Stroke Doesn't Exist Because of Chiropractors

March 28, 2006

G'day Dr. Barrett,

I came across your article Neck Manipulation and Strokes: Chiropractic's Dirty Secret by accident, shame it wasn't a motor vehicle accident, because it would have been easier to clean up.

I am concerned as a chiropractic student that your website, is throwing stones in glass houses. The medical profession as well as true scientific research the world over, are finding that the incidence of stroke due to cervical manipulation to be extremely low. The articles you have referenced are not impressive and do not even contain a RCT [randomized controlled trial] of cervical manipulation, very disappointing Sir. There are case reports, journal reports, reports from other professionals (neurologists, medico's, and chiro's).

Stroke is a serious pathology, that doesn't exist because of chiropractors. It exists because people have little regard for their health. It may in some have genetic foundation, but we all know that the root cause of stroke is embolus, the key factor in embolus formation, thrombus, the most significant thrombus cause, fatty deposits, C/V disease and so on. This is not to say that stroke is not significant when it happens. Of course it is significant to the patient, the family and of course the practitioner, what ever their vocation.

Your site has a piece of text from a "former chiropractor, Rob Alexander". Well to tell you the truth his statement leaves little to be regarded as he tells little about his own practice if any, let alone if he himself caused a stroke due to chiropractic manipulation. The fact the he assumes to have had patients present to him with symptoms of stroke does not reflect the patients lifestyle, general health, activities, let alone family history. This is not to remove responsibilty from chiropractors as primary health providers, far from it, but to entertain the idea that patients are not always forthcoming with information, be it known to them or otherwise. This should be very close to the quick for all G.P's the world over. Lets remember that medico's have a much increased personal indemnity insurance cost compared to chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists etc, etc. Why is this? Let's also entertain the idea the the medical fraternity cause many more incidents due to malpractice than any other health care profession. Does that mean we should not use medicine, of course not. To state that is malpractice in itself. As far as calling chiropractors quacks, struth, it doesn't fall to far from the tree with doctors mate. Twas not more than 100 years ago doctors were not so well regarded by the general public for their expertise, quacks you say.

You may find me impertinent Sir but bugger it, throw stones, and we will throw boulders. Not as an action of retaliation, but to show that although the implement has different qualities (size, strength, etc) the implied outcome is the same. We can too! The lights don't always shine where you want them Sir. Just remember this the next time you hear of a young M.D. causing death due to error of judement, or patient error even, heaven forbid.

Please do not misunderstand me, but I am very proud of the profession that I wish to vocate my life to, and I am indebted to the science of modern medicine for becoming more evidence based. We remember our past but strive for the future, a better health care system for all people and maybe more tolerance for that which we do not truly understand.

The alternative will always perturb the mainstream, especially when toes/professional pride are stepped on.

Regards and good luck with your vocation!!!

Daniel Crocker

P.S. May your stones be made of pumice, just so when we pick them up to lob them back you can rest assured that the won't impact to heavily on your head. Head injury is also another cause of stroke by the way doctor, remember your differential diagnosis!!!!!!

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