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The Media & Chiropractic

Katie May was a successful model who recently died of a stroke after a fall and subsequent visit to a chiropractor. The national media has had a feeding frenzy trying to connect the stroke with the chiropractic visit based on one piece of “evidence:” the coroner told the model’s father that the chiropractic care may have played a role in her stroke and subsequent tragic death. A theory and an opinion, nothing more.

Here are the facts:


You’re 5,000 times more likely to die from taking Advil than having a stroke from a neck adjustment, especially if the adjustment is delivered with a high level of caution, professionalism, and experience.

After reviewing thousands of well-respected articles and research studies, Dr. Anthony Rosner, PhD and past president of the Federation for Chiropractic Education and Research concluded that the possibility of a stroke (or any other catastrophic event involving the neck blood vessels) is about one in 80 million! Essentially zero!

If patient “A” sees a chiropractor, and patient “B” sees a medical physician, and patient “C” sees neither, the risk of stroke is the same: nearly zero. That’s not to say strokes are rare, unfortunately they are not, and they are very often fatal. Therefore, it is vitally important for healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals to recognize the hallmark signs and symptoms of an adverse arterial event and to contact emergency medical professionals immediately. It’s equally important for health care professionals to discuss the many potential risks and risk factors associated with stroke and to discuss the myriad ways to mitigate those risks!

The national news media often prides itself on disseminating inflammatory and often misleading information, generally with the goal of increased market share rather than assuring accuracy in reporting. That’s nothing new, but when we are dealing with life and death, and what’s truly best for the health care consumer, a little effort in reporting the truth may go a long way. Recognizing when someone is having a stroke; learning how to prevent stroke; and saving someone who is at immediate risk of having a stroke…now those are headlines!

Dr. Nate, Dr. Ryan, and I have a wealth of information regarding stroke risk and prevention available to patients and non-patients alike. It’s something we all take very seriously and we dedicate our professional careers to caring for patients with only the very highest level of caution, comfort, safety, and professionalism.

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