Man Suffers From Stroke After Cracking His Own Neck
You may have seen a recent report on CNN both on TV and on their social media pages about a 28-year-old man who gave himself a stroke by cracking his own neck.
He twisted his neck in a way that tore arteries where the neck joins the skull at the base of the brain. Scary stuff for sure. Now, we obviously advise against cracking your own neck (you would be surprised how many times a week I have to say this!), but the article went on to imply that this is common and seen often after a chiropractic treatment. Both are misleading statements.
I wanted to set the record straight on this issue and also use this time to tell you about what we do here at Ashforth Chiropractic Family Wellness Center in Raleigh that removes any risk of this happening.
Overcoming Neck Pain in Raleigh NC
First, any incidence of stroke after a cervical manipulation is incredibly rare. The most recent data puts the incidence at about 1 in 5.85 million. To put that in perspective, the use of NSAIDS or aspirin have a risk of serious side effect of 1 in 6500.
The most recent meta-analysis by neurosurgeons at the Department of Neurosurgery, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University evaluating this question entitled: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: Found No convincing evidence to support the causal link between chiropractic manipulation and cervical artery dissection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4794386/
When dissection of the artery has occurred it is often due to some inherent weakness of the artery that when placed in extreme rotation can cause it to tear. People have reported artery dissections from rapidly turning of their head, after getting hair washed at a salon, or even looking under a car or bed.
While the risk is low, one thing that I do to eliminate this risk altogether is to use an instrument to adjust the cervical spine. This instrument is state of the art, it is 100 times faster than a human can adjust, and so with that speed we can reduce the force needed to make the adjustment. In addition, you lie face down, your head is never rotated- there has never been a documented cervical artery dissection without rotation as the major component. So this adjustment uses less force making it gentler and has absolutely no rotation of your spine, eliminating the biggest risk factor in an already rare event.
I take your health and safety seriously and want you to know anything I do to you; I do to my own family and get done regularly myself.
If you have friends or family who are concerned about going to a Chiropractor because of this issue please feel free to have them contact me. I would love to help them.
Thanks as always for letting me be your Raleigh chiropractor.
In Good Health,
Dr. Ashforth of Ashforth Chiropractic Family Wellness Center
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