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    Must Read!!


    U.S. orders only -

    Canadian orders -

    Spin Doctors
    The Chiropractic Industry Under Examination

    Paul Benedetti
    Wayne MacPhail

    Canadians visit chiropractors about thirty million times a year, and surveys show that patients are generally satisfied with them. But Paul Benedetti and Wayne MacPhail have another opinion. Their hard-hitting CANOE.CA web site called Spin Doctors I & II were instrumental in educating the public about the excesses of some chiropractors. This book took years to write, and it is a must read for anyone who plans to go for chiropractic treatment, or who pays for insurance that covers it.

    Inside Chiropractic

    Sam Homola, D.C.
    Stephen Barrett, M.D.

    A practical guide that explores the facts and falsehoods of chiropractic. Homola is a retired chiropractor and author of a dozen books. He shows that, despite claims to the contrary, chiropractors do not qualify as primary-care physicians. He analyzes patient-education materials, gives self-examination tips to help consumers with back pain to decide if and when to see a chiropractor, and analyzes questionable techniques used to attract and treat patients.

    This is Sam Homola's latest book. What a relief to find a book that is an honest appraisal of how to treat the aches and pains of everyday living. If you are high on chiropractic, then this book should be on your shelf. Dr. Homola practiced for years as a chiropractor and his knowledge is based on those years of practice. Order it today
    coverThe Naked Chiropractor
    Insider's Guide
    to Combating Quackery
    and Winning the War
    Against Pain

    Dr. Preston H. Long

    Dr. Preston H. Long is THE expert. Consumers trust Andrew Weil for reliable information about alternative medicine, Dr. Bernie Siegel for inspiring words about mind-body connection, and Dr. Dean Ornish, for practical ways to keep their hearts healthy, but who the recognized authority on back care and the limits of chiropractic medicine?

    Vascular accidents after chiropractic spinal manipulation: Myth or reality?

    The association between chiropractic neck manipulation and vascular accidents is well established. A recent case controll study, however, casts doubt on the notion that the association is caused by nature. A detailed critique of that study reveals several weaknesses. Therefore the balance of probabilities seems to indicate that the association, in face, is causal.

    Connecticut Board of Chiropractic Hearings on Neck Manipulations

    January 5, 2010 a.m.

    Following a lengthy review of the exhibit list and attorney arguments on several motions to recuse a board member and exclude evidence, testimony begins with William Lauretti, Doctor of Chiropractic

    January 5, 2010 p.m.

    The cross examination of the Connecticut Chiropractic Association's witness William Lauretti, Doctor of Chiropractic, continues. He is followed by Doctors of Chiropractic James Lehman and Clay McDonald.

    January 6, 2010 a.m.

    After legal arguments on a motion to exclude proposed testimony on subluxation, intervenor Jann Bellamy of the Florida-based Campaign for Science-Based Health Care testifies for the remainder of the session

    January 6, 2010 p.m.

    Gerald Clum, DC testifies for the CT Chiropractic Assoc. followed by intervenor Sharon Mathiason, a Canadian woman who testifies about the death of her 20-year-old daughter. Concludes with Gina Carucci, DC & President of the CT Chiropractic Assoc.

    January 19, 2010 a.m.

    Features the testimony of Dr. Douglas Fellows, representing the CT Medical Examining Board on its position on providing informed consent for patients and George Curry, Doctor of Chiropractic , representing the CT Chiropractic Council. Dr. Curry is a true believer in the vertebral-subluxation complex. One of his videos can be viewed here. He could not answer a simple question from Norman A Pattis, the lawyer for the Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group as to whether he actually "touched" a patient to do a cervical neck manipulation.

    January 19, 2010 p.m.

    Includes the testimony of intervenor State Sen. Len Fasano and of stroke victims Janet Levy, Britt Harwe and Christa Heck. Susan Hoffman and Michael McCormick testify about their spouses' deaths following strokes. Michael McCormick's story about his wife 32 year-old wife Kim on this MyFOX - NY television link.

    January 22, 2010 a.m.

    Professor David Cassidy from Toronto states again that chiropractors still don't know that chiropractic neck manipulations cause VBA stroke. There's an "association" but there is no excess "risk" when going to a chiropractor. He said that case reports are not reliable.

