Are There any Stroke-Related Risks Related to Chiropractic?

Are There any Stroke-Related Risks Related to Chiropractic?

Chiropractic treatment is a discipline concerned with the mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. It is the process of aligning the body’s musculoskeletal structure that would enable the body to heal by itself without any surgery. This alignment happens through the manual manipulation of the bones, joints and soft tissues to treat disorders that affect health through the nervous system.

What is Chiropractic Manipulation?

Chiropractic manipulation is performed by a dynamic thrust on particular areas to increase the motion range of a joint. This treatment is comparatively safer for demanding no medications or surgeries.

Common Use for Chiropractic Treatment

The most common and widely recognized uses of chiropractic treatment are for neck and spine manipulation. Often patients approach a chiropractic practitioner with a pain in the neck or back. The effectiveness of this treatment is instant.  However, just like every other treatment, chiropractic is not completely free of adverse effects too. 

Neck manipulation is a more commonly used term for cervical manipulation. This is the process of adjusting the upper seven vertebrae of the entire spinal column. As high-velocity cervical manipulation deals with the cervical vertebrae itself, it has quite a bit of a risk factor. Although artery damage in the neck is a rare event, there is a fair possibility.

Risk of Using the Method

There are four major paired arteries that supply blood to the brain. These are the vertebral arteries and the internal carotid arteries. While making adjustments to the neck during a cervical manipulation, vertebral artery dissection might occur.

A vertebral artery dissection is a slight tear in the inner lining of the vertebral artery located toward the back of the neck. Due to the tear, either clotting of blood or narrowing of the vessels is diagnosed with contrast-enhanced CT or MRI scans.  In the case of blood clotting, pieces of blood clot can break off causing a stroke. The narrowing of the vessel due to arterial wall expansion can lead to stroke by impeding blood flow. 

A stroke during high-density neck manipulation might be a possible risk factor but it’s potentially rare. There have been cases when a patient sought manipulative treatment with neck pain from dissection in the vertebral artery before the manipulation. A vertebral artery dissection (VAD) can occur simply due to any sudden neck movements. For instance, motor vehicle accidents can cause a whiplash injury. Strangulation related to severe trauma might result in an injury in the carotid or vertebral arteries. Moreover, aneurysm of the aortic root and migraine are the two most common reasons for which people may be predisposed to vertebral artery dissection. 

In Conclusion, although the occurrence of stroke due to vertebral artery dissection during the cervical manipulation procedure of chiropractic care in Mesa, AZ treatment is existent, the possibility is as rare as one to three people in one lac.

Thanks to LifeCare Chiropractic for their insight into chiropractic care and how many sessions you may need.