Stroke! The Chirpractors nightmare

Do a Google search of “chiropractic uk” in sixth place is The home page states;

“Action for Victims of Chiropractic was started by Chiropractic Victim Mrs Frances S Denoon on the 20th March 2001. This site represent the only known support and pressure group in the UK for victims of Complimentary Therapies and in particular Chiropractic”.

“• Frances Denoon’s story is fully detailed on this website. See Victims Case Studies.
AVC’s principal aim is outlined belowto raise public awareness of the risks involved with upper cervical manipulation of the spine. (neck manipulation)
• To raise public awareness of the approach and theory of Chiropractic from the victim’s perspective.
• To offer non-financial support to Victims of any Chiropractic injury as far as the resources available to AVC
• To keep up pressure within the Government and Chiropractic advocator’s to carry out independent clinical trials of the benefits/risks of chiropractic neck Manipulation.
AVC is not an anti-chiropractic organisation. AVC is only interested in bona fide research information and correspondence from either victims or interested parties to engage in the dialogue of the safety and benefits of chiropractic.

The site has two very detailed case studies from two women who believe their stroke was caused by a chiropractor. Tragic as their experience was it does not seem to have occurred to anyone involved in the case that the stroke could have been in progress before they went to the chiropractor. They went to the chiropractor because they were in pain.

Ariel Sharon’s stroke was widely reported in the press . Just before Christmas he had bad head pain was taken to hospital. It was later announced that he had suffered a mild stroke and was given anticoagulant medication. Four weeks later he suffers a massive hemorrhage which would have been considerably worsened by the medicine he was taken.

Now if Sharon had happened to go to a Chiropractor for his head pain the media reaction would have been completely different. Why is this? Could it be we only have ourselves to blame because we have timidly accepted the association to gain favour with the medical establishment. When I was trained I was led believe there was a very small possibility that my adjustment could cause a stroke. I accepted this as truth and never asked any of my tutors to show me the evidence.

Last November the Irish Chiropractic Association of Ireland put on a fantastic conference dealing with the facts about stroke and “Spinal Manipulation” SMT. For me the highlight of the weekend was when we had a Canadian chiropractor telling us there was a 1 in 1.000000 chance of experiencing vertebral dissection after SMT and an esteemed Medical Neurologist saying that was rubbish because there was no evidence to support a causal link between SMT and Stroke.
Andrew Upton is the "expert" witness in the appeal of the Lewis inquest in Canada. Mr Upton had examined all the evidence linking chiropractic to stroke and concluded for the appeal, that most of the evidence suggesting a link were case studies which Edzard Earnst on his websie cause the lowest standard of evidence because it is anecdotal. Mr Upton stated until there is epidemiological evidence to support the stroke hypothesis it is wrong to accept a link. He went on to tell us about studies by Hertzog et al. ,who were unable to produce dissection on cadavers with the force of an adjustment. Dissection needed far greater force, like a Karate Chop.

In November 2005 “The Stationery Office” Published a report for the department of health Reducing Brain Damage: Faster access to better stroke care.
The Report states Stroke accounts for 11% of deaths in England and Wales every year. Every five minutes someone in England will have a stroke, and one in four people can expect to have a stroke if they live to 85 years of age. (Many of these are chiropractic patients and if they happen to visit the clinic on that day, in the present climate chances are you will be blamed)
The Risk of stroke are:
• High blood pressure
• Family history of stroke
• Atrial fibrillation
• High blood cholesterol
• Diabetes
• Smoking
• Advancing age
• Unhealthy diet ( Published this week in The Lancet. Fruit and veg in diet reduces risk of stroke by 25%.
There is no mention of Chiropractic in this report and if there is no evidence of a causal relationship why do we go on accepting there is one. How can you prove a negative?

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