    January 22, 2010 p.m

    Dr. Murray Katz from Montreal was grilled for over three hours by the Chiropractic Board's lawyer and by their board. They brought up all sorts of discredited stories about Murray that have been used by chiropractors over the years whenever Murray makes presentations or appears in court.

    Abraham Gallant successfully sued chiropractor in Newfoundland

    The original lawsuit was filed in 2009

    Summary: Plaintiff suffered permanent hearing loss and impaired balance function on his right side following a cervical manipulation by the Defendant chiropractor. Plaintiff claims that he was not properly informed of the risks from the procedure and if properly informed, would not have consented to treatment. Defendant claims the Plaintiff’s symptoms more likely arose from viral rather than vascular origins and, in any event, the Plaintiff consented to treatment having been fully informed of the potential risks.

    The Court has found:
    (i) that the Defendant breached her duty of disclosure to the
    (ii) that the Plaintiff, properly informed, would not have consented
    to treatment; and
    (iii) that the cervical manipulation performed on the Plaintiff by the
    Defendant caused his injuries.
    [136] The Defendant is therefore liable to the Plaintiff in negligence with
    damages to be assessed.

    Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group

    About CSAG

    The Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group was formed to raise public awareness about the risk of stroke and death with chiropractic cervical spinal adjustments, to find others who were injured this way and to prevent future needless suffering.

    Kim McCormick's story

    Young Mom Dies After a Chiropractic Adjustment
    Is "chiropractic stroke" to blame?

    Published : Monday, 23 Nov 2009, 9:25 PM EST

    A Connecticut mother of three suddenly dies after a spinal manipulation, and now her husband wants the public to be aware of her story. Michael McCormick sometimes fights back tears when he remembers his wife Kim McCormick. Kim was only 32 years old and the mother of three young children when she passed away.

    Family speaks out about controversial medical procedure

    • Man unresponsive after "manipulation under anesthesia"

      He's 33, a father to three, a bit heavy, with diabetes and sore legs. And now he lies unresponsive in a hospital, his brain damaged in a controversial outpatient procedure that critics say is often done needlessly and billed excessively.

      "It's absolutely unconscionable. They are doing it on almost anyone. It has really just become a method of billing for income," said Charles A. Bender, former president of the New Jersey chiropractic board and a critic of MUA.

      Bender said unscrupulous practitioners look for patients with insurance that covers MUA — often PPOs — and steer patients to have it. Also, the procedure has been adopted by some organized rings that stage car crashes to bilk insurance, said James Quiggle, a spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

    Strokes after neck manipulation

    Paralyzed woman sues chiropractor, regulators and Alberta government for
    Half-Billion dollars

  • Sandra Nette v. Gregory John Stiles et al.
  • EDMONTON — A woman who says she became paralyzed after having her upper spine manipulated is suing the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors and the provincial government for half a billion dollars.

    "A perfectly healthy young woman's life has been irreparably and devastatingly damaged as a result of her exposure to a chiropractor's manipulation of the vertebrae in her upper neck to correct alleged subluxations," says the statement of claim.

    Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group

    Television Awareness Campaign Expanded

    A support group for people injured by chiropractors expands its television public awareness campaign.

    Wethersfield, CT (PRWEB) October 29, 2007 -- The Chiropractic Stroke Awareness Group (CSAG) is expanding its television awareness campaign, this time asking the question, "Have you been injured by a chiropractor?" on the ABC affiliate in Connecticut. The public service announcement (PSA) then provides contact information for victims to seek information and support.

    The PSA, which can be seen on WTNH-TV News Channel 8, is part of an ongoing public service effort (including print and outdoor advertising) designed to raise the public consciousness about the risks of chiropractic treatment. Last month CSAG launched the television component on WTIC-TV the Fox affiliate in Connecticut.

    "The response has been overwhelming," said Amanda Thompson of CSAG. "Many people are coming forward to share their horror stories and to seek help."

    The organization represents hundreds of people across the country who have been injured by chiropractic treatment. Potential risks can include stroke, permanent disability and even death. CSAG is dismayed at the chiropractic community's response of preferring not to inform patients apparently out of fear some people might decide against chiropractic treatment if they were informed.

    "Sadly, the chiropractic industry remains more concerned about protecting profits than protecting their patients," Ms. Thompson said. "One must ask the question 'what are they afraid of?"

