Chiropractic Care Does Not Increase Risk For Stroke
Chiropractors have said for years that chiropractic care does not cause an increased risk of strokes. However, during the past several years, chiropractic has come under intense attack by anti-chiropractic organizations. These critics have maintained attacks and tried to persuade the public that chiropractic adjustments were dangerous, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary. This includes a 2001 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that the risk of suffering a stroke due to chiropractic adjustments was less than one in nearly 6 million.
A research report published in Spine journal, an international, peer-reviewed, bi-weekly periodical which is recognized internationally as the leading journal for the treatment of spinal disorders, confirms chiropractic care does not cause an increased risk of strokes due to arterial dissection.
For the published study; Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control and Case-Crossover Study. Spine. 33(4S) Neck Pain Task Force Supplement:S176-S183, February 15, 2008, a Canadian research team studied nine years of patient data and found that, of the 818 cases involving this kind of stroke, patients were just as likely to have visited their family medical doctor as they did a chiropractor. There was no increased risk from having received chiropractic care.
Researcher Frank Silver, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and director of the University Health Network stroke program stated “We didn’t see any increased association between chiropractic care and usual family physician care, and the stroke,” and “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. Silver admitted that he and his researchers were specifically looking for an increased association between chiropractic care and stroke but did not find any. The researchers conclusion indicates stroke is a very rare event in the population and any increased risk stroke associated with chiropractic and primary care physician visits are due to patients with headache and neck pain from vertebrobasilar artery dissection seeking care before their stroke. “We found no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated chiropractic care compared to primary care.”