Research is showing that blood vessel tears that can cause stroke could be associated with neck manipulations, which often are done by chiropractors. These blood vessel tears also are known as cervical artery dissections, and they cause as many as two of every 100 strokes that occur in the US. And, they cause from eight to 25 of every 100 for younger and middle aged patients.

According to Dr. Jose Biller, in a dissection, there is a small tear in a layers of one of the arteries in the neck and that can cause a stroke if a clot starts to form. Biller is a neurologist with Loyola University and was the author recently of a joint statement on stroke risk and neck manipulation that was published by the American Heart Assn. and the American Stroke Assn.


Biller noted that cervical artery dissections often occur with blunt, penetrating types of injuries, and also with neck manipulations. For example, they can happen after a quick and sudden movement that hyperextends and/or rotates the neck. This can happen inĀ  a variety of sports, in whiplash, and even violent coughing or vomiting.

Also, some healthcare providers, such as chiropractors, use neck manipulations to treat various conditions in the neck and upper back that cause pain. Osteopaths and physical therapists also can use neck manipulations.

To determine the association between stroke risk and neck manipulations, Biller and his fellow researchers used four large studies that were done on strokes that involve neck arteries. The determined that people who have those sorts of strokes were more likely to have had a form of neck manipulation.

However, it should be noted that these studies do not determine the actual cause of the strokes in each patient. It still is possible that people could have gotten neck manipulation therapy because they had symptoms that were early signs of a stroke.

Biller also stated that doctors should tell their patients that there is an association between cervical dissection and cervical manipulation therapy. Patients should be aware of the risk before they have this type of health care treatment done. He added that 22-77% of the population in the US has some type of neck pain at any given time. And cervical manipulation is one of the most common and usually safest choices, opposed to drugs or surgery.

This does not mean people should not use chiropractic therapy, but we all should know what the risk are, Biller concluded.

Dressing Aids for Stroke

Regardless of what caused your stroke, a key part of recovery is to be able to handle your activities of daily living again. That is where Wright Stuff dressing aids can help:


Ankle AFO Assist Dressing Aid

Eases the process of putting on shoes.




Makes it simple to take off socks and hosiery without strain.