    Contact Information:

    Telephone: 860-529-8826


    Edzard Ernst again challenges chiropractors in UK

    Robin McKie, science editor

    Sunday September 23, 2007

    The Guardian - Observer

    One of the most common 'alternative' treatments for backache is dangerous and can kill, says Britain's leading expert on complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst.

    Spinal manipulation, used by chiropractors to treat hundreds of thousands of patients a year, poses serious risks, he warns in a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

    [Link to the abstract to the article that was not provided by the Guardian. It appeared in July 2007 in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Click here for the entire article in .pdf format]

    "[It] is associated with frequent, mild and transient adverse effects as well as with serious complications which can lead to permanent disability or death."

    Spinal manipulation involves sharp thrusts against a patient's spine to push individual vertebrae beyond normal levels of stress. But Ernst says that such violent therapy can seriously damage the arteries running near the spine, triggering thrombosis or a stroke.

    The claim has incensed chiropractors. In letters to be published in the journal's October issue, they accuse Ernst of distortion, errors and misinterpreting data.

    "The major body of published evidence points to manipulation being a safe and effective tool," says Barry Lewis, president of the British Chiropractic Association. He accuses Ernst of "puffing up his evidence out of all proportion".

    One case involves Frances Denoon, who was in her 20s when she pulled a nerve in her neck while exercising. She visited a registered chiropractor and recalled feeling a 'crack' when he began his treatment.

    "I couldn't focus and realised I wasn't saying words clearly," she says on the Action for Victims of Chiropractic's website. Denoon suffered a brain-stem stroke and now has poor balance and cannot write with her right hand. A court cleared her chiropractor of negligence.

    Such stories are just the tip of an iceberg, says Ernst, director of complementary medicine at the Peninsula Medical School, run by Exeter and Plymouth universities. He has collected details of about 700 cases.

    "I am not calling for a ban on chiropractors carrying out spinal manipulation but I think we have to think about regulating the practice far more carefully than we do at present," he said.

    A spokeswoman for the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) said 2,300 chiropractors were registered with it and that since 2001 only one had been disciplined for breaching guidelines.

    Peter Dixon, the council's chairman, said the report was 'yet another research scare' story.

    "This does not serve the interests of the public or those of researchers who are dedicated to improving the public's health," he said.

    I wonder how many articles that this chairman has authored on the subject, what his training has been, and whether he even bothered to read the article by Ernst that contained 75 academic references from around the world. Google search for "Peter Dixon GCC"

    Peter Dixon has responded in another newspaper to previous Ernst comments about chiropactic stroke- This one is from December 2006 in the Daily Mail

    Here is just a short quote from Dixon:

    As for your reporter’s mention of spinal manipulation carrying the ‘risk of dangerous side-effects including strokes’. Actually, there’s no available evidence to show that manipulation of the neck by chiropractors has ever caused a stroke. Professor Ernst likes to speculate about this and then say that as his assertions have never been proved to be wrong he must therefore be right – which is a bit mischievous – but always good for a newspaper story. Serious side effects associated with chiropractors happen so rarely that meaningful statistics are difficult to gather. It is fair to say though that every form of human activity carries some risk – a walk in the park has risks attached to it – and seeing a chiropractor is just the same.

  • The GCC's web site

  • Peter Dixon's comments made on a quack-filled web magazine.
  • This was in response to an earlier JRSM article in April 2006.

    Here is just a short snippet from Dixon:

    GCC Chairman Peter Dixon, said, "reporting of medical and science matters can be tricky - overstate the facts, put a sensationalist spin on something to pique press interest, and before you know it there's a distorted story doing the rounds that can create a great deal of anxiety. This is then next to impossible to correct because journalist's interests move quickly on to the next story and there's no putting the genie back into the bottle."

