Most patients who see a chiropractor for a spinal adjustment will leave their appointment feeling a sense of relief. However, on occasion, something goes wrong and a patient leaves with a torn artery in their neck. As the artery bleeds, it will eventually form a blood clot which can pass through to the brain and cause a stroke.
According to The National Institutes of Health, 31 percent of patients who had suffered from an injured artery after a chiropractic adjustment died shortly after or were left permanently disabled. Many personal injury lawyers will accept cases of carotid or vascular arterial dissection and strokes that are the result of a chiropractic neck adjustment. If you or a loved one has suffered from this type of injury, please call a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, for a consultation today.
How a Chiropractic Stroke Occurs
When a chiropractor makes an adjustment to a patient’s neck, the force or rapid movement can cause a tear in the carotid or vascular artery. These arteries are responsible for carrying blood to the brain, and when torn, a thrombus (blood clot) can form. The blood clot can eventually stop the flow of blood to the brain; thereby, cause a stroke.
Signs and Symptoms of Chiropractic Stroke
Chiropractic strokes often go undiagnosed. The reason for this is that the time between the neck adjustment and the stroke is often several days or weeks; therefore, the patient or their family might not make the connection between the two. There are at least 500 reported cases of patients who suffered a stroke after a chiropractic manipulation. Sadly, some of these people lost their lives and others were paralyzed or suffered from brain damage and other life changing injuries.
Survivors of a stroke are usually left with permanent disabilities including partial paralysis, vision loss, speech impairment, and cognitive malfunctions. The need for ongoing rehabilitation and personalized nursing care is often necessary. According to the National Stroke Foundation, approximately 160,000 people will lose their lives every year to a stroke.
Signs of a Chiropractic Stroke
Many patients will not notice immediate warning signs after leaving their chiropractic appointment; however, some might only notice tenderness in the neck. Chiropractic injury lawyers know of many cases in which it took many days or weeks for the injury to produce recognizable symptoms. Some of the early symptoms include:
- Sudden numbness, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden weakness
- Sudden confusion
- Difficulty speaking
- Inability to understand speech
- Vision problems
- Loss of balance
- Loss of motor coordination
- Paralysis in the limbs or on one side of the body
- Memory problems
- Sudden headache
If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned signs, you should call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately. If a stroke goes undiagnosed, permanent injury or death can result.
Research Has Links Chiropractic Manipulation of the Neck to Strokes
In a published study out of Britain, there were an alarming number of patients who experienced neurological problems after a spinal manipulation. What was more disturbing is that many of these injuries were unreported. Another study from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center examined 13 patients who had significant neck pain after a chiropractic manipulation. In all 13 cases, researchers found damage to their arteries around the upper vertebrae in the spine.
If you believe you or a loved one had a stroke because of a chiropractic adjustment, please do not delay in calling a chiropractic injury lawyer.