Although the evidence showing the benefits of chiropractic is now indisputable, some still claim that these
benefits are not worth the risk of potential harm from stroke or disc herniation. There was never any actual
evidence of risk of stroke or disc herniation, just false claims which, sadly, stopped many from recommending
and many from seeking safe chiropractic care.
Evidence is now clear that there is no association between chiropractic care and stroke at all and no greater risk
of stroke or disc herniation from visiting a chiropractor than there is from visiting a medical doctor (who does not
even touch the neck or back).
Kosloff, TM et al. (2015) Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case-control study in
U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations. Chiropr Man Therap. 23(19): 1-10
Hincapie, CA et al. (2017) Chiropractic care and risk for acute lumbar disc herniation: a population-based
self-controlled case series study. Eur Spine J. Oct 16: 1-12
Chiropractic Does NOT Cause Stroke:
“The findings showed no significant association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke for either
population or for samples stratified by age.”
The positive association between PCP [primary care medical physician] visits and VBA stroke is most likely due
to patient decisions to seek care for the symptoms (headache and neck pain) of arterial dissection.
Chiropractic Does NOT Cause Disc Herniation:
“We found no evidence of excess risk for acute LDH [lumbar disc herniation] with chiropractic compared with
primary medical care.”
“Our analysis suggests that patients with prodromal back pain from a developing disc herniation likely seek
healthcare from both chiropractors and PCPs [primary care medical physicians] before clinical expression of
Key Take Home Points:
Chiropractic is proven safe and there is not a shred of valid evidence to dispute this. Any claims that chiropractic
adjustments cause stroke or disc herniation are either based on ignorance, bias, or both.
Please know that when you visit your chiropractor you are in safe, effective hands and please tell others about this fact. It is a tragedy when unwarranted fear prevents people who so desperately need it from getting the chiropractic care they need.