  • Search of Google Scholar for anything published by Peter Dixon on the subject of chiropractic. I just don't see anything important here.:

  • What does the Stroke Association in the UK have to say about chiropractic. The answer is ZERO:

  • Action for Victims of Chiropractic in the UK was not given in the article:'s coverage of Denoon goes back many years:

  • Denoon
  • Denoon and Rees article
  • Chiropractors must follow the scientific standard

    J. William Kinsinger, Marvin Levant, Judy Ford, Sharon Mathiason

    National Post op-ed article

    Friday, May 18, 2007 - Page A-17

    Laurie Jean Mathiason of Saskatchewan, Lana Dale Lewis of Ontario and Pierrette Parisien of Quebec had several things in common. They were all Canadians, they are all dead. Their deaths have all been directly attributed to chiropractic highest neck manipulation, either by inquest or coroner's report. They were all young women, 20, 36 and 45, like most of the victims of stroke and death due to chiropractic highest neck manipulation. Women appear to be at increased risk. The deaths of these women were not due to a therapy gone wrong. Rather, as Laurie's mother, Sharon Mathiason, said, "Laurie died due to a false non-scientific philosophical belief that chiropractic highest neck manipulation is a cure-all."

    The basic chiropractic philosophy began with the founding of chiropractic over 100 years ago by a Canadian born "magnetic" healer, named David Palmer. The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto is named after him. This philosophy states that disease is caused by our spinal vertebrae being out of place and that disease can be treated and even prevented by manipulating the vertebrae back into place. The most important joints, this theory says, are the two in the highest neck area.

    Highest neck manipulation has always been central to chiropractic. Without it, there is no chiropractic philosophy. Of the many treatments chiropractors offer, some of which are beneficial, chiropractic cannot abandon highest neck manipulation, the most useless and dangerous "treatment" of all. Ms. Mathiason had tailbone pain, yet her highest neck was manipulated over 40 times; Ms. Lewis had headaches, not neck pain. For everyone from young babies to senior citizens, specific attention is focused on the high neck and the need to manipulate it time and time again. The notion that chiropractic high neck manipulation is done primarily to treat neck pain is a myth.

    According to this philosophy -- taught to students at chiropractic schools and applied by chiropractors and their regulators of chiropractic-- chiropractors can diagnose spinal bones as out of place, even in a baby's neck that is 1 1/2 inches long and covered by fat, and tell which of the seven little bones is out of place causing "subluxations" that lead to everything from ear infections to colic. They then claim they can adjust the bone back into place. No amount of "studies" or "research" can ever make true this anatomical nonsense.

    As in two inquests, in Saskatchewan in 1998 and Ontario in 2002, and a coroner's report in Quebec this past month, the scientific and legal conclusions all state the same thing: There is something deadly about chiropractic highest neck manipulation.

    The direct link between highest neck manipulation stroke and death has been shown by 60 years of published scientific evidence in The Journal of Forensic Science, The Journal of Clinical Pathology, The Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, the British Medical Journal, and other journals.

    Yet the licensing bodies legally responsible to protect the public fully endorse highest neck manipulation. All the provincial licensing boards in Canada and state boards in the United States continue to deny that it causes stroke and death. They make statements such as this, from the British Columbia College of Chiropractors, 2006. "Unfortunately, much of the information now available to the public is based on faulty or biased research."

    The families of many such stroke victims see this denial by the regulators as absolute proof that the solution cannot come from within chiropractic, that the fox is guarding the henhouse.

    They are now asking that, just as medical doctors must adhere to scientific guidelines when they prescribe medications and use treatments, so must chiropractors in regard to highest neck manipulation. Just as the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. and the Health Protection Branch in Canada impose drug therapy standards that physicians and their licensing boards must adhere to, now all governments must insist on the same for chiropractic highest neck manipulation. The Quebec coroner recognized this need.

    The scientific standard developed by families and by medical specialists, and by chiropractors who have given up highest neck manipulation, is very simple. In essence it states that highest neck manipulation should not be performed on infants and children, or on people who have no neck pain, or as part of a philosophy that falsely believes it can be used to prevent or treat organic illness. This standard cannot be argued against rationally and scientifically.

    This standard should be imposed upon the regulators. There are mechanisms for doing so all across North America. The three provinces that provide some public funds for chiropractic should cease payments until the standard is adhered to, as should insurers and workers's compensation boards. All graduates of chiropractic schools should show they adhere to this standard. Teachers at chiropractic schools who teach chiropractic highest neck manipulation philosophy should be dismissed.

    Chiropractors must be forced to adhere to the scientific standard and cease highest neck manipulation philosophy, a practice that is killing and maiming victims, mainly young women. -

    J. William Kinsinger, MD, is an American physician with a special interest in alternative medicine.

    Marvin Levant, MD, is a retired Alberta radiologist.

