The signs and symptoms of stroke following neck manipulation

A survey of university hospitals in Germany uncovered the typical findings in people who experience vertebral artery dissection (VAD) following chiropractic neck manipulation.

  • Symptoms consistent with VAD start in about half of all patients within 12 hours after neck manipulation
  • 90% of patients admitted to the hospital show neurological symptoms
  • 11% of these have reduced consciousness
  • 50% of subjects are discharged after about 20 days but have persistent neurological symptoms
  • Risk factors for artery dissection are present in 25% of patients

In this group of 36 patients, 1 died and 1 was in a persistent vegetative state.

Two case history presentations are presented here.

The risk of stroke/cerebrovascular accidents and manipulative procedures performed to the cervical spine are discussed here.

To be fair, chiropractors are not the only therapists who perform neck manipulation. Physiotherapists, some occupational therapists, orthopedic surgeons, family physicians dealing in manipulative management, and even some neurologists, offer various types of physical manipulative intervention.

12/16/06 00:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.