Spinal adjustments or other techniques that involve the manipulation of the body can cause injury if they are not appropriately done by a chiropractor. A neck adjustment could cause a dissection of one of the major arteries; thereby, resulting in a stroke. The first signs of a stroke might occur shortly before or after leaving the chiropractor’s office. However, many people won’t exhibit the symptoms until days or weeks after the adjustment. This is because both the carotid and vertebral artery causes bleeding, which overtime results in thrombus and emboli. Eventually, this causes a lack of blood flow to the brain and then a stroke. Sadly, patients who suffer from a stroke because of a chiropractic adjustment will suffer from permanent injuries, if not death.
If you or a loved one has had a stroke after being treated by a chiropractor, please consider calling a chiropractic injury lawyer from a law firm.
Types of Stroke that Can Result from a Chiropractic Adjustment
One of the concerns of chiropractic adjustment is the abrupt manipulation of the joints between the skull and the first vertebrae, as well as any manipulation made between the first and second vertebrae in the spine. Some chiropractors no longer do any upper neck rotation adjustments when the head is extended. Others have ceased all neck manipulation unless it is absolutely required. As a chiropractic injury lawyer, we have known of cases involving the following strokes:
Visual Strokes – After a manipulation of the neck, a patient might notice subtle vision changes that eventually lead to the loss of peripheral vision. This could be an indicator of a stroke because of damage to one or both arteries in the neck. An injury to the vertebral artery that causes a small clot to form could be cast off and into the part of the brain that is responsible for vision. Depending on the severity of the injury, the patient could suffer from temporary, long term, or permanent impaired vision.
Brain Stem – The vertebral artery has a major role in supplying blood to the brain stem. When the brain stem is damaged because of a chiropractic manipulation, the patient might notice weakness in the facial muscles, inability to balance, changes in their voice, dizziness, and more. If left untreated, paralysis and a coma could result. A chiropractic injury lawyer can review your medical records to help you determine whether or not a chiropractor may be to blame for the stroke.
Cerebellum Strokes – If the arteries in the neck were injured, a blood clot can occur. This clot can eventually travel through the neck and to the cerebellum, an area in the back of the brain. If this should happen, the patient could suffer a stroke that has a primary effect on their coordination and balance.
Carotid Artery Stroke – The carotid artery is in the front of the neck and can be easily damaged by a quick thrust or rotation of the neck. These strokes can be very dangerous and even life threatening.
As a chiropractic injury lawyer, we believe many strokes that are caused by chiropractic neck manipulations are underreported. This could be because the patient who suffered the stroke may have had irreparable brain damage; thus, cannot remember having the manipulation. Furthermore, if the stroke happened well after the manipulation, family members or the patient might not make the connection between the two.