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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:04 AM

Chiropractic manipulation of the spine may cause strokes and even death

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/apr/27/chiropractic-manipulation-spine-strokes



Chiropractors adamantly deny their treatment can cause strokes. Photograph: Corbis


It would be an understatement to call the debate on the risks posed by chiropractic neck manipulations "lively" it is a heated discussion, and every time I write about this subject, my inbox fills with hate mail.

Well over 500 cases have been documented where a patient has suffered a stroke after getting his or her neck manipulated and many have died subsequently. What seems to happen is that certain manipulations carried out by chiropractors - particularly those that involve forceful rotation of the neck to one side - may over-stretch an artery that runs along the spine. If that happens this vessel can dissect or disintegrate, resulting in a blockage of blood flow to the brain, ie. a stroke.

Most chiropractors adamantly deny that their treatment is to blame. Strokes happen all the time, they rightly say. Lots of patients who suffer strokes haven't been anywhere near a chiropractor. This is undeniably true, so the decisive question is this: do patients who consult chiropractors have more strokes than patients who do not?

Annoyingly, sound data to resolve this dispute is very hard to come by. The evidence so far is not entirely straightforward and, depending which study we select, support can be found for both sides. This is why every new piece of information on this topic is important and a recent article by US neurosurgeons is more than welcome.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chiropractic manipulation of the spine may cause strokes and even death (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2012 OP
ChairmanAgnostic Apr 2012 #1
TalkingDog Apr 2012 #2
kickysnana Apr 2012 #3
HuckleB Apr 2012 #12
kickysnana Apr 2012 #14
HuckleB Apr 2012 #15
BuddhaGirl Apr 2012 #16
HuckleB Apr 2012 #18
BuddhaGirl Apr 2012 #20
HuckleB Apr 2012 #21
BuddhaGirl Apr 2012 #22
HuckleB Apr 2012 #23
trotsky Apr 2012 #4
xchrom Apr 2012 #5
HuckleB Apr 2012 #6
xchrom Apr 2012 #7
Why Syzygy Apr 2012 #8
laconicsax Apr 2012 #9
Why Syzygy Apr 2012 #10
laconicsax Apr 2012 #13
HuckleB Apr 2012 #11
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #17
laconicsax Apr 2012 #19
BlueIris Apr 2012 #24

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:16 AM

1. Never saw a chiropractor

but my surgeon who left me in constant pain did recommend acupuncture for relief.
Instead, I found a spa that offers acupressure massage, kind of a deep, painful massage performed by folks who have been taught acupuncture. They target the spots that deal with pain and, in my case, agony. It is far more rigorous than chiropractic care, according to all who have had both.

The relief i receive is unbelievable. Absolutely fantastic.

Now, can the manipulation of the spine cause a cascade of hormones and chemicals throughout the body? Sure, I am positive that it does. And can that cascade cause problems in those folks who have severe pre-existing conditions? I have no doubt. But I also am sure that drinking too much water can kill you too.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:23 AM

2. So can yoga. And about a billion other things. Informed risk.

I know a woman who was told she was in danger of giving herself a stroke based on a rare formation of bones in her neck vertebrae and that she should avoid looking over her shoulder. Physical Therapy was recommended to build up the muscles in the area. To cushion the artery in question, I'm assuming.

I think longitudinal studies are a good idea. But I would be hesitant to suggest people stop going to chiropractors or doing yoga, even if a correlation was found.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:18 AM

3. For certain all my parents and grandparents died immediately after seeing their MD.

So much research is BS these days. Many people in the family use chiropractors. None have died soon after seeing one.

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Response to kickysnana (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:19 PM

12. Uh, except you ignore this part of the research.

"What seems to happen is that certain manipulations carried out by chiropractors - particularly those that involve forceful rotation of the neck to one side - may over-stretch an artery that runs along the spine. If that happens this vessel can dissect or disintegrate, resulting in a blockage of blood flow to the brain, ie. a stroke."

Sorry, but Chiropractic is a waste of time and money at best. Here we have evidence that it causes harm.

Try again.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 04:53 AM

14. If you expect a Chiropractor to cure your heart disease no that is a wast of money

If something is keeping you in pain from an sudden or repetitive injury often they can relieve the pain. All an MD can do is give narcotics or steroids grudgingly or refer you to a surgeon. Being all of us are not masochists, relief of pain makes life much more bearable and lets you keep your job in the plastic corporate world.

Are there bad Chiropractors and Medical Doctors, of course. Can Chiropractors or Mds fix everything, of course not. Personal referrals are your friend.

My grandfather had been doctoring being bent over unable to straighten his back for over a month and all his doctor could give him was pain meds which did not touch the pain and did not help him stand straight. He reluctantly went in to a chiropractor ca 1960, (he was 55) and walked out standing up straight free of pain. Grandpa was big, tough, gruff working class guy with a brain and a heart, life long Democrat, wife-beater shirts, cigarettes and all and he didn't put up with fools or charlatans. Many more not quite as dramatic stories of success after MDs and surgeons threw in the towel.

I am an over 60 'cause of death' junkie and as I said no relatives friends, friends of friends or relatives have ever died shortly after seeing a Chiropractor so this is a very rare duck they are trying to serve up as commonplace.

"Scientists have discovered that almost all people who get cancer, swallow saliva"

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Response to kickysnana (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 05:27 PM

15. Thanks for the logical fallacies, and the anecdotes.

If you go to a chiropractor you are wasting your money, pure and simple. You may also be putting your health at risk.

End of discussion.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:15 PM

16. correlation does not equal causation

I'm sure you would agree!

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:42 AM

18. That's the most bizarre response I could imagine to that post.



Please don't try again. Sheesh.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:23 PM

20. Sheesh!

Just echoing your standard reply to in certain alternative medicine threads!



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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:53 PM

21. There is no such thing as a "standard reply" if you're actually discussing science.

Last edited Sun Apr 29, 2012, 06:26 PM - Edit history (1)

I see where you misunderstand everything, yet again.

BTW, your mocking "wow" only makes this response even less palatable than usual? Please show some decency. Thank you.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #21)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:40 PM

22. "I see where you misunderstand everything, yet again."

Um, not really. Perhaps you are deliberately misunderstanding my post.

Please show some decency....thanks!

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Response to BuddhaGirl (Reply #22)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 12:02 AM

23. I am being decent.

Your post makes no sense, if it's actually responding to the content of my post.

Please stop playing games. It's ridiculous, and that's being kind.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:33 AM

4. Yikes!

Always seemed dangerous to me.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:45 AM

5. Indeed. Nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:24 PM

6. So it's dangerous quackery: Chiropractic, quackery, and moral bankruptcy

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:09 PM

7. Sure!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:37 PM

8. Crossing the street

may cause death and dismemberment. Getting behind the wheel of an auto? fugetaboutit

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:56 PM

9. What a lovely false comparison!

 

Technically two false comparisons since you switched between crossing the street and driving mid-comment.

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:29 PM

10. I fail to

understand your complaint.

Could have just stated to OP:
"Correlation does not imply causation".

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Response to Why Syzygy (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 12:28 AM

13. I'm not surprised. n/t

 

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Response to laconicsax (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:08 PM

11. Were you expecting something else?



Oh, and

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:38 AM

17. What do you call a failed physical therapist? A chiropractor.

Chiropracty is a huge scam.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:43 AM

19. And there's this:

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 05:26 AM

24. Chiropractors scare the crap out of me.

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