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Should I Worry About Stroke When Undergoing Chiropractic Care?


The focus of chiropractic care is using spinal manipulation and other alternative therapies to bring the human body into alignment and enhance its ability to heal itself. While the cracking sounds can make some people uncomfortable, many Floridians rely on chiropractors for regular adjustments to restore joint function and support the nervous system. However, some experts have raised concerns about the link between spinal manipulation and stroke. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adjustments of the cervical spine – the region near the neck – can increase the risk of stroke by up to 10 percent as measured 30 days after treatment.

While you probably know that you have legal options when errors by traditional health care providers lead to bodily harm, you may not realize that Florida medical negligence laws also extend to chiropractors. If you suffered a stroke or other adverse event as a result of an adjustment, it is essential to contact a Miami failure to diagnose stroke lawyer right away. Some basic legal information may also be helpful. 

How Chiropractic Adjustments Can Lead to Stroke: For individuals suffering from neck pain, a cervical manipulation by a licensed chiropractor can alleviate discomfort, restore normal range, and enable motion in surrounding tissue. However, a high-velocity thrust – as it is described by NIH – can lead to vertebral artery dissection. This injury occurs when the inner lining of the vertebral artery tears; because it is one of four major blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain, such a tear can be devastating. The trauma often leads to formation of a blood clot, which may break apart and obstruct blood flow. In other cases, the artery wall expands as blood enters through the tear, also impairing the supply of oxygen to the brain.

The NIH’s statistics mentioned above were derived from patients who received a cervical manipulation within the 30 days prior to experiencing a stroke. Still, keep in mind that the results can be almost instantaneous, and a stroke may actually occur in the physician’s office.

Challenges with Chiropractic Stroke Malpractice: Under Florida medical malpractice laws, you must prove that a health care professional deviated from generally accepted medical standards in providing care. You must also establish a direct link between the error and your injuries. Together, these and other concepts can lead to challenges in a med mal claim. For instance:

  • The link between the adjustment and stroke can be difficult to establish when the adverse event occurs days or weeks later.
  • Insurance companies often deny causation or contest that the chiropractor deviated from the relevant standard of care.
  • Informed consent may be a defense to medical malpractice allegations because the patient was aware of the risk.

Consult with a Florida Stroke Malpractice Attorney for Free

This overview of stroke caused by chiropractic care should help you understand your basic rights, but you should rely on our team at Freidin Brown, P.A. for the details. To learn how we can assist with a malpractice claim, please contact our offices to schedule a free consultation.



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