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Arterial Dissections Following Cervical Manipulation: The Chiropractic Experience

A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal finds that the risk of stroke from chiropractic cervical adjustments is extremely rare - and less likely than the risk of dying from the adverse effects of several painkillers.

The research team led by Dr. Scott Haldeman examined all malpractice claims filed with the Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association (CCPA) between 1988 and 1997 to determine the number of stroke-related claims. In addition, a survey of 10% of practicing chiropractors in Canada asked doctors how many cervical manipulations they performed each year.


Researchers calculated that there is a 1 in 5.85 million risk of stroke from cervical manipulation. This figure is far lower than the risk of being struck by lightening. It is also lower than the risk of dying from several common diagnostic tests and painkillers, indicating that chiropractic is an extraordinarily safe care option.

Haldeman S, Carey P, Townsend M, Papadopoulos C. CMAJ. 2001 (Oct 2); 165 (7): 905-906 ~ FULL TEXT