Myths Regarding Stroke and a Chiropractic Adjustment

After a Chiropractor evaluates a patient and determines the patient is a candidate for chiropractic care, treatments are administered.  There is a lot of myths out there regarding what happens after an adjustment so I wanted to set the record straight with what I have experienced as a patient and as a doctor.

The most common reaction to chiropractic care is relief.  After a first time patient comes in for care, approximately 35% have aching or soreness in the spinal joints or muscles the day after an adjustment.  65% feel some sort of relief.  If soreness does occur, it feels like you worked out and the muscles are sore.  This is because of slight inflammation that occurs after your body is treated and muscles and joints are now moving differently than they are used to.  This normally does not last more than 24 hours.  Ice is normally recommended in such cases and works great.  If the aching continues, contact the chiropractor and they will gently work on areas (probably muscle and tissue work with inflammatory work) and this should solve the problem.

  • One big myth regarding chiropractic care is a stroke or On “vascular accident”.  This I have never heard of in the chiropractic community and have never experienced as a patient.  This myth has been compared with primary care physician (PCP) visits and stroke. According to the authors of this particular study:
  • According to Cassidy J D, Boyle E, Cote P et al. Risk of Vertebral Stroke and Chiropractic Care, It has been discovered that:

1. There was “no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic care compared to primary care.”

2. The alleged correlation more likely had to do with patients seeking chiropractic treatment of already-existing VBA symptoms (headache and neck pain) before the stroke took place.

In the hands of experienced chiropractors, cervical manipulation usually renders beneficial results with few adverse side effects.  If a person is at risk of having a stroke, turning their head quickly, putting their head in a sink at a hair salon or any slight movement of the head and neck could trigger a stroke. Chiropractic treatment is no more dangerous than a visit to their own medical doctor.

Chiropractic is not only safe, but there are several studies out there showing that it helps boost the immune system and lower blood pressure.  The myths about stroke and chiropractic are outdated and are quite damaging to the profession. There is no research out there showing that chiropractors cause patients to stroke.  As a matter of fact, our malpractice insurance is low because we don’t hurt people.