    Sharon Mathiason is the mother of Laurie Jean Mathiason.

    Judy Ford is the sister of Lana Dale Lewis.

    For a copy of the standard write to

    © National Post 2007

    Laurie Jean & Lana Dale Memorial Moratorium

    April 30, 2004 - Chiropractic neck manipulations of the top two vertebra are killing Canadians. Press conferences were held by victims's families and their supporters to demand an immediate cessation of all chiropractic high neck manipulations. The chiropractic regulators across Canada have failed to voluntarily halt this useless and dangerous procedure. Two inquests found that the chiropractors were at fault. There have been numerous lawsuits over the years, and yet these procedures continue with the blessings of chiropractic associations and regulators. Governments that cover chiropractic still pay for this procedure. The families are supported by pediatricians, neurologists, and other experts who have seen the chiropractic regulators dance around any thought of meaningful self-regulation.
    Michael and Judy Anne Ford - Lana's sister Michael and Judy Anne Ford - Lana's sister Veronique Mandal & Michael De Robertis
    Michael Ford
    Judy Anne Ford
    Joe LaBonte
    Veronique Mandal
    Michael De Robertis

  • Memorial Moratorium - 50 pages in .doc format

  • Grieving mom urges gov't to halt neck manipulations- Saskatoon Star Phoenix May 3, 2004

  • Sharon Mathiason on CBC TV in Saskatoon - April 30, 2004

  • A call to ban neck manipulations - Edmonton SUN - May 1, 2004

  • Lana Dale and Laurie Jean Memorial Moratorium press release - April 30, 2004

  • Canadian Chiropractic Association press release - April 29, 2004

  • Mother demands changes to chiropractic care - Sharon Mathiason on the CBC - Saskatoon

  • Families campaign to end chiropractic neck manipulation - National Post - April 30, 2004 - Page A-2 in .html format.
  • Families campaign to end chiropractic neck manipulation - National Post - April 30, 2004 - Page A-2 in .jpg format

    Chiropractic Strokes on CTV

    ChiroWatch Editorial

    Terry Polevoy, MD

    When the five families of the victims of chiropractic stroke produced their video, a small part of the 52 minute tape included footage of news reports by CTV's Lloyd Robertson and Avis Favaro. When they saw copies of the tape, CTV called their lawyers and demanded that all copies of the tapes be returned and/or destroyed because of copyright issues.

    The families, and their friends may differ in their personal views about complying with the requests by the lawyers who work for CTV, but as an advocate for the families' cause, and staunch supporter of their efforts to educate the public about the terrible price that their families have already paid, I will do everything in my power to see that the public knows about the risks involved even if the few sections of the CTV clips are removed.

    CTV's lawyer now feels that their segments on chiropractic neck manipulations have been "taken out of context and selectively used to support a particular position - a moratorium on chiropractic neck manipulation - whether this is characterized as educational, political or even legal".

    CTV's W-FIVE production called "Harm or Heal?" about the risks of chiropractic stroke is still featured in its entirety on their own web site. It's there for you to judge for yourself if CTV is a news vehicle, an educational vehicle, and if their broadasts are neutral on the subject. If the politicians and health ministers across Canada have seen the film, it is not because of this web site. I had nothing to do with the distribution, or production of the video tape itself. I only support its point of view.

    You can watch CTV's two-part segment any time you want, and there are a number of other links that are still maintained as well. So, why does CTV now want the families and their supporters to return each and every one of the tapes that have been distributed to the media and to hundreds of others across Canada?

    Why do they think that the tapes are being used for political, not educational reasons?

    If the Federal and Provincial governments ignore the risks to the public, and if the chiropractic regulators continue to sweep it under the table, what other recourse do the families have? If the chiefs of pediatrics of all of the teaching hospitals across Canada appealed to the governments about the dangers of pediatric chiropractic and were ignored, what recourse do they have. And finally, when scores of Canadian neurologists signed a letter demanding an end to highest-neck manipulations and were threatened by the chiropractors in writing, and still the government did zero in response, what recourse do these people have?

    What was the news worthiness of these stories, and what did CTV have to say about the pediatricians, and neurologists at the time? I guess we will have to ask CTV, won't we.



