Many individuals tend to focus on the dangers that patients may face when undergoing a surgical procedure. They worry about uncontrolled bleeding, their heart stopping or having an adverse reaction to anesthesia.
A study published by University of Michigan researchers in 2017 suggests that patients who see a chiropractor have reason to worry about doing so. They found that an incorrectly performed cervical neck manipulation may damage the artery of your neck, causing a debilitating or potentially fatal stroke.
How does this occur?
A chiropractic manual adjustment such as a cervical neck manipulation aims to restore a patient’s joint flexibility and normal range of motion. The incidence rate of stroke due to high-velocity neck adjustment or manipulation is rare but can happen.
The vertebral artery, located in the back of the neck, is one of the four primary arteries that supplies blood to the brain. Any tear to this artery can cause a blood clot. The blood clot may break off, causing artery walls to narrow, restricting blood flow to a patient’s brain. A stroke may follow soon thereafter.
Vertebral artery dissections typically occur when a patient suffers some type of blunt force trauma, as is the case in an automobile accident, high impact sports, or riding on a roller coaster. Such an injury can also occur when a patient sees a chiropractor, though.
A stroke can impair a person’s ability to walk, talk and live any semblance of life that they knew pre-injury. Know that you have rights if you’re one of the unlucky few who suffered a stroke after a chiropractor performed a cervical neck manipulation procedure on you. Indiana law may allow you to sue for medical malpractice. An attorney can advise you of your right to do so in your case.