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Chiropractor Neck Adjustments Can Lead to Stroke if Performed Below the Standard of Care

High-velocity neck manipulation has been known to damage an artery in your neck, which can result in a stroke. Two pairs of blood vessels in the neck (the cervical arteries) carry blood to the brain. A tear in the lining of one of these vessels, called a cervical artery dissection, can occur if your chiropractor attemps a cervical adjustment and performs the procedured below the standard of care. While the vast majority of chiropractors can perform this procedure skillfully and safely, some do not have the appropriate skill, training or technique–and this can reuslt in a horrific injury and sometimes even death. The is one of the most common causes of stroke in people under the age of 50. While the tear can occur spontaneouely from some sort of injury to the neck, or even during sports such as weight lifting or golf, I have seen it most often associated with improper chiropratic care.

The American Heart Association (AHA) warns of this risk. i.e., the quick, thrusting neck movements some chiropractors and other health care professionals use to treat neck pain. The technique, known as cervical manipulative therapy, has been linked to cervical dissections in both younger people, according to an AHA statement. It is also seen in older patients who undergo cervical manipulative therapy.

Most Georgia patients who seek chiropractic care each year walk away injury-free, but medical experts caution that chiropractors need to better communicate the potential risks of cervical adjustments, . Such neck adjustments, also known as cervical manipulative therapy (CMT), might be linked to strokes in relatively young people, according to the AHA. The authors of the statement reiterated that while the overall probability of a stroke is still low, patients undergoing CMT should be informed of the risks.

Recently, a chiropractic patient recognized the signs of stroke as he fell off of the chiropractor’s table. He vomited almost immediately after what was supposed to be a routine cervical adjustment to his neck.  In addition, he exhibited other typical stroke symptom shortly after the cervical manipulation such as vertigo, dizziness, numbness, confusion and nausea — all of which can be signals of blocked blood flow to the braina and require immediate emergency care.

After losing consciousness, he had to be intubated in the ambulance enroute to the hospital for emergency medical care. Once at the hospital emergency department, he underwent emergency surgery to repair the damaged blood vessels, three torn arteries in her neck. Sadly, this is indicative of the type of injury that can occur when a chiropratic manipulation is not performed in a skillful manner and falls below the standard of care.

Chiropractic malpractice can take an unbelievable toll on you and your family. We understand this because we have helped clients get their lives back after being victimized by medical malpractice and chiropractic malpractice. The first step is to call so that you can discuss your case with a lawyer who truly understands medical malpractice in Georgia. Call Robert J. Fleming directly at (404) 525-5150 for a free case evaluation to see how we may be able to help. Or contact us online.

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