Is Serious Risk Associated with Chiropractic Care?

Is Serious Risk Associated with Chiropractic Care?


In 2016, a famous model passed away due to a stroke. She fell and hit her neck 2 days prior to death, and received both medical and chiropractic care for symptoms of neck pain and headache during those 2 days. More recently, Dr. Oz has cautioned the public regarding the safety of chiropractic in relation to stroke following a neck adjustment.

Your doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic are inspired to take a moment to share research and bring any concerns regarding the association of chiropractic adjustments and stroke into the light.

In 2008, a large 9 year long study was published regarding the entire population of Ontario (over 100 million person-years worth of data). The study concluded that the risk of stroke due to a chiropractic neck adjustment was 'no greater than' the risk of stroke for walking in to a medical doctor's office for ANY appointment...not even a comparison of chiropractic visit to doctor visit, this comparison is a treatment at a chiropractor vs. ANY medical visit. Yes, your risk of stoke from a neck adjustment is the same as going to the OB/GYN for a well woman exam, the same as for going in for your seasonal flu shot, the same as having your child take a pre-sports physical. The study concluded that most situations where care was provided for neck pain and headache with a resulting stroke was a situation where the stoke was occurring prior to care and not caused by the care itself.

In 2015, a large study comparing data from commercial health insurance providers and Medicare found no significant association between chiropractic care and stroke in either the commercial insurance or Medicare populations; however, in both commercial and Medicare populations, there was a significant association with Primary Care Provider visits and stroke. Furthermore, a secondary analysis of the study assessing stroke in relation to a prior chiropractic visit showed that no adjustment was provided in about 1 in 3 cases of stroke in the commercial population and about 1 in 2 cases in the Medicare population.

Continuing in the vain of current (2016) research regarding the chiropractic neck adjustment and association to stroke, a recent Randomized Controlled Trial and Meta-Analysis (the highest quality of research) found "no convincing evidence of a causal link" between chiropractic care and stroke and continued to say that the unjustified belief in this link could be harmful in that it may promote frivolous litigation.

Neck adjustments provided by chiropractors are frequently provided for neck pain and headaches, which are the common presenting symptoms of stroke. When we think of risk, what other treatments are typically prescribed to tried without prescription? The answer most commonly is NSAIDs (ibuprofen). So let's look at some current research on the risk of NSAIDs because many people pop handfuls of ibuprofen when in pain.

A 2013 study revealed that taking NSAIDs increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by one third, risk of heart failure was nearly doubled by taking NSAIDs and it doesn't really matter what type of NSAIDs...they all increase your risk.

This along with other studies caused the FDA to strengthen its warnings regarding risks associated with NSAIDs. The highlight the increased risk with larger doses and and increased risk with taking NSAIDs for a long duration. A dose dependent nature associated with risk further confirms hazards associated treatment. We have not mentioned that most adverse events associated with NSAIDs is gastrointestinal ulcers, bleeding and potential death; we have only compared cardiovascular events and stroke.

Though the risk of taking NSAIDs is seemingly high, it remains on the shelves for 'over the counter' use without the supervision of a doctor. Additionally, risks associated with NSAIDs are thought to be low when comparing to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin.

The doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic provide a thorough exam to screen for the potential adverse events. If you have any questions regarding the safety of chiropractic care, please talk to your doctor at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic. If you have neck pain and/or a headache, a well respected chiropractor is your best first choice for care.

Call Gallatin Valley Chiropractic today for an appointment.



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