VBA Stroke: Resources for Doctors of Chiropractic

There is growing interest in the association between cervical manipulation and vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke. Unfortunately, opinion rather than fact has often dominated discussions on this topic, even though there has been no definitive evidence that cervical adjustments can cause a stroke. ACA is sensitive to the public‘s concerns surrounding this complex issue, and is offering the following resources to help state associations and doctors of chiropractic disseminate accurate information about the risks of serious injury following cervical manipulation.

ACA encourages doctors of chiropractic to utilize these materials and to speak to patients about the benefits and risks associated with any treatment plan they may recommend, as well as benefits and risks associated with other treatments their patients may consider. Review ACA ‘s policy on Informed Consent and review our Informed Consent resources page for further information and guidance on fostering shared decisionmaking with patients.

If you have a question, comment, or suggestion with regard to these materials, please contact the ACA .

(Resources on this page were reviewed and updated in 2014.)

Comparison of Benefits/Risks Associated with CMT vs. Other Therapies

Research and Articles from the Literature

Patient Resources

Informed Consent – Shared Decision Making

The ACA has compiled the following information and resources on the practice of informed consent. We support and encourage DCs to help patients understand any proposed course of treatment and, by doing so, foster shared decision making.

In addition, the ACA code of ethics , which new members agree to follow when they join ACA, notes that “doctors of chiropractic should employ their best good faith efforts to provide information and facilitate understanding to enable the patient to make an informed choice in regard to proposed chiropractic treatment. The patient should make his or her own determination on such treatment.


Chiropractic In-Office Emergency Protocols
This course highlights what procedures to follow in the rare case that a patient walks into your office and exhibits signs/symptoms of an acute stroke. To register and take this FREE online course, click here .

Media Attention & Inquiries

If you are contacted by a media organization regarding chiropractic and the purported risk of stroke or the issue of informed consent, please know that ACA is willing to assist in any way possible. ACA ‘s media spokespeople are well prepared to answer questions regarding the risk of serious injury following cervical manipulation. In addition, ACA staff members can provide media with copies of important research and statistics.

We respect that some state organizations are well equipped to handle media inquiries on this subject; however, we do ask that you please let us know of any forthcoming media coverage, so that we may be prepared to respond in an appropriate manner.

Recent Articles in the Consumer Media

Working with the Media

For More Information
To contact someone in ACA's Communications Department, please email [email protected] or call 703-276-8800.

Reprinted courtesy of the ACA: The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, VA, is the largest professional association in the United States advocating for more than 130,000 doctors of chiropractic (DCs), chiropractic assistants (CAs) and chiropractic students. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit us at www.acatoday.org.


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