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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chiropractors don't raise stroke risk, study says

Is it my birthday in January? Nope, but this just makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.
This is just great news all around, and a great article to see in both the popular press and peer-reviewed journals.
A study conducted through the University of Toronto and the University Health Network found that the risk of a stroke following a chiropractic visit is no higher than a visit to a family doctor.
While this is what chiropractors have been telling their patients and all who would listen for years and years, it is always great to see a study that validates the safety of the leading alternative and complementary healing art in North America.
In my years in practice, I have come upon people who've said that they'd never get adjusted, or who thought that a chiropractor could even kill them! Will this article and study do anything to sway their opinion, or calm their nerves? Hopefully, but pre-conceived notions, beliefs and biases can run deep.

Consider this.
The risk of stroke related to a chiropractic adjustment (a rare type of stroke caused by damage to the vertebral artery) is estimated to occur 1 in 5 million times. Let me repeat that.....1 in 5 million!!!
My office is in a medical building, and I've realized that I am actually the safest doctor in the entire complex! There is no medical procedure or drug which has a safety profile that good. Doctors would love to trade malpractice premiums with me, because the reality is that what they do is far more dangerous and carries far higher intrinsic risks to their patients than any technique I would deliver in my (or any other chiropractors') office.

Medicine is the third leading cause of death in North America behind heart disease and cancer. Number Three.
Maybe we need to take a more realistic and less biased look at risk in healthcare.

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