Chiropractic care has gained popularity as a non-invasive alternative for managing various musculoskeletal conditions. However, concerns have been raised regarding its potential association with strokes. In this blog, we will explore the existing evidence and shed light on the controversy surrounding chiropractic care and strokes.

Understanding Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care involves the manipulation of the spine often called adjustments to alleviate pain, improve function, and promote overall well-being. We use our hands primarily and at times specialized instruments to adjust the spine, aiming to correct misalignments, biomechanics, and optimize nervous system function.

The Controversy

One of the main points of contention is the potential link between neck manipulation during chiropractic adjustments and an increased risk of strokes. The argument is based on the belief that the force applied to the neck arteries during manipulation might lead to dissections or tears, subsequently causing a stroke.

Examining the Evidence

While some studies have suggested a possible association between chiropractic neck manipulation and strokes, it's essential to consider the overall risk and prevalence. The incidence of stroke following chiropractic care is extremely rare, and the actual cause-and-effect relationship remains unclear.

A comprehensive review published in the Spine Journal in 2008 concluded that the risk of a serious adverse event, including stroke, associated with chiropractic neck manipulation is low. The study emphasized the importance of weighing the potential risks against the benefits of chiropractic care, especially for patients with certain conditions. The study concluded that they found no statistical correlation between chiropractic office visit and stroke. In fact, there is a +1,000% increase in a stroke occurrence when compared to a primary care physician office visit.

Cassidy, J. D., Boyle, E., Côté, P., He, Y., Hogg-Johnson, S., Silver, F. L., & Bondy, S. J. (2008). Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care. Spine, 33(Supplement).

Chiropractic Care and Patient Selection

It is crucial to note that chiropractic care is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We go through a thorough consultation, examination and order any necessasry special test before before recommending treatment. Most importantly we take into account each patient's medical history, existing health conditions, and the nature of their symptoms.

Patients with pre-existing vascular issues or other risk factors for strokes may be advised against certain chiropractic techniques. We believe that open and transparent communication between the patient and the your chiropractor is key to ensuring a safe and effective treatment plan.

Promoting Safe Chiropractic Practices

We follow established guidelines to provide safe and effective care. Each year we have to perform continuing education to meet the requirements of licensure. Much of this continuing education is lead by some of the very best health care professionals who share the latest research. Our goal is to adhere to best practices at all times. Patients, in turn, should actively communicate any concerns or pre-existing health conditions to ensure we are addressing your concerns appropriately.


While concerns regarding the potential link between chiropractic care and strokes exist, the evidence supporting a definitive connection is limited. The rarity of adverse events should be weighed against the potential benefits of chiropractic care for many individuals suffering from musculoskeletal issues.

As with any healthcare decision, individuals considering chiropractic care should engage in open communication with their healthcare providers, thoroughly discuss their medical history, and make informed choices based on their unique circumstances. By doing so, patients and practitioners can work together to ensure the safest and most effective treatment approach.

This is why we offer our New Patient Speical to those who qualify. This is the best and safest way to determine if your concerns can be addressed through chiropractic care. This New Patient Special is called our Gift of Health. This includes a consultation, examination, x-rays (if needed) and a doctor's report of findings. This offer is not valid for those on a federally funded program, Medicare, Medicaid, or individuals who have been involved in a work place injury, an auto accident, or other personal injury case.

For those individuals who may not qualify for our New Patient Special check out our contact page for estimated costs to become a new patient. Contact us with any questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Greg Beenken

Dr. Greg Beenken

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