The man’s claim that he suffered a stroke after visiting the chiropractor divides the internet

Internet commentators were left conflicted after a man claimed to have a life-threatening emergency that left him hospitalized for a week following a recent visit with a chiropractor.

November 17, Chirping user Dorion Nowell (@DorionNowell) said she noticed alarming symptoms days after the visit and advised others receiving chiropractic care to reconsider.

“If you all use a chiropractor please NEVER let them manipulate your neck or cervical area,” Nowell tweeted. “Last week, at age 32, I suffered a stroke due to a chiropractic injury. After being in the ICU and tube fed for a week, I was finally discharged today.”

“I actually went for adjustment on Monday and had the stroke on Thursday night,” he added, in a separate tweet. “The first symptom I noticed was that I was off balance…it was like a very bad drunken feeling that I couldn’t get over.”

Accumulating nearly 12,000 retweets, Nowell’s initial tweet was liked more than 52,000 times.

With over 70,000 registered chiropractors and high rates of successful pain relief, chiropractic care is popular in the United States.

According to data published by the Health Research website The good body35 million Americans visit a chiropractor each year and more than 1 million chiropractic adjustments are performed every day.

However, while The Good Body reports that 77% of chiropractic patients describe their care as “very effective,” there is a risk of injury associated with spinal manipulationdespite the potential to relieve pain.

Chiropractic adjustment
Chiropractic adjustment. Twitter users were left divided after a man claimed he suffered a stroke following a recent visit to the chiropractor.
pcess609/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dr. Jessica Shepherd, Chief Medical Officer at Very well Cheerssaid Newsweek that chiropractic care can be especially helpful for athletes, those suffering from chronic neck and back pain, and those exhibiting symptoms of scoliosis.

He also noted that some existing conditions can increase injury riskand that alternative care could prove less dangerous and more effective in some scenarios.

“Risks with chiropractic are very rare, but could include stroke or worsening herniated discs,” Shepherd said. “A stroke caused by chiropractic care is extremely rare but there is a small risk. Usually these types of strokes are caused by vertebral artery dissections which are small tears in the vertebral artery that runs along the back of the neck and supplies the spine and brain with blood.

“If someone is at risk for cardiovascular disease or has other underlying conditions, it may be best to seek other treatment options and avoid chiropractic care,” Shepherd added.

Regarding perceptions among medical professionals, Shepherd said that while questions about safety have arisen, chiropractic care has become a necessity for those battling back pain.

“In the context of rising health care costs, chiropractic care is a relatively effective and inexpensive treatment for increasingly common problems like back pain,” Shepherd said. Newsweek. “However there have been some notions that more evidence of the effectiveness of chiropractic care is still needed to establish its scientific claims.”

These notions, as well as the proven efficacy of chiropractic care, were mentioned in all responses to Nowell’s account of his experience, with Twitter users on both sides of the fence digging their heels in.

“It’s posts like this that make people miss out on the miracles of chiropractic,” @GlennCoco4Real lamented. “Studies show that there is no greater risk of suffering a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment than sitting on the couch.”

“A quick reminder that chiropractors are not medical professionals,” @NWterror chimed in. “They’re little different than a massage therapist and… they’re not healthcare professionals. It’s a service, not a procedure.”

Newsweek reached out to Nowell for comment.