    As a direct result of the video that was produced by the families of the victims and their friends, CTV's position is that THEY don't want the video to be used by people who have been victimized by the chiropractors. THEY think that the families are POLITICIANS.

    What's the position of the respective "Colleges" of chiropractic across Canada on this matter? That is the real problem here. By saying nothing, in my opinion, the chiropractors have admitted that they are incapable of governing their own flock of philosopher kings. They have defended the indefensible position that they are NOT responsible for any of this, and the carnage caused by chiropractic highest-neck manipulation continues to exact a toll on our communities.

    From a personal point of view, it might matter to the readers and critics of ChiroWatch to realize that in my own personal practice over the last twelve years, I have had three patients who have had strokes following chiropractic treatement. I run an acne care clinic, I am not a neurologist or neurosurgeon. These are primary care patients. The statistic in my office is that 1:5000 patients in my own practice have suffered injury after chiropractic treatment on their upper necks. That is a far cry from the 1:1,000,000 or 1:5,000,000 that the leaders of chiropractic in Canada usually use to indicate that chiropractic neck manipulations are safe.

    Tell that to the Mathiasons, the Fords, the Graingers, the Limages, the Labontes, and to the Rodrigues of the world.

    Recent Media Coverage

    RTE.IE - Irish Television Prime Time

    • Dangers of Alternative Medicine Prime Time - May 5, 2005 Investigative anchor Donagh Diamond explores the fascination with alternative medicines and the dangers of chiropractic therapy. After a discussion of several deaths related to homeopaths in Ireland, REI producers travelled to Canada to cover the tragic stories about Laurie Jean Mathiason, Lana Dale Lewis, and Diane Rodrigue. The interviews with Dr. Brad Stewart, the neurologist from the University of Alberta are very powerful. You can watch the whole show. We hope that there will be DVDs available in NTSC format in the future.

    Mystery surrounds woman's death

    Dora Labonte before she died after chiropractic stroke

    No answer for mourning Guelph man two years after his wife's fatal stroke

    The Record - Kitchener-Waterloo - July 10, 2004


  • Click for article
    Guelph woman Dora Labonte died after a sudden stroke in 2002, just days before her 41st birthday. On the evening of June 17, 2002, Joe Labonte says he got a frantic call from his wife Dora. He was in North Carolina on business. His wife was at home in Guelph. She sounded frightened. "The chiropractor did something that really scared me," Joe Labonte claims she told him.
  • Dr. Neck Cartoon
    Dr. Neck cartoon
    Calgary Herald
    May 22, 2004
    • Science or Quackery
      May 22, 2004
      Danielle Smith
      Calgary Herald Associate Editor

      A campaign by five families reignites the debate over the chiropractic industry. This is a scathing endictment of the chiropractic community's failure to take action against their members for promoting quackery, and of performing high neck manipulation. She reviews the research done by Dr. Herzog at the University of Calgary and attacks it without mercy.

    • Letters to the editor in response

  • Harm or Heal? - W-FIVE - April 26, 2002 She was just 30 years old when Diane Rodrigue had a massive stroke right in the chiropractor's office. It left her completely paralyzed. The chiropractor never accepted blame, but in a settlement agreed to pay her a million dollars eight years ago. The woman who loved to fish and be outdoors now depends on machines to breathe and caregivers to feed and bathe her. For years, she couldn't speak. Now through a mechanical device Diane has her voice back. You can watch the CTV videos of the complete show.

  • Search Google for CTV chiropractic stroke

  • DANGERS OF CHIROPRACTICS - CFCF Montreal - March 8, 2004

  • Chiropractic patient died 'by accident': jury - Jan. 17 2004

  • Legal issues could derail chiropractic probe - June 2003

  • Lana Dale Lewis Inquest

    Les Limage - Waterloo victim of neck manipulation

    Chiropractic neck crack can cause strokes:

    Chiropractic strokes

  • A deadly twist - Self Magazine - May 2007
    Chiropractors are causing strokes in young, healthy women. Read this before your next appointment. Christa Heck lay crumpled on her right side in the front seat of her SUV, staring helplessly at the dashboard. She tried to right herself, but her body wouldn't obey her brain: One arm was limp, the other floundering uncontrollably. Ten minutes earlier, she'd been at her chiropractor's office for a routine follow-up. But something had obviously gone wrong. Lying virtually paralyzed across her passenger seat, "all I could do was pray someone would help me," she recalls. "I thought I was going to die."

