When I explain the risk of stroke to my patients, I get one of three reactions:
1. Shock- they have never heard of this risk.
2. Fear – Well-meaning friends and family have told them a little bit about it- just enough to scare them.
3. Ambivalence – Just fix the pain, please!
The risk of stroke associated with neck adjustments is 1 in 5.85 million. In an article in Spine (Jan 08), researchers looked at whether or not there was an increased association between chiropractic care and stroke using nine years of data from Ontario health records. They found that the risk was the same as the risk of seeing one’s GP. The conclusion was that the risk exists because people who are having symptoms (likely due to a circulatory issue in the head and neck) seek care, whether it is from their GP or their chiropractor.
So, if you have concerns about neck adjustments and chiropractic care, talk to your chiropractor about it or book an appointment to see if your are a candidate for chiropractic care.
Spine 33(4S):S176-S183. Feb 15, 2008.