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Quick Background: Chiropractic care and manipulation is a well known treatment for headache and neck pain, but may cause an increased risk of cervical artery dissection and stroke (Carotid Stroke). Those with carotid artery dissection often have the symptoms of headache and neck pain before they have a stroke.
This research sought to determine the risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care was administered by comparing the link between chiropractic care visits and strokes that followed.
Methodology: A population-based, case-crossover study was undertaken in Ontario, Canada. All incident cases of carotid stroke (also referred to as carotid artery stroke) admitted to hospitals over a 9-year period were highlighted.
Cases served as their own controls. Exposures to chiropractic care services were found from healthcare billing records.
Results Observed: This study compared 15,523 cases to 62,092 control periods using exposure windows of 1, 3, 7, and 14 days prior to the stroke.
Positive correlations were found for both chiropractic care visits and subsequent stroke in patients less than 45 years of old. These correlations tended to increase when analyses were limited to visits for headache-related diagnoses, and neck pain. No measurable difference was found between chiropractic care risk estimates.
We found no correlation between chiropractic visits and stroke in those 45 years of age or older. We found no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care. Associations between chiropractic care visits and stroke were similar and more than likely as result of patients with early dissection-related symptoms seeking care prior to developing their strokes.
Thus, this research suggests that the association between chiropractic care and carotid stroke could result in chiropractic care being delivered for dissection-related headache or neck pain prior to the ischemic event.
Nonetheless, stroke is a very serious disorder and all chiropractic practitioners helping patients with headaches and neck pain must be aware of the risk of carotid stroke.
Although patients who show symptoms such as headache and neck pain that have a predisposition for carotid stroke are rare, chiropractic treatment in these cases may result in impairment and possibly death.
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* Please Note: The information provided here is either paraphrased or closely resembles the abstract and portions of the original academic research paper. Bizstim is in no way claiming this information as its own. For purposes of content originality, and proper search engine codes of conduct, we did not simply cut and paste this information on carotid strokes. Should you wish to read the article in its entirety, or see an unedited version, it has been made available for download below.
Cassidy, J. D., Boyle, E., Côté, P., Hogg-Johnson, S., Bondy, S. J., & Haldeman, S. (2017). Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study. Journal Of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases, 26(4), 842-850. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2016.10.031
Article Download: Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study
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Do you accept the results there's no statistical evidence between the risk for carotid stroke and chiropractic care? Statistics aside, headaches and neck pain are a common occurrence in today's chiropractic practice. Are you not alarmed that treatment of such common ailments could cause an increased risk of carotid stroke. I don't know about you, but this research uncovers some serious ramifications for chiropractors and their practices.