  • When Simple Actions Ravage Arteries - Jane Brody - New York Times - April 3, 2001 Brody's article is a warning to all people who go to chiropractors. This is a must read!!

    "While these dissections account for only about 2 percent of all nonhemorrhagic strokes, they are an important cause of stroke in young and middle-aged patients, accounting for as many as one-quarter of cases in these age groups."

  • Neck cracking raises stroke risk: Web MD - May 12, 2003
    Should Chiropractors Warn of Real but Small Danger? If you've got a pain in the neck, think twice about getting your neck cracked. Spinal manipulative therapy, as chiropractors call it, increases your risk of stroke. One of the leading causes of stroke before age 45 is something called cervical arterial dissection. That's when one of the two arteries that wind through the back of the neck to the brain starts to tear. The lining of the artery bleeds and forms a blood clot. This clot can easily enter the brain and cause a fatal stroke.
  • The neuro-ophthalmologic complications of cervical manipulation.
    Neuro-ophthalmology 2000 Dec;20(4):236-9 - Devereaux MW
    Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio 44106, USA. Cervical manipulation, specifically chiropractic manipulation, is an important cause of vertebrobasilar and occasionally carotid distribution strokes. Neuro-ophthalmologic findings are a common and at times relatively isolated feature of cervical manipulation-induced stroke. A case of chiropractic-induced occipital lobe infarction with homonymous hemianopsia is reported, and the literature regarding neuro-ophthalmologic findings is reviewed.

    • Vertebral Artery Dissection: Warning Symptoms, Clinical Features and Prognosis in 26 Patients - Canadian J. neurological Sciences - Nov 2000 They studied 26 consecutive patients with vertebral artery dissection (tears). One out of ten of them was related to chiropractic neck manipulation. Although there has been a recent increase in the number of reported cases of vertebral artery (VA) dissection, a study of the patients presented in this report show that VA dissection diagnosis is frequently not considered in the younger patient with typical symptoms. In many instances, the diagnosis in patients with multiple suggestive symptoms is missed until after stroke develops. Our objectives of presenting this series include identifying the early symptoms that should raise suspicion of VA dissection, explore the variety of clinical presentation of VA dissection, and to evaluate the prognosis and frequency of recurrence.

    • Call for chiropractic stroke investigation in the U.K. People who seek treatment for neck or back pain from a chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist offering spinal manipulation may be putting themselves at risk of a stroke or other serious injury. All the cases were within 24 hours of manipulation.

    • Chiropractic Technique Under Fire - Procedure linked to fatal strokes in several patients - by Noreen Seebacher HealthScout reporter Within the past few years, there have been reports of several deaths related to neck manipulation. Although none of those cases resulted in criminal charges, there are at least three wrongful death lawsuits pending in the United States and Canada.

    • Search CBC-TV for chiropractic stroke

    • CBC - Winnipeg - Nancy Gregory reports - RealPlayer - video - Why do chiropractors insist that there is little or no risk in twisting the necks of their patients? A victim of chiropractic neck manipulation in Alberta strikes out at chiropractic, and Dr. James Norris discusses the Stroke Consortium preliminary findings that indicates that strokes after cervical crunching may be underestimated.

    Stroke Consortium publishes paper in CMAJ

    Sudden neck movement and cervical artery dissection

    John W. Norris, Vadim Beletsky, Zurab G. Nadareishvili, on behalf of the Canadian Stroke Consortium

    CMAJ 2000;163(1):38-40

    Two recent deaths from artery dissection following neck manipulation by chiropractors have focused media and medical attention on the relation between sudden neck movement and cervical artery dissection. Although the first case of carotid artery dissection due to chiropractic neck manipulation was described over 50 years ago, the frequency of carotid and vertebral artery dissection as a cause of stroke has only been recognized in the last decade. Since then, there have been many publications and case reports on this topic. In a recent Canadian survey, dissection of the cervical arteries was one of the most common causes of stroke in patients less than 45 years of age.

    Most patients undergoing therapeutic neck manipulation will have no ill effects, but there is no doubt that chiropractic neck manipulation can result in dissection of the carotid or vertebral arteries leading to stroke. Until a high-risk group can be identified, chiropractors should inform all patients of possible serious complications before neck manipulation. This is already emphasized in their current training programs.

