I need to respond to Peter Smith, the chiropractor whose letter appeared in The Record on May 2.
I had the two vertebral arteries torn in my neck by a chiropractor on Aug. 16, 1990. My appointment with him was at 9 a.m. By 1 p.m., I was in the hospital, paralysed on one side and numb on the other. I was 29, not overweight, didn't smoke and I wasn't on the pill.
My arteries were torn. I filed a lawsuit but we settled out of court after five years because I couldn't handle the pressure of the lawsuit. I don't want to name the chiropractor because, although I believe he was negligent after the fact, the practice of neck manipulation is a crime committed by many chiropractors.
There has been a link between neck manipulation and stroke for a very long time and some chiropractors will even admit to it.
My recovery is much better than all of my doctors anticipated, but I attribute that to my age, my health and my determination. It also isn't as good as some people think but I compensate and have learned to accept my deficiencies.
To live with what happened, I try to blame the practice, not the profession, but so many chiropractors will not accept any responsibility. I will say that if a chiropractor tore the arteries of someone who had a stroke-conducive lifestyle, they would be less likely to recover from their stroke. The manipulation still set it in motion.
The reason Canadian Heart and Stroke doesn't mention chiropractic manipulation may be because its focus is on lifestyle, not how someone else twists your neck. Anyone can make statistics work in their favour.