Chiropractic Does Not Increase The Risk of Stroke

A study printed in February issue of “Spine” finds that there is no evidence of excess risk of vertebral basilar artery (VBA) stroke following chiropractic spinal manipulation. The study looked at nine years of data in Ontario, and found only 818 patients who suffered VBA stroke. Unlike some studies that found a supposed link between chiropractic spinal manipulation and VBA stroke, this study also examined visits to a family physicians that preceeded a stroke.

” We found strong associations between PCP (primary care physician ) visits and subsequent VBA stroke,” the study states. “A plausible explanation is that the patient with head and neck pain due to vertebral artery dissection seek care for symptoms, which preceed more than 80% of VBA strokes. In short, there was no difference in the percentage of incidence between chiropractors (who perform manipulation) and primary care physicians (who do not). The study concluded: “We found no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic care.”

Sources: Cassisy, J. et.al. “Risk of Vertebralbasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care,” Spine, Volume 33, Number 4S, ppS176-S183, copyright 2008, Lippincott Williams &Wilkins