How can chiropractic care increase the risk of stroke?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2016 | Doctor Errors

If you are a sufferer of back or neck pain, you may be willing to try anything to get relief. This is understandable as spinal pain can be physically debilitating and even cause emotional issues. So it is no wonder that, according to the American Chiropractic Association, every year around 20 million Americans visit a chiropractor seeking treatment for back, neck and other assorted problems. Often the treatment these patients receive proves effective, but this is not always the case.

Neck manipulation is one aspect of chiropractic care that has come under scrutiny, though not for reasons that you may expect. You see, there are questions as to whether a session of neck manipulation could cause a patient to suffer a stroke. Cervical neck manipulation involves the chiropractor employing quick, hard thrusts.

It is postulated that this movement could tear the patient’s vertebral or carotid artery, which both lead to the brain. Such a tear could create a blood clot, which can travel to the brain and induces a stroke.

According to a 2007 survey, spinal manipulation, particularly that which is carried out on the upper spine, has been often associated with adverse side effects and can even result in injuries leading to strokes. But the American Chiropractic Association maintains that the neck manipulation procedure is “remarkably safe.”

But regardless of this claim, it is incumbent upon chiropractors to examine patients thoroughly prior to starting any spinal manipulation procedure. The chiropractor should be sure that the patient does not have any preexisting injuries that would make him or her more susceptible to creating a blood clot during treatment. Moreover, the chiropractor should also thoroughly explain the procedure and its potential risks to the patient before starting the treatment.

Poor or negligent chiropractic care could leave a patient in a far worse condition. And if you or a family member suffered a stroke or had any other serious issue you believe is connected to chiropractic treatment, you may wish to contact a medical malpractice attorney. Based on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a lawsuit against the chiropractor who was responsible for your injuries.


FindLaw Network