Thursday, 18 September 2014

Does Spinal Manipulation Enhance a Stroke Risk?

Other than headaches, back pain is at the top of the list of complaints by people. When you see your physician, you are normally scheduled to see a chiropractor to have everything checked out, and to have bones manipulated, aligned, and "put everything back in place.” You realize the bones are being worked on, but rarely does anyone consider that there are blood vessels and nerves attached to these bones. This is where problem can ensue.

Spinal manipulation enhance stroke risk
Neck arteries
The neck contains four major arteries that supply oxygen to the brain. If one of these arteries is damaged, oxygen gets cut off from the brain and a stroke can occur. A small tear in the lining of one of these arteries or something causing it to twist and block the flow of oxygen are two of the most common causes of stroke.

Spine manipulation
Back pain often starts in the spine, especially after injury to the neck. When a chiropractor or other person manipulates the spine, they often "crack" the neck. This causes it to make popping noises that release the pressure that can be causing pain. If this manipulation is done too severely or at the slightest wrong angle, the arteries in the neck can be damaged -causing them to stop sending oxygen to the brain in which a stroke can result.

More data needed
There have been numerous reports of strokes being suffered in young, completely healthy people who share one common trait - they have recently had a spinal manipulation done. So far, there has been an inability to get a release of records that would help establish if this was indeed the cause of the strokes. The indications are that they were, and we need to make it possible to study this further before more people suffer.