News item about chiropractic-related stroke

Dear Colleagues,

In the next few days, you may hear increased news media attention regarding the safety of chiropractic neck treatments. This is due to recent news items reporting that the death of model Katie Mae last February was caused by her receiving chiropractic treatment for a neck injury she sustained after falling during a photo shoot.

If your patients, professional colleagues or friends express concern or have questions regarding the safety of chiropractic neck treatments, I suggest focusing on the following points:

  1. Chiropractic is Safe. Complications from neck adjustments are very rare, and there is no evidence that adjustments can cause stroke.  
    • The largest and best quality study performed to date looked at the medical records of all 11 million people in the Canadian Provence of Ontario over a 9 year period, and found that patients who went to a chiropractor for neck problems were no more likely to have a stroke following their neck treatment than patients who went to their primary care physician. I suggest you make your points in a personal and concrete way, for example: 
      • “I’ve been in practice for over 25 years, and I’ve performed well over 25,000 neck adjustments without a single serious complication that I am aware of.” 
      • “I often perform neck adjustments on my friends, family and loved ones, without undue concern for their risks; I also often receive them myself from my colleagues.” 
  2. Chiropractic is Effective. A chiropractic approach to neck pain and other spinal pain is at least as effective as any other treatment.  
    • For patients with many types of neck pain and headache, there is at least as much scientific evidence showing that chiropractic treatment is effective as there is for as any other medical or surgical treatment, including the use of NSAIDs and opioid narcotic drugs 
    • In several head-to-head studies, common chiropractic treatments for neck pain (manipulation, mobilization, exercise, etc) have been shown to be as effective or more effective than pharmaceutical treatments (NSAIDs, opioids, etc.). 
    • No large study has ever found manual treatment for neck pain to be less effective or more risky than pharmaceutical treatment. 
  3. Chiropractors are Well Trained Professionals who are thoroughly educated and well trained to identify risk factors. The safety of our patients is, of course, our paramount concern. 

If you have any media inquiries, I recommend referring them directly to the ACA, and if you have other questions please feel free to contact me at any time. My cell phone number is 585-944-6241.

Dr. William Lauretti


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