CF 043: Stroke Caused By Chiropractor - chiropracticforward CF 043: Stroke Caused By Chiropractor - chiropracticforward

CF 043: Stroke Caused By Chiropractor

Today we’re going to talk about Stroke caused by chiropractor and we’re to show you once again what a pile of hooey the idea is and we’ll even talk a bit about where it came from.Integrating Chiropractors

Stick with us but first, we’re going wade through this here bumper music. 

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

You have bee-bopped into Episode #43 and we are so glad to have you. I’ve noticed that podcasts are going into Seasons….Shows you how much I pay attention to stuff outside of what I’m doing. I’m ashamed. I should do Seasons. Here’s the deal though. I enjoy it so much. I actually WANT to put one out every week. It’s not work when you’re having fun right?

It can be a little stressful creating content and talking points but hey, we get through it and have a lot of fun in the process. 


What a great month this has been in regards to listens and downloads. You’ve heard me say it before but it’s fun to watch. Because I’m a numbers nerd and who the heck doesn’t like to see the growth of a brainchild?

Speaking of growth, I’ve started work on something that I hope you’ll love. I’ll hope you’ll think about using for your own offices, and I think may be pretty cool. I’ll fill you in more and more as we go along but just know, I’m working on something and you should get yourself on our email list at so I can tell you about it and maybe pass along discounts, stuff like that. Email list. Do it. 

A little personal…

How has your week been? Mine….well….I have to continue the saga of hiring a new front desk person. Hell people. Actual hell. The first one just didn’t show up. The second one we hired lasted three days. Three freaking days, folks. 

But, we think we have a winner in place now. You know I’m going to keep you all updated on this deal. This by itself has been enough for its own reality show. I’ve never seen anything like it. The workforce right now just doesn’t seem to want to work. At least that’s my experience lately. 

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

Let’s get to the research papers

First thing’s first. I have covered this stroke caused by chiropractor topic in depth. As in….very in-depth. In Episodes 13, 14, and 15. If you do nothing else this week as far as educating yourself, make sure you go listen to those three episodes in stroke caused by chiropractor or read it on our blog at all of which are linked here in the show notes. 

Podcast Episodes:


YouTube Video:

Why go over stroke again?

So, why go over stroke caused by chiropractor again? Well, one reason is that it’s been a while since we touched on the topic. Another being that I heard a prominent speaker just this year talking about chiropractors causing strokes and implying that it happens fairly often. That’s a pro-chiropractic speaker, by the way, acting as if chiropractors are the sole reason for a stroke on a regular basis. 

I don’t think that it is necessarily the way the discussion was meant but it could definitely have been interpreted in that manner if those listening didn’t have the information from our Debunked series. 

The other reason I wanted to cover stroke caused by chiropractor again is that is the main thing in regards to safety that the medical kingdom tries to hold over us. Or that they’ve been told about us. And, instead of doing their work on this, they just believe it. 

New habits take 20 days to cement. We need new habits in the medical realm so I’m doing my part by taking away one of the main things they have against us. One may argue that the philosophy and subluxation model is another thing they hold against us but, all I can do about that is continue to disseminate evidence-based information and keep plugging. We’ll see where that part of it goes in the future. 

Common sense talk

For now, though, it’s about stroke caused by chiropractor this week here on the Chiropractic Forward podcast. Now, let’s compare and contrast shall we?

Did you know that the RAND Institute estimates a chiropractic adjustment is the sole cause of a vertebral artery dissection at the rate of only about 1 in 1 million or more adjustments? And did you know that your chances of winning an Oscar stand at about 1 in 11,500? Your chances of being hit by lightning are 1 in 176,426? 

How about this: NSAIDS like ibuprofen and acetaminophen cause around 16,000 deaths per year and send 100,000 people to the ER in America….EVERY YEAR.

Let’s let all that sink in. I say all of that just to put things into context and to make the point that the medical kingdom needs to quit making such a big damn deal out of trained and licensed chiropractors adjusting necks. 

We’re starting with this paper 2015 by Kosloff and friends titled, “Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case-control study in U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations[1].” It was published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. 

Why They Did It

This is obvious. We’re looking at the real chances of chiropractic adjustments being the culprit for strokes. 