    Finally, physicians should be made aware of this potential complication, and all patients with suspected ischemic stroke should be questioned on hospital admission about recent head or neck injuries or neck manipulation.

    Suspected cases of cervical artery dissection can be reported to the Canadian Stroke Consortium Headquarters
    fax 416-480-5753)

    Vertebral artery injuries

    Vertebral artery techniques by chiropractors

    • Watch a video from Dr. Jeff Ptak - Los Angeles, CA This chiropractor demonstrates his technique on a willing woman. The only thing you can't hear is the snap. While you're at his site, click on the "horse" section for a real eye opener.

    • Chiropractor to professional and Olympic athletes teaches ART - Active Release Therapy - Michael Leahy, D.C.- During a CBC radio show broadcast on November 8, 1998 a Canadian skier who had a severe head injury claimed that Dr. Leahy had freed up the muscle attached to his dura mater, and now he is going to try to return to active downhill racing. I don't know about you, but in my anatomy books, I can't find any muscles attached to the dura mater. Perhaps he has been reading the X-files description of neuroanatomy or something. I think that he might be suffering from the "almost Sonny Bono" syndrome. I sure hope that the 93% of clients that Leahy claims he cures with ART have as much chutzpah, or life insurance, just in case. 

    Pictures of the brain and blood supply to brain

    Why do chiropractors crack necks and why should we care?

    • What are the risks of chiropractic neck treatments: - By William J. Lauretti, DC - 
    • "Several recent news items have reported on the supposed risks of chiropractic manipulation to the neck. As a practicing chiropractor who uses neck manipulation everyday in my practice, I find these reports exaggerated and alarmist."

    • Study assesses limitations of chiropractic care - By MARLENE HABIB -- The Canadian Press - 
    • A study to determine the appropriateness of manipulation of the spine for patients with low-back pain. Of 1,310 patients assessed at five metropolitan sites, 420 were from the Toronto area and the rest were from the U.S. But the study also found that 29 per cent of patients were treated "inappropriately" and care was "uncertain" among the remaining 25 per cent, noted Shekelle. (If this study was redone with the neck manipulation instead of lower back, what would be the appropriateness percent be then?)

    • Manitoba chiropractic web site tells you what that sound is when they "crack your spine" - (It's an "osseus release" type of thing you know. Tell that to Laura's dad!!)
    • Observe a fetal 3-D ultrasound of the entire spine. - Do you see any subluxations? If you have QuickTime, it's about 200k.

    Check it out - before you check out

    Canadian neurology and stroke resources

    WCA Position Paper on Stroke

    The World Chiropractic Alliance wanted me to post their position paper on the risk of strokes from chiropractic neck manipulation. In order to be fair to the chiropractic profession, we are posting it here. We are also going to invite those of you who want ot raise any questions about their statements to get back to us, and we will post the best ones here.

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    Spin Doctors Interactive Reports from CANOE.CA
  • Spin Doctors I - The risks of neck manipulation to the lack of adequate protection for the public is the focus of this report.

  • Spin Doctors II - The cult of chiropractors who think they are pediatricians prey on our families and scam our precious medical resources. Undercover investigation by CANOE.CA

    Paul Benedetti and Wayne McPhail's interactive chiropractic "investigation in a nut shell" for CANOE.CA

  • Chiropractic twist on truth may have sparked inquest
    June 26, 2000
    Misleading statements by chiropractors that appeared in several newspapers may be the reason the Coroner's Office reversed itself and called an inquest into the death of a Toronto woman.
  • CMCC misled and deceived York officials about studies, its association with medical institutions, and chiropractic practices
  • Three leading Canadian chiropractors withheld information about a chiropractic death in 1996 that may soon be subject to an inquest because of their actions
  • The vast majority of chiropractors routinely treat babies and children with therapies that earned them at least $40 million last year
  • chiropractic neck manipulation could be responsible for as many as 150 strokes a year
  • the basic theory of chiropractic medicine remains unproven 100 years after its inception
  • York officials have done a shoddy job of evaluating CMCC and the chiropractic profession
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    Before you get your neck manipulated by anyone
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  • Canadian Quackerywatch