, “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.”
If you are concerned that you may be having a stroke, look for these warning signs:
1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
5. Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
If you are experiencing any of these complaints, call 911 immediately.