We often take neck manipulation therapy to release stress or get relief from back pain or shoulder dizziness. But researchers have warned against health risks associated with the therapy.
According to the American Heart and Stroke Associations, neck manipulation may cause stroke. They said there is association between cervical manipulative therapy and cervical artery dissections (CDs) and this link may lead to stroke.
Neck manipulation is a treatment carried by chiropractors and some other health care providers.
“Yes, chiropractic manipulation of the neck can cause a stroke,” said Dr. Karin Olds, a neurologist at Neuroscience Institute of Saint Luke.
Explaining the process, she said when the neck is torque in any direction or way, it has the potential to cause a tear or dissection in the artery wall. This leads to the formation of a clot which further causes stroke.
According to the American Heart and Stroke Associations, neck manipulation is associated with stroke. However, they don’t rule out need for more in-depth researches, saying they may be associated with each other but it’s not certain that neck manipulation causes strokes.
“There is no cause and effect that is with the chiropractic adjustment and stroke,” said Dr. Kendall Payne, a chiropractor and president of the Kansas Chiropractic Association.
Dr. Payne further said that those who already have a dissection can visit a chiropractor for treatment.
“Neck pain or headache is symptoms of a stroke but they are also biomechanical symptoms of dysfunction of the cervical spine,” he said.
Refuting the fear of stroke, Dr. Payne said that the neck manipulation is not riskier than activities of daily living.
“The same association could be said with neck adjustment as with washing your hair,” he said.
Dr. Payne concluded that even if the heart and stroke associations risk is low but patients should be informed of the possible health threats that it poses.