What They Found

There were 1,829 vertebral basilar artery stroke cases

Findings showed no significant association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke

The Authors’ Conclusion

“We found no significant association between exposure to chiropractic care and the risk of VBA stroke. We conclude that manipulation is an unlikely cause of VBA stroke. The positive association between PCP visits and VBA stroke is most likely due to patient decisions to seek care for the symptoms (headache and neck pain) of arterial dissection. We further conclude that using chiropractic visits as a measure of exposure to manipulation may result in unreliable estimates of the strength of association with the occurrence of VBA stroke.”

Research Paper #2

Just like a rolling stone we are moving on and gathering no grass…..

This next paper is from Church, et. al. and is called, “Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation[2].” It was published in Cureus in February of 2016. 

Just to review the research hierarchy for those unaware, systematic reviews and meta-analysis papers are at the tippy top of the food chain just above randomized controlled trials. It’s like people in the animal kingdom. We’re the top predators ya know. 

Anyway, the point is: this is reliable information folks. 

We already know why they did it so let’s skip to what they concluded. “ There is no convincing evidence to support a causal link between chiropractic manipulation and CAD. Belief in a causal link may have significant negative consequences such as numerous episodes of litigation.”

Uhhuh….numerous episodes of litigation based on belief and NOT based on fact or research. Believing stroke caused by chiropractor is unfortunate.

Now we come to the guy that helped put the matter to rest once and for all. If you are unaware of John David Cassidy, let me introduce you. He is a professor at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and is a Ph.D.

Research Paper #3

Let’s start with his newer one concerning this topic. It’s called “Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study[3].” It was published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases in 2017. Newer stuff from JD Cassidy, folks. 

As you’ll see, this paper deals with CAROTID artery and stroke specifically whereas the next and last paper deals with the VERTEBRAL artery and stroke. 

  • The why is obvious once again so, what did they find?
  • They compared 15,523 cases to 62,092 control periods using exposure windows of 1, 3, 7, and 14 days prior to the stroke. 
  • There was no significant difference between chiropractic and PCP risk estimates. 
  • They found no association between chiropractic visits and stroke in those 45 years of age or older. 

The Conclusion

“We found no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care. Associations between chiropractic and PCP visits and stroke were similar and likely due to patients with early dissection-related symptoms seeking care prior to developing their strokes.”

Research Paper #4

You’re about to notice a trend here. Next paper is by Cassidy et. al. as well and is called, “Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control and Case-Crossover Study[4].” This is the Daddy of papers proving that chiropractic adjustments are not the sole cause of strokes. 

Again, everyone knows why the research was done so let’s get to the meat and taters. 

  • It was done over a nine-year period from April 1993 to March of 2002. 
  • There were 818 vertebrobasilar artery strokes hospitalized in a population of more than 100 million person-years. 
  • There was no increased association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke in those older than 45 years. 

The Conclusion and nail in the coffin

“VBA stroke is a very rare event in the population. The increased risks of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic and PCP visits is likely due to patients with headache and neck pain from VBA dissection seeking care before their stroke. We found no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated chiropractic care compared to primary care.”

It’s like the action hero cartoons “Shazam” “Pow” “Bang” “Smack!”

Again, believing stroke caused by chiropractor unfortunate.

Wrap It Up

I’ve said it a thousand times. “If we were wrong, we’d have been wiped out years ago.” Lord knows every force of the medical kingdom focused on our demise for generations and that goes from the national and state associations all the way into the national and state legislatures. 

How do you fight against that amount of money and power and survive if you’re not inherently right in what you’re doing?

We can argue amongst ourselves till the cows come home about how to do our jobs but, in the end, we help our patients, we get them better when nobody else can, and….well…we’re right. 

So, the haters in the medical field can take a long walk off a short pier and stick it in their ears. I’m not always professional and that’s OK. I’ve always felt being strictly professional all of the time is more than just a little bit boring. We need more spice, personality, and a lot more laughter in life don’t we? 

Integrating Chiropractors


I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Contact us

Send us an email at dr dot williams at and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 


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About the author:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

Research Paper Links:


1. Kosloff T, e.a., Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case–control study in U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 2015. 23(19).

2. Church E, e.a., Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation. Cureus, 2016. 8(2): p. e498.

3. Cassidy, e.a., Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis, 2017. 26(4): p. 842-850.

4. Cassidy, e.a., Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Car. Spine, 2008. 33(4S): p. S176-S183.

CF 032: How Evidence-Based Chiropractic Can Help Save The Day

CF 029: w/ Dr. Devin Pettiet – Is Chiropractic Integration Healthy For The Profession?

CF 028: Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?



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