Controversial neck manipulation may increase risk of stroke

Physorg.com

Project lead, Dr. Andrew Leaver from the Faculty of Health Sciences said the study compared common rehabilitation therapies for acute neck pain.

"Neck manipulation is a highly controversial treatment as there are published studies that demonstrate an increased risk of stroke in patients that receive neck manipulation," he said.

"Whilst this appears to be a rare occurrence, and there is still some debate about whether manipulation can cause stroke, patients have a right to make an informed choice."

Neck manipulation, which involves the application of a rapid, small thrusting movement to the spine, producing an audible 'click,' is widely used by chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and other medical practitioners to treat neck pain.

According to Dr. Leaver, the frequently quoted estimate of serious injury following neck manipulation of one in one million, is conservative and does not take into account unreported cases.

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