Chiropractic stroke

John W. Norris

Monday, December 6, 1999

Toronto -- The article on chiropractic stroke (Nov. 30) contains misleading statements that need correcting. The Canadian Stroke Consortium study of arterial tears producing stroke after neck trauma is not just "a series of cases."

Rotation of the neck, tearing the vertebral and sometimes carotid arteries, has been established for decades as a cause of stroke, sometimes fatal. Our study is designed to investigate the mechanism, not to decide whether there is such a relationship. All our cases have radiological evidence of torn arteries, so the connection cannot be disputed. The tears always occur at the bony protuberance where the neck vertebra joins the skull and where the winding course of the artery is very vulnerable to rotation injury. In most cases, the stroke occurs within hours of the trauma.

Nothing can be gained by burying our heads in the sand and pretending it doesn't occur. Hopefully, our study will benefit both the chiropractic and medical professions.

John W. Norris, MD, chairman,
Canadian Stroke Consortium,

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