According to a recent Gallup poll, approximately 33 million adults in the United States have visited a chiropractor in the last 12 months. Chiropractic treatments seek to relieve joint pain and stiffness through manual manipulation of the spine and other joints. However, chiropractic adjustments have also been associated with adverse consequences including herniated disk, nerve compression, and even stroke. If a chiropractor’s negligence leads to a patient’s injury or death, the chiropractor may be subject to a medical malpractice claim.
Chiropractic Treatments and Vertebral Artery Dissection
The majority of adults will experience mild to moderate back pain at some point in their lives. For many, pain and stiffness in the neck or back becomes unbearable. Some sufferers turn to chiropractors in pursuit of relief. The majority of chiropractic adjustments do not result in serious patient harm. However, chiropractic manipulation of the spine has been linked with serious medical complications, including occlusion or dissection of the vertebral artery which often leads to stroke.
In a study published by the American Heart Association, individuals who suffered vertebrobasilar accidents were five times more likely than the control group to have visited a chiropractor in the week preceding the vertebrobasilar accident. Another study found that stroke victims under the age of 60 who suffered tears in the vertebral artery were six times more likely to have had chiropractic adjustments in the preceding 30 days than stroke victims that did not suffer tears in the vertebral artery....