Yet another attack on Chiropractors has been the unfounded belief that Chiropractic care causes Strokes. This was highlighted recently in the United States of America with a billboard advertisement which read “have you been injured by a Chiropractor?” The associated webpage directed users to an organization referred to as the ‘Chiropractic Stroke Victims Awareness Group.’ Lets explore some of the reasons why there appears to be a belief that Chiropractic care causes Strokes and put the issue to bed once and for all!

What Is A Stroke?

A stroke happens when the blood supply to the brain is temporarily interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain via blood vessels which are referred to as arteries. Blood contains oxygen and other important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die. The area of brain damage is called a cerebral infarct.

A Common Belief About Chiropractors

There has long been held a belief that Chiropractic care is unnecessary, unproven and particularly dangerous. Firstly, it is important to recognize that no matter what treatment a person receives, there are inherent risks associated. Having said that, when treatment is delivered by an appropriately qualified professional who has undertaken a comprehensive examination the risks of suffering an adverse event are minimal.

Contrary to popular belief, Chiropractic care has been demonstrated as extremely safe when compared to other modalities such as medical treatment. It has been estimated that the incidence of stroke following Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy is approximately 1 event per 4 million consultations. In conjunction with this, a long-term study over a 28-year period demonstrated that the suggestion that Chiropractic care causes Strokes was statistically insignificant.

It has also been shown that the large proportion of documented cases of stroke following spinal manipulative therapy were delivered by practitioners other than Chiropractors. The practitioners came from professions including Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Naturopathy and Massage who do not receive adequate training and education in such treatment techniques.