Who’s Asleep Over at MedScape?
In general, I find the reporting at MedScape to be top notch, but I have significant problems with their 4-20-11 essay titled: “The Potential Complications of Chiropractic Therapy”.
Answer this question:
If I sneeze, and there is a car accident across the street,
have we discovered the *cause* of car accidents?
The scientific method would propose that we sneeze a hundred times, and count the car accidents.
That’s how you begin to determine if there is an actual relationship between one event (like drinking milk) and it’s potential consequences (like developing cancer).
The Bone and Joint Decade Task Force was appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to look at the causes of, and treatments for neck pain, and after years of review, they published their results in the prestigious Spine Journal. One of the most relevant articles (to this conversation) was titled:
“Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care: Results of a Population-based Case-control and Case-crossover Study”
Spine 2008 (Feb 15); 33 (4 Suppl): S176–183
CONCLUSION: 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.
There was an association between chiropractic services and subsequent vertebrobasilar artery stroke in persons under 45 years of age, but a similar association was also observed among patients receiving general practitioner services. This is likely explained by patients with vertebrobasilar artery dissection-related neck pain or headache seeking care before having their stroke.
This Blog (and our website in general) has published regularly on this topic:
WARNING: Conducting an Orchestra Can Cause Vertebral Artery Dissection and Stroke
If Not Chiropractic Care, Then What’s Your Alternative?
Do You Still Beat Your Wife?
Chiropractic and Stroke Incidence
Respected Researcher Validates Chiropractic Standard of Care and Safety
We also have access to an interview with the author himself:
Podcast Interview with J. David Cassidy: No Increased Risk of Stroke With Chiropractic
This interview, with author, researcher and epidemiologist J David Cassidy, DC, DrMedSc, PhD, should quell the fears of even the most vehement critics who would normally carry on on by mis-quoting, ignoring, or twisting the existing scientific literature to suit their pre-conceived notions and biases.
The Stroke and Chiropractic Page has been online since early 1996, compiling the literature which documents how chiropractic care has been mis-labeled as the “proximal event” in reported cases of vertebral artery injury.
Most telling is Terrett’s seminal work Misuse of the Literature by Medical Authors in Discussing Spinal Manipulative Therapy Injury, which clearly demonstrates that many of the reported injuries ascribed to chiropractic actually occurred following care provided by MDs, PTs and even hair-dressers, even though the authors of those works knew the truth. Where I come from, that’s called bald-faced lying, not *misuse*.
The unadorned FACT is that there is ZERO scientific evidence that a chiropractic adjustment has EVER *caused* a stroke. None.
I hope the Editors at MedScape will publish a retraction and apology, while explaining how and why they missed mentioning the results published by the Spinal Task Force.