Man’s Claim He Suffered a Stroke After Chiropractor Visit Divides Internet

Internet commenters were left conflicted after one man said he had a life-threatening emergency that left him hospitalized for a week following a recent visit with a chiropractor.

On Nov. 17, Twitter user Dorion Nowell (@DorionNowell) said he noticed alarming symptoms days after the visit and advised others receiving chiropractic care to reconsider.

“If you​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​a11ve EVER, EVER EVER use a chiropractor, NEVER let them manipulate your neck or neck area, Nowell tweeted. “Last week at 32 I had a stroke from a chiropractic injury. After being in the ICU and on a feeding tube for a week, I was finally released today.”

“I actually went for the adjustment on Monday and had the stroke on Thursday night,” he added, in a separate tweet. “The first symptom I noticed was that I wasn’t balanced… it was like a nasty drunken feeling that I couldn’t overcome.”

With nearly 12,000 retweets, Nowell’s first tweet has been liked more than 52,000 times.

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With more than 70,000 registered chiropractors and high rates of successful pain relief, chiropractic care is popular in the United States.

According to data published by health research website The Good Body, 35 million Americans visit a chiropractor annually, and more than 1 million chiropractic adjustments are performed each day.

However, while The Good Body reports that 77 percent of chiropractic patients describe their care as “very effective,” there is a risk of injury associated with spinal manipulation, despite the potential for pain.

Chiropractic adjustment
Chiropractic adjustment. Twitter users were left divided after one man claimed he suffered a stroke as a result of a recent visit to the chiropractor.
pcess609/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Dr Jessica Shepherd, chief medical officer at Verywell Health, said Newsweek that chiropractic care can be especially beneficial for athletes, those who suffer from chronic neck and back pain and those who have symptoms of scoliosis.

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She also noted that some pre-existing conditions may increase the risk of injury, and that in certain scenarios, alternative care may be less dangerous and more effective.

“Risks with chiropractic are very rare, but can include stroke or rupture of herniated discs,” Shepherd said. “A stroke brought on by chiropractic care is very rare, but there is a small risk. Usually these types of strokes are caused by vertebral artery dissection which are small tears in your vertebral artery that runs along the back of your neck runs and your spine and supplies brain with blood.

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“If someone is at risk of cardiovascular disease or has other underlying conditions, it may be best to seek other treatment options and avoid chiropractic care,” Shepherd added.

As for the perception among medical professionals, Shepherd said that while questions about safety have arisen, chiropractic care has become a necessity for those battling back pain.

“In the context of rising health care costs, chiropractic care is a relatively effective and inexpensive treatment for increasingly common problems such as back pain,” Shepherd said. Newsweek. “However, there have been some notions that additional evidence for the effectiveness of chiropractic care is still needed to establish its scientific claims.”

Those concepts, as well as the proven effectiveness of chiropractic care, were mentioned in the responses to Nowell’s account of his experience, with Twitter users on both sides of the fence digging in their heels.

“It’s posts like this that make people miss out on the wonders of chiropractic,” lamented @GlennCoco4Real. “Studies show that there is no higher risk of suffering a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment than sitting on your couch.”

“A quick reminder that chiropractors are not medical professionals,” interjected @NWterror. “They are hardly different from a massage therapist and … they are not healthcare providers. It is a service not a procedure.”

Newsweek has reached out to Nowell for comment.


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